MMO Mailbag: GCL Team Returns For 2013 – Why’d They Leave?

JetsMets13 asks:

I read that the Mets will be re-opening their Gulf Coast affiliate for the 2013 season. I was wondering why they would do that after shutting down operations for only one year. The more I thought about it I wondered if closing that affiliate is why they were unable to sign half of their draft last June. It seemed like last season the Mets were using their minor league DL to store players with phantom injuries. I read somewhere that one Mets minor leaguer on the DL was asked how his sore hamstring was and he rolled his eyes and said, “what sore hamstring?”  Is any of this connected? Thanks.

Sean Kenny replies:

They are re-opening the GCL affiliate, and it seems to be just a product of fielding a team with players, then contracting the team leaves 25 players without a place to play. While so far down the ladder it may be difficult to say who will become what, the Mets put themselves in a precarious situation last year, having some of their higher draft picks with major upside being stashed on the DL for the exact reasons you mentioned – lack of roster space.

While this didn’t always happen, a guy like Bradley Marquez (the man who mentioned the phantom sore hamstring) who was drafted as a raw, high-upside outfielder netted 30 AB’s for Kingsport, and spent most of the time on the DL without an injury as Marquez had mentioned on his twitter. Having two low-level affiliates isn’t required, but the situation wouldn’t rectify itself for a few years as organizational guys would work themselves out of the system for….more org. guys.

At first, the Mets may have thought this would be a great way to save some money and to possibly avoid being superfluous in there spending, but realized keeping 20 players on the DL while not injured and being paid is a critical waste of money. In terms of signing picks…maybe it did have some bearing on signing picks, but the Mets could have used another GCL affiliate just for pitching alone, less infact hitters.