Sep 21, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians center fielder Michael Bourn (right) is congratulated by left fielder Michael Brantley (23) after scoring a run during the first inning on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Jason Kipnis (top left) against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

What The Mets Can Learn From The Indians


Spend, spend, spend.  That is what fans have been calling for and what Sandy Alderson says is finally going to happen.  It is what any team has to do, to some degree, to be successful.  This offseason will determine a lot for the Mets, and one of those things is whether Alderson is the mastermind he has seemed to be these last few years.  He claims to have the freedom to navigate the free agent market.  If he really does have that luxury, it would be nice to see the offseason take shape like last year’s Indians offseason.

The Indians were coming off a 69-win season.  It was another year of starting off decently and then taking a nosedive by the middle of the summer.  Hmm, I think the Mets know about that.  But this time the front office decided they would not rely on the same organizational players for 2013.  The Indians played the free agent market but were selective, signing under-the-radar, high-reward players as well as making a couple of bigger splashes.

The Mets situation is very similar to this year’s top AL Wild Card seed.  The Mets have also been relying on homegrown players and trying to see who will be able to stick.  This offseason seems to be when that will change.

The biggest free agent signings of the Indians offseason were Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.  The Mets could have signed Bourn, and if they had I might not have felt compelled to write any of this, but they were weary of losing their first round draft pick and let him sign with Cleveland.  This year the Mets do not have the “unprotected pick” excuse.  They need an outfielder and if that is where they decide to make a splash they can go after Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury.

Or the Mets can use the outfield as a spot for a free agent looking to redeem himself after a rough season.  Much like the Indians signings of Scott Kazmir and Mark Reynolds, the Mets could try to add Curtis Granderson or David Murphy.  They do not have to drive themselves crazy going for the biggest name in a relatively weak free agent market.

Heck, if their biggest free agent signing was Stephen Drew it would still signal a step in the right direction.

The Mets must remember that they do not have to give all the available money to one player.  They can look to get a bounceback season from Josh Johnson.  It is not about throwing money everywhere.  I am sure Sandy Alderson knows that, but fans have to be ready to maybe not see a Choo in a Mets uniform next season.

The Indians improved tremendously by bringing in big names who would not overpower the team’s established, our guys-first makeup.  Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson were their All Stars but Bourn, Swisher, and Jason Giambi have had an invaluable impact on the team.

The Mets need to do that this offseason; and this time, they have no excuse not to.

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