The Winter Meetings start next week, which means we are sure to see a plethora of players on the move.
However, who exactly the Mets acquire remains to be seen. New York currently has a reported budget of $30-40 million to work with this offseason and a variety of holes to fill.
The team is coming off a dismal season that saw them go 70-92. A year full of hope on the heels of back-to-back playoff appearances derailed by injury.
Sandy Alderson will have a limited amount of money to work with to try and get the team back to the promised land.
We want to know, after seven years, what’s your confidence level in Sandy Alderson and his front office?
For the last couple years, since 2015 really, my confidence in the front office was starting to improve. The Wilpons told general manager Sandy Alderson to pull the trigger on Yoenis Cespedes, no matter what the money concerns were and it appeared we might be finally moving away from the Bernie Madoff scandal.
However, it appears they are going to take a step back in that regard and it has made me start to question where the focus of this team is.
Do they just want to do enough to sell tickets from April to September or are they looking to be relevant in October and November?
Despite this, I do believe that the one man that could potentially make due with these limitations is Sandy Alderson.
The “Baseball Maverick” has proven in his time here that he can battle through the many adversities this organization presents in order to produce a winning product out on the field. I also believe in the people that surround him which includes his possible heir John Ricco and J.P. Ricciardi.
Personally, I’d ask the question: How much mileage do you get out of the R.A. Dickey deal.
The drafts have been disappointing, with the team souring on high draft picks like Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini. They also view Brandon Nimmo as a fourth outfielder. They’ve had difficulty assessing their own talent seeing Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and Collin McHugh thrive elsewhere with only Eric Young, Jr. to show for all of that.
As if that wasn’t suspect enough, the only players they’ve given contract extensions to were Juan Lagares, Jon Niese and David Wright. Speaking of Wright, their medical situation has long been a mess, and still nothing has truly been done to remedy the situation.
Year in and year out, the Mets enter Opening Day without a bench and a shallow bullpen. The end result has been the Mets trading prospects to try to rectify the situation. That’s why you trade for Kelly Johnson in consecutive years, and it’s why the Mets farm system is in poor shape. In total, there’s been three good trades (Dickey, Johnson/Juan Uribe and Addison Reed), one good free agent signing (Curtis Granderson), and two drafted All-Stars (Michael Conforto and Michael Fulmer). Past that, you have middling, inconsequential, over compensating and bad moves.
And yet, Sandy Alderson escapes some of the criticism that is due and owing because of the Wilpons, who have been both meddlesome and tight with the purse strings.
My confidence with the front office is lower this offseason than it was last. I wonder if Sandy Alderson will make the right decisions on a limited budget. I would like to think he will, but I will have to believe it when I see it. This team could definitely compete in 2018. Aside from the Dodgers and maybe the Nationals, it’s an open National League. If Sandy invests big time in the bullpen and invests in the offense (enough that Juan Lagares can start), then I’d be very happy with the offseason.
Since Sandy Alderson has taken over as Mets’ general manager in 2010, the team has slowly been on the path to progress. ‘Slowly’ is the keyword though.
Both the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros started their decline around the same time as the Mets in the early ’10s. Since then, both teams have won a World Series and the Mets have not.
Their approach? Basically trading off every ounce of talent from their roster until their farm system was filled with talent. Then when most of these guys came up, they supplemented the roster with key free agent signings and trades. While Sandy Alderson did build up the farm system, he and the Mets didn’t go all in with trading away talent.
David Wright was signed to a huge contract extension when the Mets weren’t competitive. Jose Reyes was allowed to walk right after winning a batting title. When the Mets finally proved they were real contenders in 2015, Alderson did re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, Bartolo Colon and Jerry Blevins, but he only added Neil Walker, Antonio Bastardo, Asdrubal Cabrera and Alejandro De Aza.
The Cubs on the other hand signed John Lackey, Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward. Needless to say it was no surprise when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. After the team greatly underperformed in 2017, Alderson has an interesting task. The farm system is not as stacked as it used to be and funds have been limited to around $30 million for this offseason. With this predicament, I can’t say I have faith in this front office to fix the problem. Their new hirings of Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland show some promise, but in the end if the Mets do turn it around, it’s the players who should get all the praise for overcoming obstacles without much outside help.
As much as I come off as a pessimist to most of my friends, against all odds, I’m optimistic the Mets can right the ship.
Will it be easy? No. Is it possible? Yes.
While the farm system isn’t nearly as potent as it once was, the team does have a lot of talent at the major league level. Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are both only 22-years-old and are loaded with potential. They will undergo the rigors of playing everyday in the major leagues next season and there will be peaks and valleys, but if their minor league track record means anything, I have no doubt they can translate that to the bigs.
You also have Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and an entire pitching staff that when healthy can perform at a high level. But the key word there is health.
If these guys can stay healthy, then they can see better results in 2018. If not, then they’re going to have another repeat of this past year.
I will never feel fully secure as long as the Wilpons own the team, but they have proved that they can still make it to the postseason and even the World Series despite this.
This team has seen a lot of changes on the field and off and have a lot of new faces, so it’s kind of hard to predict how good they will actually be.
However, I can’t envision it’s any worse than what we saw in 2017.
If Alderson shores up the bullpen, adds a solid bat and solidifies second base, the team is in a lot better shape already. All they have to do is stay in the hunt and then add towards the trade deadline, just as they did in 2015 and 2016.
They aren’t a perfect organization by any means, nor are they in the best shape, but I think there is enough residual talent to make a run in 2018.
What say you, Mets fans? What is your current confidence level in this front office after seven years?