Bill Madden of the Daily News explains why if the Mets are serious about spending, as Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson keep suggesting, they very likely will have to overpay.
Here’s the problem for the Mets — and to a lesser degree the Yankees now that they can no longer guarantee free agents a legitimate chance for a World Series ring: All things being relatively equal, the Mets, a team that has had five straight losing seasons, are one of the least desirable free-agent landing places.
This is not to say the Mets aren’t going to sign free agents to fill their corner outfield, shortstop and middle-of-the-rotation needs. Just don’t expect them to sign any of the most coveted free agents, Shin-Soo Choo, Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta.
Madden is right… I’ve been saying this for years… Alderson has proven to be adept at getting rid of proven major league talent, but he has yet to show us what he can do and how far he’s willing to go to acquire major league talent.
At one point or another, assuming he’s honest about his intentions, he will hit the same problems Omar Minaya did and have to overpay to get quality players to bring their talents to Flushing.
Don’t blame the GM – past or present – for this conundrum… Blame the owners who have given this franchise a negative taint over the last two decades.
The problem, as I see it, is that while Minaya understood the situation, Alderson seems oblivious to it.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m quite certain that this offseason will show just how unwilling to bend Alderson is when it comes to navigating the current market. He hasn’t had to pursue a top name in decades and a lot has changed since the last time he was wheeling and dealing.
This is not exactly the strongest free agent class we’ve ever seen, but it’s quite indicative of the last three offseasons and won’t be any worse than the 2015 free agent crop.
Even if he were to steer clear of the elite names available, which will undoubtedly be the case, he will soon find out that the middle-tier free agents will be just as pricey because many other teams will be attracted to them as well.
As I’ve always maintained, I don’t think he has the stomach for a bidding war.
So while Sandy and Jeff keep telling anyone who will listen that they will break the bank this offseason… I’ll believe that when I see it.