Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s recent statements regarding Mets’ payroll.
By Kevin Baez
While Jeff Wilpon made some valid points regarding Mets’ payroll, more needs to be done to make this team a contender.
Over the last couple of seasons, Mets’ ownership has been very vague when the subject of the New York Mets’ payroll comes to light from the media. However, earlier this week, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon publically address payroll questions during a luncheon with Mets’ beat writers. And at this event, Wilpon made some interesting statements.
When asked about the perception from fans that ownership hasn’t done enough to improve a Mets club coming off a 92-loss season, Wilpon tried aligning with the fans. “I understand the fan base’s frustration,” Wilpon stated. “We have the same frustration, not only myself but the rest of the department and staff. We want to win.”
Thus far, the Mets have added Adrian Gonzalez, Anthony Swarzak and re-signed Jay Bruce. Despite these acquisitions, other areas of the roster remain a weakness. A big hole remains open at second base since the departure of Daniel Murphy. Will the Mets finally look to acquire a long-term replacement for David Wright? Upgrading defensively – and offensively —at the catcher position should also be a priority. How will the organization protect a starting rotation that was decimated by injuries last season?
These are just some of the many questions that at the moment are left unanswered.
Regardless of these unknown variables, GM Sandy Alderson stated the front office isn’t going to add payroll to make headlines.
"We’ve already spent more money than most teams this season. We’ve had one of the rare big, big contracts in the last couple of seasons. No, we’re not running out and signing everybody. But at the same time, in instances, we’ve stepped up and signed players and made moves in some cases where others haven’t. We’ll continue to consider those types of things in the future.”"
Personally, I do believe ownership needs to acquire more talent to be contenders in 2018. But, I agree with most of the statements issued by Mets’ ownership regarding payroll. Please, let me explain.
I’m a firm believer spending money doesn’t guarantee championships. Two examples that come to mind are the 2004 New York Yankees and the 2012 Anaheim Angels. Both teams added significant payroll those seasons, and yet neither won a championship.
In 2004 the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez and signed Gary Sheffield, among others. And in 2012 the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year contract, along with C.J. Wilson.
To be fair, the Mets’ front office does, in fact, invest money into the team. When Yoenis Cespedes was a free-agent, they opened up their checkbook. When David Wright hit free agency in 2012, ownership did right by fans and Wright by signing him to a long-term contract.
Obliviously, to say that contract hasn’t worked out would be an understatement. But no one could have guessed the severe injuries Wright would later encounter. And I guarantee you, if the Mets had let Wright sign elsewhere, fans would have rebelled.
It’s not about how much money you spend, but rather how you allocate your funds.
Lastly, it’s unfair to judge the Mets on their work this off-season, because most of the notable free agents are still available. Ownership never said they closed the door on making other acquisitions. They could very well just be patiently waiting to strike a deal in this buyers market. Mike Moustakas, anyone?
Next: Mets: Jay Bruce signing an odd fit
The moral of this story is this: don’t judge a book by its cover. Despite Spring Training starting in less than a month, there is still plenty of off-season news to witness. Patience is a virtue, but not many New Yorkers practice this.