I trust everyone enjoyed their bird last week. Thanksgiving always whets my appetite for the funtime follies of the off-season, the Winter Meetings. This is the MLB uber-convention. This is the time of the year when owners, GMs and their staves, writers, hangers-on, wannabe executives and even the stray ballplayer or two converge on a hotel somewhere warm for four days and we on the home front wait breathlessly for news. What’s going on? Who are they talking to? Is there a deal to be had there? Who are we going to sign? Funtime.

I have heard some grumbling among the Mets’ fan base, though, that GM Sandy Alderson isn’t doing anything. They say this like it’s a bad thing. For me, I’ll take the apparent “inactivity,” right now for several reasons. First of all, it’s a refreshing change from past regimes, for whom it was all about the “splash.” The concern was about keeping the team in the headlines in the cold winter. The focus was on beating the Yankees to the back page. The idea was to create the perception that there was plenty of money to throw around, even if they were throwing it at the absolutely wrong players – the Vince Colemans, Bobby Bonillas, Jeromy Burnitzes and Luis Castillos of the world, if you will. The rumors would swirl and within hours of the start of the Winter Meetings, there would be a press conference draped in orange and blue, and a player nobody really wanted would sport the cap with the curly NY. Not so this year.

Another reason to rejoice in inaction: whatever money is left is going towards the all-important scouting/drafting/development arm of the operation. If you’re a successful franchise – which the Mets, at this stage, most assuredly are not – this is your goldmine. Historically, teams have looked on with envy at organizations like the Yankees, Dodgers, Royals (Yes, it’s true: they were once envied), Twins and Braves who have consistently rolled out a steady stream of homegrown talent, either to help them win themselves, or as a trading chit for a final piece or two to a pennant winner. The Mets would now like to join that company. Actually, they have no choice at the moment, but they are at least recognizing that fact and not signing free agents for its own sake..

Finally, while we fans almost universally hope for a quick resolution to the Jose Reyes situation, it’s been clear from word one that that was never going to happen. Reyes was going to test the market, no matter what the Mets offered initially. Bravo to Sandy for reacting to the market, rather than setting it. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the Reyes camp is going to give the Mets the final phone call – the last opportunity to better the last, best offer.

In short, if all the Mets end up with is a quality closer, some middle relief help and Reyes, I’ll put the 2011 Winter Meetings in the “success” column.

10 comments on “Mets Are In No Hurry To Make Moves: HURRAY!

  • Brian Joura

    So – who do you want to see as closer?

    • Charlie Hangley

      Well, with Broxton no longer available, I’d set my sights on Frank Francisco.

      • Mike Koehler

        Weren’t they looking at a double-headed monster for the eighth/ninth innings? Something along the lines of two guys trying to reclaim their status as top closers?

  • Mike Koehler

    I nominate you to hang out in the hotels, waiting with baited breath for news of each deal!

  • Steve S.

    I don’t disagree with your points, but the Wilponzis have put Alderson in a bad spot (i.e., he has limited funds to spend, even though his team SHOULD be competitive every year in NYC).

    Unfortunately, you failed to mention improving the starting rotation—even with Santana coming back. But if we sign, say, Francisco, Dotel, and Reyes—and add one better starting pitcher (for Pelfrey?)—I will be pleased, too.

    • Metsense

      Steve S, very good post. I agree with all points, and I hope the Mets look into trading for Matt Thornton also.

      • Steve S.

        Thornton would be a very good addition to the bullpen. Other teams want him though. I would trade for him and try to get a starting pitcher from the White Sox, too. Any possibility we could get John Danks?

        • Bus

          I’m not sure how much Kenny Williams values him considering their surplus of starters over there, but if he has any sense it would probably be too much in prospects that I’d want to give up, especially if he asks for one of the Big 4. But if Alderson can manage to fleece him like he did with Sabean, than I’d be all over that in a second. It’s scary that Danks has been so good without anyone noticing.

  • met fan

    If for some reason hey can’t resin Reyes how about Fiedler? They could use the money they save on Reyes. Davis? Will he be healthy? He could be moved to the outfield.

    • Bus

      Fielder’s looking for upwards of $200mm, and some teams are so desperate to make a splash that they’ll actually give it to him.

      Call me crazy, but with Ike’s much improved offense over his small sample this season and his already best in the league defense, I think he could end up being the better player if Prince follows in his dad’s footsteps.

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