MMO Mailbag: What If Mets Find Cash In Stocking?

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Adam asks…

Let’s just say the Mets move Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, because for whatever reason they seem to believe Lucas Duda can be the long term answer at first base. (That’s a complaint for a whole other time) This should clear up some cash, but what do the Mets do with that cash?

Do you think the Mets would actually pursue Stephen Drew if his price comes down? I’d love to see another big splash, but I’m hesitant to have another big-ish contract along side Wright’s 138, and Granderson’s 60. What would you do with that extra cash (say 13-18m if they can flip both players and potentially Ruben Tejada if need be)

Jessep replies…

I always find it amazing when fans involve themselves in the salaries of players to the extent that you mention with Stephen Drew. I get the concern with spending too much on players – but there are two different sides to that. You have to spend money if you want to utilize free agency for what it’s purpose is – to fill holes on a roster. You’re not supposed to build your franchise around free agents, at least not anymore.

Here’s a secret, almost every free agent is overpaid. Why? Because almost every free agent is beginning the decline of their career – but they are being paid for what they did in the past.

Contracts that are “bad ideas” are the ones that stop a team from being able to make moves in the future. So, if you believe Stephen Drew can be an every day SS for the Mets over 3-4 years, then his actual salary shouldn’t matter to you so long as it’s over the time period you want him to be your starting SS.

Who is the better SS that the Mets can get rather than have Drew at SS this year or next year? It’s a question with no right or wrong answer – so if you want a guy who is an every day SS caliber player, then you don’t worry about how much his paycheck is, so long as it doesn’t stop you from making other improvements in the future.

Now, to your point. I think the Mets current roster composition is more of an issue than the team payroll to be honest. Let’s say they want Drew, and they know they can get Drew.

The Mets have Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada plus Wilmer Flores and Joe D’s favorite, Josh Satin. That’s 6 guys who all should be on this major league roster, but realistically you can’t have them all. So, Daniel Murphy has the most value and so they will see what they can get on the trade market for him. Why not? Look, I like Murphy but I’m not going to pretend he’s anything but above average.

ike davisDavis, Duda, and Tejada are three players that the Mets gave every opportunity to over the last two years – and they failed. I think in reality, the Mets misjudged the trade market – especially for Ike Davis. If you trade him last year, you can use the change of scenery excuse – but two years in a row isn’t a fluke, it’s a trend.

So, do I think they need to trade these guys to free up cash to spend? No. I think they need to trade these guys to unclog their roster which in turn frees up the $. If you’re telling me they cannot sign Drew without trading one of these guys – then yeah that is the move I make.

But, if they can sign Drew regardless and find a willing (and gullible) trade partner for Davis, then I would use that money to find more relief help, or a guy like Michael Young who can play 3 infield positions (including a platoon 1B option).

It seems like since this off-season started, everybody who doubted the Mets off-season intentions has been proven wrong. They clearly are trying to field the most competitive 2014 team they can.

I hope money isn’t the real factor for holding back on a starting SS possibility.

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.