Mets’ Offseason Comes Full-Circle

It was just about a full year ago that I envisioned better things on the horizon for the Mets. I thought the team’s finances would stabilize. I thought Sandy Alderson would be somewhat freer to make marked improvements to the product on the field. I thought the kids ripening on the farms would be ready to contribute – either at Citi Field or as trade fodder. I thought I’d feel better about the Mets this Christmas than I did last Christmas.

I was wrong. And I was right.

Over these previous twelve months, the Wilponian finances have, indeed, become stable. As I’ve said before, “zero” is a stable number. And the farm system has produced some valuable parts: Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Collin McHugh, Robert Carson and Josh Edgin showed some talent and makeup enough to possibly stick out of spring training, 2013. I’m thrilled that David Wright will now most likely finish his career as a New York Met: his new extension takes him through his age 38 season and he’s made it well known that he probably won’t want to play much past that.

Right now, that’s about where the good news ends. It started at the 2012 trade deadline, when opportunities for improvement were there, then discarded. The machinations and roller-coaster nature of the Wright negotiations left a slightly-off taste in my mouth. Immediately after that, Sandy Alderson and company went to the Winter Meetings and came back with…David Wright. That made much of the Mets’ fan base restive. Then came the announcement that the cheapest ticket for Opening Day 2013 will be $63.00. To sit in the cold in April and watch…the Mets. Think about that for a minute. You may feel yourself needing to lie down.

Right now, the sloth-pace of the negotiations for an extension/trade of R.A. Dickey – and Dickey’s slightly testy tone when asked about it at the team’s annual Christmas party, at which he played an elf — has ratcheted the grumbling to a higher pitch. Something has GOT to give, and soon, or those $63 seats will remain un-butt-creased well into the summer and until it gets cold again. We find ourselves exactly where we were at the beginning of October: no outfield, half-a-catcher and a ramshackle bullpen. Even for me – keep yer sunnyside up! – this is beginning to border on the inexcusable. Even possibly righting a wrong from last year – bringing in Cody Ross – will not be enough, and once the Dickey situation is resolved, the money probably stops right there.

I know there’s still three months until spring training. I know there’s still seven full months before the trading deadline. I know there’s still answers out there and plenty of time to find them.

Knowing makes no difference. Action is being demanded.

I wonder if the front office realizes it.

11 comments for “Mets’ Offseason Comes Full-Circle

  1. chris
    December 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    To your last question. The front office and ownership realize it, they just don’t give a damn.

    To Freddy and Jeffy…you idiots paid Ollie Perez 3yrs/36 mil but you won’t extend Dickey 2 yrs/26 mil after he won the Cy Young and after posting a three year record of 39-28 with a 2.95 ERA on a team that hasn’t won 80 games in a year during that same stretch??????

  2. Name
    December 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    “Action is being demanded”

    It seems like you want action for the sake of action. Sometimes inaction is the best action.

    But i get your frustration. Winter is starting to set it, its getting cold. It’s been 2 months since we’ve had any baseball, and it won’t return for another 2 months. We’re all bored and want something to look forward to. Hang in there my friend. In 10 months, we’ll be in the playoffs and all this frustation will be forgotten. I promise.

    • December 12, 2012 at 9:57 am

      To once again quote Coach Jim Mora, Sr.: “PLAYoffs?!?!?!? PlayOFFS?!?!?!? You’re talking about PLAYoffs?!?!?!?”

  3. December 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I really was under the impression that they were not extending Dickey’s contract simply because they wanted to trade him, although I’m not sure how that doesn’t help the return… Now it sounds like they really are being cheap, and in the wake of saving a few extra $$ this off-season.

    I have no love for Jeff, I’ve long been losing faith in Sandy and have a little hope for Fred, yet. But if they don’t extend or trade Dickey, don’t significantly improve the team and pocket the savings, they deserve every bit of the full-on riot that will ensue.

