It is officially the time of the year when every Mets fan begins to try and figure out a way to turn this franchise into a contender in 2015.
For the first time in a long time, there actually is a serious chance that with one or two moves – the Mets can be a contender next year.
The problem I have with all of this chatter thus far is that some fans are seemingly trying to once again look for the “affordable” fix. This is a team that could enter 2015 with the best 1-5 pitching staff in the sport, and saying that would not be viewed as an exaggeration.
That’s something to build around, and a formula for success. However, what they do around them will dictate just how dedicated to winning the Mets really are.
If you’re the Mets or a fan of the Mets you cannot, I repeat CANNOT accept a non-difference maker offensive player being brought to this team for 2015. End of story, not up for discussion.
Fellow MMO Staffer Harris Decker posted his top five free agents that could help. The first one was Nick Markakis, and I am telling you right now – if the Mets come to us this winter and claim they have solved their offensive woes by signing Nick Markakis, I might throw up in my mouth. He is a fine ballplayer, but the guy has a .707 OPS over the last two years. The Mets don’t need another .700 OPS hitter. That’s more of the same, not a true fix.
I am so tired of hearing anybody, fans, media, and the team owners talk about the payroll for 2015. Who cares what the payroll is? Seriously, why does anybody care about a number right now? The Mets could get rid of substantial payroll via trade, add a difference maker and have a far better team than 2014 and spend the same or less money doing it.
So who cares what the payroll is? The issue shouldn’t be “you better spend X” it should be “you better go get the right talent.”
That’s the statement we as fans should be making. That is the statement the Wilpons and Alderson should be making.
Rather than talk about imaginary payroll numbers as if anybody knows free agent demands right now, tell me you’re going to get the right players…no matter the cost because you recognize a chance to be a contender in 2015.
If that means your payroll ends up at $80 million or $100 million, I could care less. Just don’t tell me the payroll is the reason you backed away from a difference maker.
Let me be clear on something – there is a difference between being concerned with Troy Tulowitzki’s contract because of his health issues as it relates to the financial commitment and backing away from a player with limited risk, a quality resume but a high salary.
The Mets are in NEED of a power hitting corner outfielder, and potentially a SS/2B.
If they are confident Wilmer Flores is the SS for 2015, and they can figure out the Daniel Murphy/Dilson Herrera situation, that’s probably going to be acceptable for 2015, so long as there is a utility/backup option put into place.
What is not acceptable however, is trying to in any way claim the corner outfield position can be fixed internally, or through patch work Chris Young-style signings. Players like Matt den Dekker are nice players with excellent defensive ability, but the Mets simply do not have the luxury right now to dedicate a corner outfield spot based primarily on defense.
Joe D. posted a thought about acquiring Jose Bautista on Wednesday. That is the type of move you need to make if you’re the Mets. He changes everything for the 2015 Mets, and the 2016 Mets. He’d bring life back to Flushing and would make everybody around him put up better offensive numbers as well.
I’m not sure what I would “offer,” because I have no idea Toronto’s true intention with that kind of move. I’d think if you’re dealing Bautista, you’re looking for young players, not Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese. But who knows? They need to find out though.
If the Mets give you more of the same this off-season with patch work signings, then they simply are proving to you and I, once and for all, that this is more about saving money than winning games.
I cannot remember a more vital off-season for this franchise. If it’s more of the same in 2015, even the strongest Alderson supporters will start to wonder what is really going on.
If a legitimate attempt at bringing in a difference maker is made, then the cynical fan who is quick to point out the Mets failures will start to come back, and be re-connected with the team and the rest of the fans.
I gave them a pass to get their house in order since 2011, but the time to make a splash and rejuvenate your fan base – is right now.
There are no excuses for failing to do so.