The more I think about it, the more I believe there won’t be any further significant additions coming this offseason. I base this on the current lay of the land and some things that have recently come to my attention. Let’s review where we are:
Trading A Starting Pitcher
While it remains likely that Alderson will deal Dillon Gee at some point, more and more it’s beginning to feel that this will drag on for a few more weeks.
“Between the Winter Meetings and the holidays, not a lot happens,” said Alderson on Tuesday. “I’d say activity will pick up significantly in January. We’ve had some conversations, but not many since the Winter Meetings.”
Additionally, none of the offers including one from Minnesota and another from Colorado have impressed the Mets.
It’s beginning to look like a super-solid B prospect might be a best case scenario for Gee. That and the salary relief that will bring payroll close to $90 million.
One thing now seems abundantly clear, Gee isn’t bringing back any significant major leaguer – and you know what? I don’t think they’re too bothered by that because major leaguers cost more money.
Second Lefty Reliever
“I’d rather see the competition for that second lefty spot between what we have now, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll go with six righties in the ‘pen.”
Maybe they bring in one more LHP on a minor league deal just to make the competition more interesting, but don’t count on it.
The Mets pursued and talked to a half dozen of the best available free agent left-handers and never got past the “Hi, this is Sandy Alderson” stage.
Initially categorized as one of his top offseason goals in October, in the end they roll the dice on a minor league deal and Rule 5 selection. It’s another glaring example that they are still being held back by money.
Right-handed Bench Bat
John Mayberry Jr. is the righty bat they were looking for and his addition pretty much completes the bench for the Mets.
The Mets didn’t want to bring back Eric Young Jr. for $1.8 million, so they swap some speed for power and save almost half a million dollars in the process. Always something at the forefront of any decisions.
Between Mayberry and Michael Cuddyer the Mets hope to improve on the worst OPS in the majors vs LHP in 2014. I’m certain they made some big strides with these two in that area.
What About Shortstop?
Everything continues to point to Wilmer Flores as the Opening Day shortstop, which was my predicted outcome all along. Forget free agency, this team is still shackled by financial constraints. They’re interested in everybody, and yet sign nobody.
They don’t have the dollars to pursue any significant upgrades, and they are so fearful of trading young pitching to get something done. Mostly because they can’t afford to trade the wrong pitcher and then have it blow up in their faces.
Just as we saw with lefty relievers, the Mets were initially interest in many of the top available shortstops in free agency and trade. One by one they investigated and kicked the tires as the market was shrinking by 2-3 shortstops a week.
Now they’re down to the bottom of the barrel hoping they can snare 2014 bust Stephen Drew on some deeply discounted one-year deal that had his agent Scott Boras mocking them two weeks ago.
In my heart of hearts, I believe the Mets’ offseason is essentially over. Nobody wanted to be more wrong than me when I said, “Enjoy this Michael Cuddyer signing, he may just be the extent of the entire Mets offseason.”
Essentially they took the Chris Young money and used it to get Cuddyer. It’s hard to do anything with a bottom ten payroll and two thirds of it invested in four players.
I don’t often agree with anything Terry Collins says. But when he said the biggest bat the Mets get in 2015 is a hopefully healthy David Wright, he wasn’t kidding. Our two biggest additions next season are Wright and Harvey.
Anyway, that’s the way I see things right now. That’s not to say we can’t win 85 games and get into the postseason with a little luck. I was there in 1969 and 1973 so I know anything is possible. That’s what makes baseball such a great game.
I guess what I’m really saying is that if we had better owners – our offseason wouldn’t have ended two weeks before the Winter Meetings. If we had better owners – the front office would have the additional financial flexibility to do the things they really want to do. We’re still walking on eggshells.