  4. Linda De Voe
    December 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    If the Wilpon empire is crumbling then sell more shares in the team? You now need to pay R.A. since your trade window has diminished greatly, and the prospects you will now be proffered will not suffice for the worth of our Cy Young winner. Give R.A. the money he is worth because he is not and never will be an imposter like Ollie Perez. Sell SNY and use the money ala the Dodgers and their TV contract to buy some worthy prospects. They can also sell some of their real estate empire to be able to obtain someone with a modicum of talent to play in the outfield and to help Thole catch, play defense, throw out runners, and hit right handed pitching. Since we are doing initials A.J. Pierzynski comes to mind. Dude might not be well liked but he hits and fields much better that many of the Major league catchers out there. He is from Riverhead, L.I. and maybe a home coming might entice him along with cash and wrestling matches? I would not take Olivo for catcher as he cannot hit and he would be just like Mike Nikeas then so why spend money on him? Re-sign Hairston and have Baxter as the left handed back-up outfielder. I would also get Ty Wiggington as he can hit with some pop and for a reserve player will bat around 250-to-262. Wiggy plays 1st, 3rd, occasionally 2nd, Lf and Rf. He won’t cost that much, likes NY, and the Mets, and can be had as a bargain. I’d take Ronny Cedeno back as he did well for a reserve player for the Mets at SS and 2nd base. Since we are right handed outfield bereft we may be hard pressed to put Cesar Puello in right field while platooning Duda and Hairston in left. We have no choice but to keep Nieweinhuis in center. Baxter could back up Capn. Kirk Austin Kearns is still available and he has a decent arm and can hit the long ball though his batting average in never above 260-to-270. Valdespin although immature might be a good back-up player since he can play outfield along with 2nd base and an occasional SS. My bullpen would be lefthanders Josh Edgin and Robert Carsons with Bobby Parnell, Collin McHugh, and Jenry Mejia as out righty relievers. We are stuck with Francisco as our closer so we might as well gin and bear it. Right handed starters are Matt Harvey, RA Dickey, and Dillon Gee with our lefty starters being Santana and Niese. We need to sign only a few players such as Wiggington, Kearns, Hairston and Pierzynski.

  5. December 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    What is going to happen when the 600 million dollars or so that the Wilpons borrowed comes due in the next two years? As for improving the team, between arbitration hearings and filling out their roster even with minimum salaries the Mets will consume a substantial amount of their available resources. It has been reported that Jason Bay agreed to take 6 million this year. So if you add that along with the arbitration results you’ll probably be in the 80-90 million dollar range already. So how are the Mets going to sign free agents to fill their roster? They may not be even able to afford Scott Hairston let alone a right hand hitting catcher.

    • Name
      December 11, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Keep in mind that Wright’s new deal calls for only 8 million instead of 16 million this year.

      With Bay/Wright reducing the money load on the Mets this year, Scott Hairston is easily in the Mets price range. It is just a matter of whether he is worth it.

      Also i’m not sure what 600 million you are talking about. I’m confident they don’t have that much debt because no one is stupid enough to lend out that much.

  6. Chris F
    December 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

    “I know there’s still three months until spring training. I know there’s still seven full months before the trading deadline. I know there’s still answers out there and plenty of time to find them.

    Knowing makes no difference. Action is being demanded.

    I wonder if the front office realizes it.”

    After seeing how the entirety of RA negotiations have been botched, from start to today’s apparent finish (after yesterday), its hard to believe the front office realizes what the daily weather is, let alone the complexity of an MLB ball club. How can such a set of (insert word of your liking here) manage to bungle the best feel-good story in Mets-town in a good while? Lets recall the threat of contract termination for climbing Kilimanjaro. How’d that turn out? So instead of investing in a guy that is a pure joy for the team and fans, lets drag him through sickening contract negotiations and trade possibilities and turn this into a scorched-Earth strategy. Its astounding how deaf, and absolutely incompetent, this ownership/management group is. We always have the Marlins below us, but that level of if insanity is not far off.

    How would I have done it different? Off the guy a completely below-fair market extension for 3/30 (5M, 12.5M, 12.5M) for a premium pitcher (Cy and all, but accounting for age and knuckleball) and get this done long before the winter meetings. He’s now under control for (when we now see as) cheap money with very tradeable contract if thats the need. Instead, we have a team that offered 7M/yr and want nothing but blue chip prospects. Along the way, its dragged a fan favorite through the gutter and destroyed any feel good moments from the Wright extension. The front office doenst realize anything Charlie. Sandy will never get two top prospects now, and he has a player that no longer has any loyalty…what a great message to send to all our up and coming players.

    Embarrassing. Completely aggravating.

  7. December 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    To Chris and Charlie. Some of the best deals are the ones you don’t make.Making a trade for the sake of appearing competent is just not worth it. There are no game changers out there who the Mets can trade for. They don’t have the assets or are just not willing to part with them. I agree Chris we look like the Miami Marlins of the north. What could be worse? Dickey pitches with no run support anyway. He earned those wins with his PITCHING. So you already know the Mets are pinching pennies while all our potential trade partners are looking elsewhere. Do we really think the Mets are going to sign any game changers? Or are they going to sign spare parts? Their payroll today sits at 57 million (of which 6 million is included for Jason Bay) with arbitration hearings coming soon. They should have the money to sign an outfielder and a catcher. The question is will they?

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