Are The New York Mets Really Rebuilding From The Ground Up?
We have heard that the Mets are going through a complete overhaul, rebuilding the organization from the ground up.
Until the trade that sent RA Dickey to the Blue Jays for prominent prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, it sure didn’t look like a team that was rebuilding. The Dickey trade was the first action taken by general manager Sandy Alderson that signaled that the team may be undergoing a rebuilding phase.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances, the Dickey trade was not really so much a part of the rebuilding process as it was picking the pocket of a team (the Blue Jays) that is putting all of their eggs in one basket in 2013.Trading a prominent major league commodity for minor league prospects is generally the tell-tale sign that a team is entering a rebuilding phase. The question is, should the Mets be rebuilding from the ground up?
Rebuilding is a term that we generally hear coming from places like Kansas City and Pittsburgh. They always seem like they are rebuilding, don’t they? That’s because once a team takes on a rebuilding project, unless everything clicks, meaning the prospects all gel and hit their stride at the same time, there will be setbacks. Baseball prospects are about as unpredictable as lightning strikes. There is no such thing as a sure thing. Because of that, a rebuilding phase can sometimes take years to complete.
Another reason why these rebuilding teams always seem to be rebuilding is because they are generally from small markets. With little money to spend on free-agents, they have no choice but to rebuild year after year and hope that prospects pan out. The problem is, when they finally do pan out, they often lose the players due to the inability to pay them once they hit free-agency for the first time.
What ends up happening? Large market teams have no reason to build their minor league systems because they know that the prospects that are developed by the small market teams will eventually be out of their price range. They just sit back and wait to write them out a fat check. It makes you wonder if the small market team decided to start spending some money and keeping their prospects, how the power would shift in the major leagues if the large market teams could no longer subsidize these prospects.
Now the question is: Are the Mets truly rebuilding?
Let’s get one thing out in the open – large market teams don’t rebuild, they replenish. There is a major difference. Replenishing entails filling in gaps in the organization; rebuilding entails starting from scratch. The Mets should not be rebuilding, they should be replenishing.
They want to make everyone think they are rebuilding because if a team claims to be rebuilding, they think it gives them a free pass for stinking up the joint. Well that may fly in Pittsburgh. It may have flown in Kansas City. But in New York, that just isn’t going to fly.
Not to mention, this has to be the absolute worst rebuilding in the history of rebuilding. Rebuilding teams don’t sign players to $138 million contracts; they trade them. Rebuilding teams don’t let 23 of their draft picks to go unsigned; they sign them.
Unless this is some new hybrid type of rebuilding process where you don’t trade your biggest trade chip and you don’t sign draft picks, it is not rebuilding. Do you want to know what it is? It’s an excuse for not spending money. Period.
The Chicago Cubs are another team that is said to be in a rebuilding process. However, the difference between the Cubs and the Mets is that their front office has been busy all off-season signing players in an attempt to improve in 2013. They’re rebuilding and yet spending money to improve in the interim. Who would’ve thought it was possible?
What have the Mets done this winter? They have accomplished the impossible feat of being the only team to not sign a major league free-agent.
The Mets are not rebuilding, they are stalling. They were hoping the Mayans were right. But now we are in 2013 and they don’t know what to do.
About the Author: Mitch Petanick
Mitch is currently an Editor and Minor League Analyst for Mets Merized Online. His baseball experience includes being a former All-Conference collegiate baseball player who had numerous professional tryouts, and he is currently a hitting instructor. He has been involved with the game of baseball for over 30 years now as a player, coach, and consultant. Mitch is also a former Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @FirstPitchMitch.
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