Hope everyone’s on the recovery path from Sandy. I finally got my power and heat back yesterday afternoon, and managed to fill up my car with gas, so I guess it’s back to business as usual here.
We’ve got General Manager meetings coming up in baseball and we’ve passed the point of options being picked up and exclusive negotiating windows with expiring contracts, so it’s open season on free agents. There isn’t a ton to write about that’s not speculation and rumor, but there are outlets that are obligated, or feel obligated, to put out posts and columns. Sometimes I suspect less is more when it comes to news and reporting, but that’s a thought for another time.
Remember that there are always surprises, that things aren’t always what they seem, and that unexpected trades and acquisitions happen all the time. No team is more active than the Mystery Team. So try not to take anything you read too seriously regarding the hot stove season. When there are no games being played it becomes very easy for one well-read writer to muse about a player being a good fit for a team and it to catch wildfire and be talked about all over the world. The Internet is often one big game of telephone when it comes to these things.
One person could write about Cody Ross being a good fit for a team, and before you know it there are a dozen blog posts breaking down how the lineup will look with him in it. The shear quantity of talk seems to lend credence to acquisition even though the team in question might not even have talked to the player’s agent. There are hundreds of different ways a GM can put together a roster, and it’s never exactly how anyone guesses. Although if you want to take your own stab at guessing, Amazin’ Avenue’s AAOP would be a good way to go.
Some people enjoy this speculation and enjoy copying spray charts for a slugger onto his projected new team’s ballpark, rearranging their divisional predictions, and comparing lineups across the league. They see it as a giant jigsaw puzzle that can be assembled in many different ways, and take joy out of finding the best picture. Don’t take this enjoyment for anything more than the time-killing exercise that it is. Taking offseason speculation too seriously is how you end up pissed at a general manager or owner for not acquiring a player 10 years ago that they may not have even had a chance to sign.
Specifically with the Mets, no one really knows what Sandy Alderson is planning for this year, or the future. It’s not hard to find articles about keeping Wright, trading Wright, offering him lots of money and only offering him just enough to hedge against failure. You can find columns basically asserting that the Mets will trade R.A. Dickey anytime from now through the trade deadline and also mentions of signing him to multiple years beyond this one. You can find columns suggesting the Mets will make big moves, if not big signings, this offseason, and others telling you to expect roughly the same team back. Although I suspect the people telling you the Mets won’t do anything and you should ignore anyone that’s going to make more than two million are just trying to narrow the focus of the work and speculation they have to do this offseason.
To me, the only thing certain about the Mets in 2013 is that we can’t be certain about the Mets in 2013.
NEW YORK — Although it is not clear what it will take to retain Jose Reyes, the free-agent shortstop remains the Mets’ top priority this winter, and a recent interview with General Manager Sandy Alderson suggests that the Mets would be willing to surpass what the market bears in order to retain him.