Rob Manfred again expresses optimism regarding Mets ownership
New Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has again expressed optimism regarding Mets ownership and their recent failure to operate in a large market fashion.
Said Manfred to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:
"For a whole host of reasons, it’s really not my position to predict when I think they need to spend. I have had ongoing, numerous conversations with both ownership and Sandy [Alderson] about the Mets’ situation. … I think at the point in time that it is their judgment that it is effective to increase their payroll, they’ll do that, and they will have the capacity to do it."
When Rubin asked Manfred if the Mets had the capacity to raise payroll at the present time, the commissioner had the following to say:
"I don’t know what their internal considerations are with respect to individual trades, and it’s not appropriate for me to talk about that. But I have never had a question about the Mets’ capacity to spend if they decided it was in their baseball interest to spend money. I really don’t believe that’s an issue."
Last month, Manfred praised Sandy Alderson’s process while saying he believed the Mets would be “willing and able” to increase the payroll when they deemed it necessary.
It was reported Monday that the total money owed by Mets ownership to the trustee recovering funds on behalf of victims of Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme had shrunk to roughly $75 million. The Mets are due to pay back that amount – in two installments – in 2016 and 2017.
The most interesting thing Manfred said was that he has already had “ongoing, numerous conversations” with ownership and Sandy Alderson about the Mets’ current situation. That tells you that Manfred is at least concerned with what’s been going on.
As far as Manfred being confident that the Mets will have the capacity to spend when they decide to? Perhaps he has assurances from ownership that that is the case. If that isn’t the source of his optimism, it’s unclear why he would be so confident.
One thing that is aggravating is the fact that Manfred is giving Mets ownership an out by insinuating that they’re not yet “ready” to spend a relatively large amount due to baseball related decisions only.
Manfred is responsible for knowing the ins and outs of all 30 teams. He’s well aware that the Mets have made it known that they’re rebuilding phase is over. The time to spend is now, but Manfred won’t say that – at least not in public.