Mets Won’t Be Active At Winter Meetings

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Sandy Alderson answers...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

This week Sandy Alderson has been trying to get the fans excited about the prospects of activity at the MLB Winter Meetings this week. I don’t know about you but it’s not working on me. I know the reality of the Mets situation. They have $5 million or less to spend on free agents within the 2011 budget. That’s not good enough to bring back Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, or any other player remotely as skilled as they are.

Frankly, I would more excited if the Mets were able to dump Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez on another team. That’s the best possible scenario. And that’s a pretty sad state of the team.

Alderson was talking pretty tough to reporters this week when he said:

“I can guarantee you, we’ll come back with some good players,” Alderson said. “I can’t guarantee how high-profile they will be. Or how many. If nothing else, we’ll pick in the Rule 5 draft, just to say we brought a player back.”

We’re smart enough to understand the reality though. Alderson is trying to find a low-budget starting pitcher like Chris Young or Jeff Francis. They’re guys coming off injuries or severely under-performing seasons looking for a short-term deal until they can get back to a more “normal” performance level.

The Mets are also looking to add some bullpen help with the recent losses of Raul Valdes, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, and Hisanori Takahashi. Middle relievers signing doesn’t generally get the fan base out in mass to buy tickets.

There is the outside chance that Jose Reyes could get traded. The one team that I think would be a good trading partner for Reyes is the Reds. I don’t think the Reds want to start 2011 with Paul Janish as their plan for the season at shortstop. They won the Central Division with 91 games and are bringing pretty much everyone of value back again except Orlando Cabrera. By the way, Brandon Phillips is making the exact same salary as Reyes in 2011, the last year of his contract with the Reds. Although the Reds do have a club option for 2012 at $12 million. Keep that in mind.

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3 thoughts on “Mets Won’t Be Active At Winter Meetings

  1. Metsie

    I think people need to stop reacting to month old statements and facts.

    This 5 Mil number is very old news by now. We have cut 10+ Mil from the payroll already which means if we only had 5 mil to spend before we should have 15 mil to spend now.

    That doesn't mean we can now go on a spending spree but it is plenty of money for the gameplan Sandy has implemented for this year.

    a Starting Pitcher in the 5 Mil range would be adequate for the Middle and end of the order type Pitcher we are looking for.

    That would leave rought 10 Mil to sign 2 or 3 Bullpen guys at 2 or 3 Mil per.

    Second Base is probably going to be filled by Murphy and Tejada if the Murphy experiment fails.

    Pelfrey and Dickey are probably going to be the most expensive signings we make this offseason and what happens there might take a big bite out of that 15 Mil that we have today but I really am not buying the notion that the Budget is a major contraining point on the ability to do business.

    It would seem more like the 5 Mil number is continually being used to prepare the fans for the fact that there will be no major new signings and lets face it this team isn't ready for that kind of singing anyway.

    But there seems to be plenty of money to work with to fill the holes and once Perez and castillo's contract are cleared, and the team and minors are properly evaluated by the new FO, I see us starting our rebuild around the trading deadline where the players we have will have regained back some of their trade value and if they are actually competing because they are healthy again I see the budget opening up so that we can be buyers there instead of sellers because we will be gaining 18 Mil to pay the new aquisition by the end of the season.

    We should not expect any headline grabbing moves but we also should not look at the 5 Mil number and think we are going to have a stagnant offseason due to money constraints.

    Especially when that 5 Mil number is old already due to the leaving and cutting of guys like Feliciano, Takahashi, and Maine.

    1. Dave Doyle Post author

      Thanks for the comment Metsie. There's a lot there to react to. I agree with your point that the Mets aren't in a position to bring in a bunch of free agents anyway. But I have no faith that Daniel Murphy can play an adequate second base. He's a complete butcher in the field.

      I disagree with your characterization of the payroll. Takahashi didn't make any money last year. Feliciano and Maine were making a combined $6 million. That will get eaten up by Pelfrey and Dickey this year. I'm not following your math on where the additional money is coming from. In addition, the Mets will be responsible for all (or 90% at best) of Perez and Castillo's contracts even if they can trade them, which I doubt.

      1. MetStatHead

        Dave, Your math is correct. The financial future of this team is bleak at best. The Mets are on the hook for Castillo and Perez’s salaries and will need to eat most of that if/when they get rid of them. Dickie will not ask for the world as far as dollars, but he deserves something in the $3-5 mil range. Pelfrey will command something in the $8-10 mil range if he doesn’t get a big head or sign with Boras.

        So we are looking again at around $5-6 mil for any signings this off season. That means the Mets will only be active if they can shed some payroll in trades.

        As you all know I am not a fan of Daniel Murphy and I am not even sure if I could stand to watch a game if he is on the field…

        Sandy has his work cut out for him and I think it takes 3 years for him to reorganize the front office and start bringing in fresh talent. So Mets fans, please do not hold your breath on this season… It’s going to be ugly!

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