Why Are Players Avoiding The Mets Like The Plague?

Congratulations to the Super Bowl XLVI Champion, New York Giants! What a spectacular performance by Eli Manning and the rest of Big Blue. I’m going to relish this one for a long time. 🙂

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So I just read the news that Rick Ankiel signed with the Washington Nationals and I wanted to quickly get something off my chest before I forget about it in the morning.

Does anyone out there want to play for these Mets?

I’ve lost count of how many players we’ve targeted this offseason that turned around and signed with other teams for table scraps.

It smells fishy. It’s not like we’re asking the prom queen or the head cheerleader for the next dance and predictably got rejected. These are wallflowers we’re talking about. These are the ones you don’t even notice until you’ve pounded down your 7th or 8th drink – you know where I’m coming from?

Jeff Francis, Wilson Betemit, Endy Chavez, Cody Ross, Zach Duke, am I forgetting anyone? The minute the Mets even come close to a player they like, they run like hell in the other direction.

Sure we signed reliever Frank Francisco a couple of hours after we lost Jose Reyes, but we had to overpay him with a two year, $12 million dollar deal to get it done. Better options and even proven closers like Francisco Cordero (37 saves, $4.5M) signed for much less. For crying out loud we had to bid against ourselves and give Jon Rauch – yes Jon Rauch – $3.5 million dollars to pitch for us. Look at what similar or better relievers got:

Chad Qualls, Phillies – $1.15 million

Brad Lidge, Nationals – $1 million

Joel Zumaya, Twins – $850 thousand

Todd Coffey, Dodgers – $1.3 million

So now we can scratch Ankiel off the list of available left-handed bats. Apparently that’s what the Mets want and need, but it takes two to tango and so far there’s no takers.

Remember when Omar Minaya signed Pedro Martinez in an attempt to help restore the Mets image and put them back on the map again?

It may need to happen again, but the problem is Sandy Alderson doesn’t seem like he’d be up to the task, unless of course he breaks with his tradition or something radical changes. So far he’s only interested in getting rid of big names, not adding them.

Things seem really out of whack right now, but we’ve seen days like this before. Luckily times like these never last forever. One day players will actually want to play for the Mets again and without the need to overpay them or bid against ourselves. But clearly that time is not now.