So here’s the offseason blueprint… The Mets plan to attack this offseason by targeting players in the middle of the market and staying away from players at the top of the food chain. Apparently, this is the so-called “Red Sox model” we keep hearing about.
I don’t have a problem with that and there are plenty of prime opportunities available within that middle tier of free agency. What discourages me is if Sandy Alderson understands the fact that there will be 12-15 other teams out there targeting those same middle tier free agents the Mets will have their sights on.
We know from three years of observing how Sandy operates, he is one of those patient, wait-and-see general managers, who will wait out a market deep into February if he needs to.
So far, he’s yet to engage in a bidding war for any major league player and I question whether or not he has the capacity to see it through when push comes to shove.
It’s one thing when you’re the team that’s trading away a top performing major leaguer. But it’s something else completely when you’re the team going after a plus-player.
Alderson has been proficient at swapping major league talent for high-end minor leaguers, but how is he when the shoe’s on the other foot?
In a column for the New York Post last week, Joel Sherman said that there will be a lot of teams with available cash this offseason, thanks to the new national TV contract. He says the new deal infuses an additional $20-25 million annually for every team beginning in 2014.
Given that fact, it’s his contention, and one that I wholeheartedly agree with, that the middle class of free agency is about to become the upper-middle class as the good-to-very good free agents are going to get bid up by multiple teams.
So how problematic will this upcoming dilemma be for the thrifty Mr. Alderson and how will it affect his promise to focus on “elite talent accumulation”?
Last Monday at Citi Field, Jeff Wilpon said something that sounded very much like a directive (or warning) to his general manager. “I want to get out of the hope business. It’s not a good business model,” said the Mets COO.
He’s right, hope is not a strategy…
The news last week, that SNY viewership is down over 30% from 2012, and over 50% from 2011 must have been a punch in the gut for the Mets owners as their usually reliable cash cow continues to see their revenues dwindle. As if the decrease in attendance wasn’t bad enough…
I interpret that to mean one thing… Not only will there be pressure to improve the team from an increasingly disinterested fan base… But it now appears that the owners may start applying some pressure of their own to get this team winning again as well.
I guess that’s a good thing, right?