There is no doubt that the trade Sandy Alderson is in the process of pulling off is a good one. We still aren’t aware of some of the finer details, but the Mets are adding two top prospects, John Buck, and a third minor leaguer, for R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and a minor prospect. Dickey is one of the best pitchers in the league, and he still may be a top of the line starter for a couple of years, but the Mets are adding players that may still be having a positive impact on the team six years from now. It’s certainly possibly they may not flourish, particularly the much farther away Noah Syndergaard, but the probability favors the Mets in that regard.
The problem is the immediate future. Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher the Mets are receiving, will probably be up to the majors very soon, if not on Opening Day. John Buck will likely be on the team in the interim, and probably shift to a backup role when d’Arnaud gets called up. Together it’s unlikely they provide as much value as R.A. Dickey, and that means a team already under .500 is probably taking a step back before pushing forward. That’s disheartening for most fans, whose number one concern is the current roster of players on the field. Many of us would rather root for the guys we have to succeed, particularly when they’re great ones like Dickey, than reinvest emotion in new guys that are merely promising to be great. Ultimately though what the fans want doesn’t matter because winning is what brings in the fans, the attention, and the money. It’s not out of the question that d’Arnaud plus the pitcher the Mets replace Dickey with is worth more than Dickey and Thole would’ve been, but it doesn’t seem like a good bet for 2013 nor the type of improvement the Mets need to climb out of 4th place if it does happen.
That’s where the disappointment comes in; this trade does not make the Mets better in the foreseeable future. Sure, it raises the probability that they are better down the line, but it’s also important that this player is going to be cheap and under team control for a long time. Fans can forgive losing star players, whether homegrown ones or adopted ones, when the team placed in front of them excites and captures their attention, but so far I’m not so sure the 2013 version is in position to do that. Especially if we don’t get an impact bat for the outfield and instead go with Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a platoon of Mike Baxter and 2013’s version of Scott Hairston. We heard a lot about the present value of contracts with the David Wright negotiations, and that concept applies to winning seasons too; a winning season in the present is worth more than one in the future. Good process only gets you so far, and there are plenty of inherent risks between now and then that could sabotage the plan. A clearly improved 2013, even if it ultimately falls short, could create the excitement that draws fans in, fans that will continue to come in 2014. The message lately has felt like it’s not worth investing in this team yet, which keeps ticket sales and revenue down; revenue that could make the job of creating a winner in 2014 easier. It’d be unfair to assume Sandy Alderson’s going to take the rest of the offseason off at this juncture, meaning he could still improve the team and the outfield, but it’s hard to see the type of players coming that give this team a “If everything breaks right” chance at the playoffs.
As always with the Mets these last three years, the money question is always looming. Partial sales, which included Sterling money invested in the Mets, helped pay off loans and seemed to at least point the Mets in the right direction. Allusions were made to a payroll in 2013 at or above 2012’s number. The deferred contracts and negotiations seem to point in a different direction, although it is still possible that Sandy Alderson spends most of that money on players that make the Mets better. It’s never a good idea to expect much direct truth from a general manager, that’s not their job, but given the message that the actions are sending it feels pretty hard to do more than guess at the plan. The Mets appear to be in a holding pattern and I just hope they get clearance to land before they run out of gas.
Congratulations to Amanda for winning the final pair of Mets tickets this season. Thanks to Seatcrew, the no-fee ticket marketplace, for providing them.
Let’s break down some of the optimistic submissions on what in 2012 we should be thankful for looking forward, starting with Amanda’s (and many others) response.
DAVID WRIGHT!!! :)
Yes, he hasn’t had a great second half, but David Wright is worthy of at least one smilie face this year. He’s having one of his best season ever, is playing great defense, and is about to become the franchise leader in hits. Don’t go anywhere David. Ever.
It’s a toss up between Matt Harvey and Ike Davis. I really feel that Matt Harvey is going to be the future ace of the team, with a little more grooming he and Dickey can be on of the best 1-2s in the bigs
I already mentioned Ike Davis. Matt Harvey has definitely looked good though. It’s a pretty limited sample size, but it’s hard not to dream on what this power pitcher can do for us next year. A couple of people mentioned the rotation. It’s definitely looking like a strength for the 2013 Mets right now.
Those were the big responses. As much as that highlights some optimism, it also accents the places the Mets need to improve: bullpen and outfield.
Caught this post on Rational (sometimes) Mets Musings.
He goes through a lot of the major issues revolving around the Mets this offseason, the negative coverage, and the ridiculous predictions people are making about them. (Spawned by Keith Law’s ignorant predictions) Kudos for using a Back To The Future image too. It’s worth a read.
Thrilling come-back win by the Mets. Just when you’re ready to eulogize and bury the team, when you expect them to spiral out of control and crash and burn when two of the best hitters in the league go down, the backups step up and stage an Amazin’ win. The Mets basically erase themselves from playoff contention and the most exciting player in the game is on the shelf leading many to believe it’s time to tune out, and then they turn around and remind everyone that they’re stilling playing baseball. They remind us that whether or not we believe in them, they believe in themselves. It doesn’t matter if we think they’re worth watching, because they think it’s worth playing.
It’s all about depth sometimes. One of the reasons the Mets have been able to stay afloat through all these injuries is that they have had suitable prospects and veterans that aren’t terrible to step in and contribute to winning baseball. That none of the injuries, barring one, have been to the rotation has also helped since the Mets don’t really have as much depth there.
The Mets have sustained a massive amount of injuries, but they still have enough talent and depth to win ballgames as much as they lose them. They will likely stick around .500 the rest of the way because right now they’re missing those players that would keep them winning consistently, although anything is certainly possible. What is pretty certain is that the Mets are creating a lot of options for Sandy Alderson in 2012. The Mets have guys up and down their 40 man roster, and beyond, who have been proving they can be part of a winning baseball team.
So sure, one win is hardly cause for much celebration and doesn’t change anything in the bigger picture, but it still feels good. It’s not just about winning sometimes and it doesn’t matter what’s going on outside of the stadium or in the owner’s box. These 25 men on the field, and their coaches, are giving it their all and it’s been fun to watch. They’re not likely to ride home in a parade, but in 2011 I’m proud to be a Mets fan.
edit: Looks like Faith and Fear in Flushing is proud to be a fan of this team as well.
Tags: 2011 mets, Amazin mets, comeback win, Jose Reyes, Mets, mets don't quit, mets fans, mets future, mets walkoffs, New York Mets, new york mets fans, proud to be a mets fan, quit on the mets, terry collins, walkoff mets win, ya gotta believe