The Mets front office has their work cut out for them. With the announcement of the Phillies signing of Cliff Lee, Mets fans everywhere cringed at the possibility of another World Series Championship to a division rival. Now the best team in the division just got a whole lot better. The Phillies will start the year with a rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels. This is the best rotation in MLB right now.
This is painful for Mets fans. The front office has simply conceded that this year and maybe next, will be a wash. They are wasting the prime of David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Johan Santana. They are also wasting the end of the career of Jason Bay. They are tricking themselves into believing that Daniel Murphy will be a good fielder and that they will be able to spend money in the next two years for free agents.
With the Mets on the decline, I really hope that someone is taking a close look at their financial future. They have money tied up in players next year for over $120 million dollars. In 2012, they already have over $60 million dollars allocated to players but this does not include the impending signings of Ike Davis, Angel Pagan, R.A. Dicky, Jose Reyes, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, or Josh Thole. While I do not think they will sign all of those players in 2012, the signings of even half of those players might push the 2012 dollars over $100 million and it still would not include any big free agent signings.
This is a huge issue for a team located in the biggest market in baseball. Mets fans are not comfortable with losing and they will continue to be upset with this team until there are some changes made. The front office has been gutted and has been very honest about the financial struggles they will have to endure. But there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed.
Major League Baseball teams thrive off of revenues the team earns from ticket sales, apparel sales, and food sales. The Mets are looking at a few down years in terms of revenues. Without a competitive team on the field ticket prices might have to drop to fill the stadium. The cost of a beer might have to drop to help ease the pain of watching the team play. And the price of hot dogs might fall because the fans already have indigestion from watching the game.
The Mets front office should look at the possibilities of moving some players to free up cap space right now. A trade of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, or Mike Pelfrey could net the team a slew of draft picks, minor league players, and maybe a few expiring contracts for the near future. Though the loss of any of those three players makes the team worse, it does improve the future outlook of the team.
I would prefer to have the front office come out and say that we need to unload some of these players in order to build for the future.