Here are some excerpts from an exceptional read by Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Mets’ Spending Spree May Not Be a Spree at All.”
Diamond essentially hits on all the points I made in a post I wrote a few days ago, but also touches on some other issues to consider as the Mets wrap up their offseason.
A closer look at the organization’s transactions suggests that the Mets haven’t added much money at all to acquire new talent. Instead, they reallocated the funds made available by departing players. In fact, their overall payroll will remain mostly unchanged from a year ago—”somewhere in excess of $85 million,” Alderson said.
Diamond agrees with me that the Mets have simply done some reallocating and not much else.
They did not increase payroll as they had been saying they would this offseason since the beginning of 2013. It never happened.
Here is what Diamond writes:
Ironically, the improvement will likely need to come from within, rather than from the newcomers. Colon, who posted a 2.65 ERA for Oakland last season, essentially replaces ace Matt Harvey, who will miss all of 2014 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Granderson, who slugged 84 home runs for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012, essentially replaces departed outfielder Marlon Byrd, who hit 21 homers for the Mets in 425 at bats last season.
So where does the improvement come from, namely how do the Mets get better?
In other words, the money the Mets spent primarily replaces the production they lost. So how do they get better? The Mets’ heralded pitching prospects, highlighted by Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, must come to the majors and take steps forward. Travis d’Arnaud, arguably the sport’s best catching prospect, must begin to produce.
The thing of it is, these steps forward by the players Diamond mentions were all still necessary with or without the players we added.
Will that happen? It’s very possible.
I cannot believe that Tejada won’t post better numbers than last season, but the Mets need more than incremental improvement from him. The same goes for Davis. A 30 homer season would be great, but if it comes with Kingman-like .220 batting average and 150 strikeouts, it barely helps the team.
This team, like most teams, still have a lot of questions that need answering. But in the Mets’ case it’s more urgent because they are coming off five straight losing seasons.
The Mets need a lot to go right. They can’t afford any foul-ups and setbacks. This was the offseason when the Mets were going to be spending again and payroll would rise. It hasn’t. But we can still hope that the team can improve from within and that homegrown players begin to stand and deliver.