GM Meetings: What If $40 Million Doesn’t Go As Far As Hoped?

An article by posted on November 10, 2013

sandy alderson

Joel Sherman of the New York Post asks an interesting question this morning…

What do the Mets do when $30 million-to-$40 million does not go as far as they once hoped?

Like the Yanks, they can’t punt. They have been selling their fans on contention in 2014, and they can’t table that now because Matt Harvey will miss the season and others are flexing their financial muscles.

In fact, few front offices have more pressure to deliver this offseason. Alderson’s Mets have won 77, 74 and 74 games, and the GM has mostly gotten a pass to pursue a big-picture agenda — cleanse the payroll of bad contracts, pump up the farm system. There is no 2014 mulligan. There is money to spend, and there is this: Alderson and loyal lieutenants Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi were part of the incubation of the Moneyball A’s. Their claim to fame was finding gems others did not see. It is what made them so attractive to a Wilpon ownership that was about to go into a financial Four Corners.

Yep, the Moneyball secrets got out to an entire industry, and so, now that is a far tougher trick. But it is a trick they must make work again. Alderson and his crew need to get perhaps double the value of the $30 million-to-$40 million they spend. That means no more Frank Franciscos.

What it further means is a fascinating offseason in which we see just what the Mets do when they have some money to spend — but so does pretty much every other team.

Sherman hits on a couple of very valid points. Yes, the Moneyball secret is no longer in play. All teams look to exploit market inefficiencies and use advanced statistics to one degree or another to help them find and acquire talent. Well, all teams except for the Philadelphia Phillies it seems…

With the San Francisco Giants already setting a high bar for power hitters and mid rotation starters with their Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum signings, it’s safe to say we could be heading into a free agent market that may send Sandy Alderson into shock.

Players who play at a level never once considered to be in nine figure terrain (Shin-Soo Choo, Brian McCann, etc.) are now being mentioned in the same sentence as $100 million dollar deals… And rumors have the Mets already bailing out on such deals and players…

With more teams than ever before targeting mid-tier free agents, even those players will end up getting far more money than their production might be worth.

And this is a solid free agent market compared to last offseason and next year’s projected free agent class.

In other words, this is as good as it gets.

More and more teams now lock up their prized players and you see fewer and fewer of them ending up in free agency.

It’s gonna be interesting to watch how Sandy navigates these choppy waters now that he has his fistful of dollars…

And we’ll start to know more about that with the GM Meetings set to begin tomorrow…

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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