While the Mets were busy putting together their third straight win against the St. Louis Cardinals last night, Buster Olney made an appearance during the ESPN telecast and spoke about what New York may be doing as we start to get closer to the July 31st trade deadline. Olney said that even though the Mets have some money to spend, they will be looking to make some smaller moves to improve the ball club if they are still in contention at that time. I have one thing to say about this…duh!!
Since Sandy Alderson was named the Mets General Manager before the 2011 season, there has not been one time where I thought he may go on a spending spree or make a drastic move to improve the Mets immediately. He has made a few good deals that were
reasonably small in both news and dollars, but have proved to be worth it when it comes to the team’s level of success so far this season. Alderson’s objective since day one is to re-build (oh man, I said it!) this team into a consistent winner for years to come. We knew it wouldn’t be an overnight project, but it is clear that this team is progressing quicker than any of us thought.
So, the Mets have money that they could potentially spend…isn’t that obvious? This is a team that just cut about $50 million in payroll before the first pitch of 2012 was thrown, and with the Irving Picard settlement put to rest, there is more financial stability in the owner’s office than there has been in years for the Wilpons. However, just because they have money, why go off the course to try and make a big splash before the dog days of August?
It just wouldn’t make any sense to take on a big salary right now, or get a proven veteran by shipping out a bunch of valued prospects. What will that do? Getting one or two players and trading away what could be considered legitimate pieces of the future of the Mets could hurt the organization for the next few years; years that are anticipated to be some of the franchise’s best. Like their dominant days in the mid-80s, the team will once again be rooted in strong pitching, with Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey waiting in the wings to get the call up to the Bigs. An anonymous scout told Olney that Wheeler reminds me of Rays starter Matt Moore, but from the right-handed side, saying that he has the type of stuff that could lead a rotation for years to come.
As the trade market heats up and we get further into the summer, I anticipate Alderson and the Mets to look for some more relief help, depending how the latest bullpen shakeup goes. At this point, there are plenty of position players already in the organization that they could go to and get a boost, as we see the looming roster crunch that will happen as Ruben Tejada and Jason Bay come back from injury. So, in case you were thinking the Mets would all of a sudden go back to spending money now that the Madoff scam seems to be over and they’re winning again…not so fast. Alderson is determined to stay the course and build a consistent winner, and I’m liking what I see so far.