A few days ago, Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said this:
I think three of the starting pitchers we’re very pleased with – [Jonathon] Niese, [Dillon] Gee and [Zack] Wheeler. That, along with David [Wright], I think would be the three or four we’re solidified on.
As was written yesterday, the remark by Wilpon was blown out of proportion and led to a full day of nonsense.
Late yesterday, Sandy Alderson weighed in on Wilpon’s comments. Contrary to what a hysterical portion of the fanbase might think is imminent, the Mets aren’t planning on overturning the majority of their roster between now and the start of the 2014 season.
Alderson noted that Wilpon’s remarks were “off the cuff” and had the following to say when asked about the four players Wilpon identified as “solidified” at their positions:
I think there are other guys who would qualify to be on equal stature. We won 74 games last year, so that’s a starting point. That suggests that improvements are necessary.
Alderson also discussed the current financial state of the team, noting once again that the team has flexibility while alluding to the fact that they would use it:
Finances are always an issue, with every team. But, certainly, we have a lot more flexibility than we’ve had in the past. We have much more room to maneuver than in recent years and I hope to take advantage of that maneuverability.
After Wilpon’s fairly tame comments ignited a fire, Sandy Alderson did what he does – addressed it in a frank, relaxed way.
To state it again, there was really nothing wrong with what Jeff Wilpon said. Most teams only have a handful of “untouchable” players, and the Mets are no different.
The more important quotes from Alderson were the ones he made regarding the payroll flexibility the team has. The Mets having flexibility is something that has been stated over and over for months by those in the front office. At this point, it would be stunning if the Mets didn’t reinvest a significant chunk of money on external players this off-season.
Until the Mets spend the money, though, there will be fans out there swearing they won’t. Those fans aren’t basing their beliefs on a fact or unconfirmed report. Rather, they’re basing them on the fact that the Mets haven’t spent a significant amount of money over the last few off-seasons 0n external acquisitions.
Once the Mets hand out their first relatively large free agent contract or take on a large contract via trade, the focus will finally shift away from “will they spend?” to “who else do they need to add to contend?”