Joel Sherman of the New York Post raises some red flags about Sandy Alderson’s plan for the team and says that his slow-and-steady approach is no guarantee for future success.
Taking the time to rebuild and “doing it right” slowly and methodically with player development does not guarantee an extended stretch of winning. Though that is what you are sold.
At best, that is a false promise; at worst, a con game. There is nothing that saves jobs in this sport like pledging a better tomorrow.
However, there also is this: If you tout all that is coming, you escape some current accountability.
Sherman says this plan is not just exclusive to the Mets, but that the Pirates, Astros, Padres, Twins and even the Cubs are all doing the same thing.
“You can get into good conversations with executives from all these organizations about the winning percentages of their farm teams or how many players they had in the Baseball America Top 100 prospects.”
“That is what I would be discussing, too, if my club spent this much time in the cellar. Self-preservation is a beautiful thing. But reality is that slow and steady wins all the time only in Aesop’s Fables.”
Sherman shifts focus to the Mets prospects specifically and points out the volatility in relying upon them to come in and save the franchise. He notes 2013’s top three Mets prospects; Harvey has already needed Tommy John surgery, and Wheeler and d’Arnaud have each had problematic apprenticeships.
“If you say, well maybe the Mets will be the Rays, know that the Rays have had three original signs since 2007 do much in the majors. If you are thinking the Moneyball A’s are the touchstone because of Alderson’s roots, then know that Oakland had four players it originally brought to its organization on the Opening Day roster, and one was Sonny Gray, who Alderson passed up in his first draft (2011) to take Nimmo.”
He concludes that the Mets approach is nothing like what Oakland and Tampa Bay have accomplished. Neither team relied upon a lengthy draft and develop process, but instead found success by being crafty and ingenious with trades and signings.
I can’t vouch for how accurate Sherman is here, but I am a firm believer that it all begins with solid starting pitching. I like what we have seen already and know that even more is on the way.
Once you have that solid foundation of pitching, you could then fill in any gaps through trades and free agency. My fear is whether we will be able to attract and sign those elite free agents that will be needed to put us over the top when the time comes?