David Wright met with reporters at St. Lucie today. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York did a nice job of summarizing everything, but I’m just going to focus on his comments on the Mets’ offseason and spending.
Wright refused to condemn the Mets’ payroll, which Sandy Alderson estimated is at $87 million of $88 million entering the season.
“We had a lot of money come off the books. We spent quite a bit of money. And a lot of that gets overshadowed by the money that the Yankees spent this offseason.
“And I understand it’s a big market and fans want to see instant gratification — sign these players and become a much better team overnight. But, as I said before, we had a lot of holes to fill.
“It probably was somewhat unrealistic to think all of those holes were going to be filled in one offseason by free agents. Some of these holes are going to have to be filled by guys who are here, whether it’s the minor leagues or guys being put into a situation where they’re given a second chance, per se. We finished pretty poorly the last three years. And there’s only so much you can do in one offseason free-agent-wise, trade-wise, to plug those holes.
“It’s not an overnight fix where you go from a fourth-place team. Of course, I think that we can go out there and compete and win baseball games. But you can’t sit and rebuild an entire culture or you can’t rebuild an entire team in one offseason.”
“It’s going to be up to some of the guys who have been here to do their part as well. When you don’t have success for the number of years that we haven’t had success, you can’t just get rid of the whole team and go buy a whole new team. It just doesn’t work that way.”
“The fan side of me wants them to go out there and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on every player we can possibly get to make our team better now. But there’s a part of me that says I want to have sustained success once we do have that success. The only way to do that is when you have offseasons where you have money coming off the books at the same time where you need to add money.”
Long story short, lets hope the Mets start winning fast because until that happens and we draw more fans, this organization won’t invest another dime on this team over and above $90 million. That’s my honest feeling.
Can you win with a $90 million payroll? Of course, but it’s harder to do that when one third of it is tied up on two players. And that’s not a knock on Wright or Granderson.
But if you were going to dole out the bucks on them, you can’t just half-ass it the rest of the way. You have to leave yourself open to the possibility of adding another $15-20 million if the right piece came along. We’re only talking about a $110 million payroll, which is about the average today.
After five straight losing seasons, and as long as the Captain loves the makeup of the team, then it’s time to see a winning season even if it’s just a game over .500. Show us what you got. If you truly believe $88 million is enough to win, prove it to us and WIN!
“Opening Day this year we’ll be 100% better than we were Opening Day last year,” Wright said.
Information from ESPN and Newsday was used in completing this article.