The Nickel and Dime Image of the Mets

An article by posted on February 2, 2014

jeff wilpon

In an article that was very critical of the Mets, Barry Federovitch fired several shots across the bow of the franchise with his point being that the Mets continue to come up short on and off the field.

The nickel-and-dime image of the Mets hasn’t completely gone away, and with the Yankees spending as much as ever, the team in Flushing faces another season of public-relations hell. According to espn.com, the Mets refinanced a $250 million loan this week, underlining the degree to which commissioner Bud Selig has carried his friend, Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

The Mets’ 2014 payroll? A measly $87 million, which is less than half that of the Yankees, but more significantly is also less than about half the teams in baseball, meaning the club is squandering one of its greatest selling points, that of the big market where the possibilities can be limitless.

While it is true that the Mets will likely begin the season with a bottom 15 payroll, they have added two significant pieces in Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. Of course, the two of them are indirectly replacing the production of Marlon Byrd and Matt Harvey one would hope, so it’s left upon many other players to “step up” if the team is to improve significantly this season as compared to last.

Federovitch makes some good points, but then deflates his argument in my opinion when he knocks the Mets for being outbid on James Loney. Really?

His big issue is with the Mets not going hard after Stephen Drew.

Most telling has been the club’s decision to back away from free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who would represent a major offensive (and maybe defensive) upgrade over Ruben Tejada. With a Drew similar to the 2013 model (vs. the 2013-level Tejada), the Mets are (conservatively) 3-5 games better. That difference might be between a losing record and a winning one, between third and fourth place or (if enough things went right) relevance in August. But for a few million extra dollars (and without a viable upgrade within their farm system), the Mets won’t bite, and that’s only the beginning of their problems.

It’s not all bad.

The good news for the Mets, he writes, is that the Phillies appear stuck in transition. But that’s a minor consolation, as the Braves and Nationals appear ready to dominate the National League East again, while the best the Mets could realistically hope for is a chase for the second wild card in 2014.

Look, if you had told me in September that the Mets would be coming back with the same exact infield they ended the 2013 season with, chances are that I would have laughed at your face. I’m disappointed that we made no changes that would have resolved first base and shortstop.

Also, I know I keep pounding on the same thing lately, but so far, for all their spending, the Mets still look to be about $8-9 million short of their 2013 Opening Day payroll.

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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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