Mets Shouldn’t Overpay For Middling Talent

An article by posted on November 9, 2013

The Mets are at a crossroads right now, and we know what the giant elephant in the room is: Matt Harvey is out for the entirety of 2014.

With that being the case, the Mets’ brass really needs to be smart this offseason. It begs the question: Do we go all-in right now or wait until next offseason to really make a big splash?

Look who’s available in free agency. Do any of these names really get you super excited?

We really don't need another Jason Bay-type contract!

We really don’t need another Jason Bay-type contract!

Maybe a name like Robinson Cano, but we know that’s not happening. And now that it seems the Mets won’t commit $100 million to a player, that eliminates the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury and potentially Shin-Soo Choo. (In other news, it’s absolutely crazy to think that Choo is poised to earn a $100 million deal, but that’s a completely different story.)

There are a few intriguing names out there right now, but it seems each has a drawback.

Curtis Granderson would be a nice addition, maybe even to play right field if the team is committed to keeping Juan Lagares in center for his defense. Granderson was once a Gold Glove caliber center fielder – and probably still is – but imagine that outfield defense with he Lagares roaming out there.

But Granderson strikes out so much, and we already have guys who strike out a ton. Let’s move on.

Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta have some baggage, but both have proven to be solid offensive performers. Would the fanbase accept these guys? Probably yes, simply based on need.

But do we cant to commit multiple years and millions of dollars to these two aging players coming off suspensions? It’s a good question to consider.

Believe me, I want the Mets to add a few pieces. If they somehow work out the finances to be able to sign Granderson (for right field), Cruz (for left field) and Peralta (for shortstop), as well as a back-end rotation starter and a few bullpen arms, that would be a very good offseason.

But I really don’t want to see them overspend, or even worse bid against themselves, in order to bring these guys in.

Granderson will undoubtedly receive interest elsewhere and likely as a center fielder. So if the Mets are committed to Lagares – which we don’t know right now – then Grandy is out.

All reports indicate that the Mets have money to spend, but they need to spend it wisely.

Think about it, would you rather see the team spend frivolously this offseason just to say they did something by bringing in guys like Granderson and Cruz?

Or do you want the team to be patient, bring in some filler type players like Rafael Furcal and Corey Hart that would only command one-year deals, wait for Harvey to return for 2015, and start with a clean slate then?

It’s such a tough dilemma, because we’ve been waiting for 2014 ever since Sandy Alderson took over. Now it’s here and we have the money to spend, so why not spend it?

Trades for Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki or Giancarlo Stanton really were the key to this team’s improvement, but all those ideas have been quelled. So unless Alderson can pry Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, it’s looking like free agency will be the route to add players.

Like we’ve established, the free-agent class right now does not blow anyone away. We really can’t afford to have another Jason Bay-type crippling contract.

With all the pitching talent, this team is eventually going to be good. The old saying goes, “Develop pitching and buy hitting.”

Developing the pitching seems to be going well, and the team finally has the money to buy the hitting, but it’s unfortunate that now that the team finally has money, the available offensive weapons don’t get us too excited.

So the takeaway from all of this: If you can get Granderson to agree to a manageable deal and Cruz and Peralta will take one-year (maybe two-year) contracts, then let’s do it.

But please Sandy, do not overpay for middling talent, as has become synonymous with the Mets for too long.

About the Author ()

Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.

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