Had a chance to read the disturbing piece by Joel Sherman in today’s NY Post yet? Here it is for your viewing displeasure. Now I haven’t brought the name Madoff up for some time in this space, but after reading Sherman’s column, I can’t help but think the Jason Bay signing fooled us into the thinking the Mets financial standing has not been compromised by the Ponzi schemer-in-chief.
The evidence is clear. The Mets payroll is likely to drop by around $30 million before all is said and done and the 2010 roster is set in April. Do you think it is coincidence that the likes of Ben Sheets, Jon Garland, Joel Pineiro and Bengie Molina somehow found their way to places other than Queens? Based on all I have read and heard, I am starting to think not. I recall that much of the literature I perused after these guys signed elsewhere included phrases like “the Mets were unwilling to go that high” and “the Mets were waiting for the market to come back to them”. This line from Sherman’s column is most telling:
“How could the Mets have encountered bargains for players they wanted and not ended up with a single one; outbid instead by, among others, the Brewers and Padres? San Diego officials actually were stunned the Mets did not jump on Garland at these prices.”
I myself am not stunned. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that the organization was barely even in on most of the players they were reportedly targeting. I believe their supposed “interest” was a strict PR maneuvering to keep a dispirited fanbase hopeful. They really had no intention of raising payroll after the Bay signing. Simply a guess. No evidence…. but the pieces seem to fit
I will say this though, on the baseball side of the coin, after taking a few weeks to digest the Mets offseason failures, I am not all that unhappy that none of these guys ended up in Flushing. On a case-by-case basis:
- A) Bengie Molina is 35 years old, a base clogging, low OBP guy who clearly didn’t even want to come to NY.
- B) Ben Sheets, a guy with a injury-filled resume who hasn’t pitched in almost two years was give a guaranteed $10 million contract. Can you blame a team for failing to agree to that kind of financial commitment for a guy with those kinds of question marks. I love the guy but that is way more than I would have been willing to pay him.
- C) Jon Garland? Does that name really excite you that much? An innings eater yes, but pedestrian numbers across the board otherwise. Wouldn’t you rather see Jon Niese get a shot to prove his worth?
- D) Joel Pineiro had stellar numbers last season and probably deserves the 2-year/$16 million deal he got from the Nats. I’d be worried that he was really just another in the long line of Dave Duncan reclamation projects who may come back down to earth without the Cardinals pitching guru by his side.
Seriously, this organization just needs spring training to be here and then they need to start winning some games. That is the only thing that will erase this sort of negative chatter.