Mets cannot let the Carlos Beltran hire rest as the lone big splash
By Tim Boyle
The first big splash of the New York Mets offseason was the hiring of Carlos Beltran. They cannot let it be the last.
If there’s one thing we learned about Brodie Van Wagenen in his first year as New York Mets General Manager it’s how much he likes to make a big splash. We can argue about the managerial hire and whether or not it qualifies. Considering how much Carlos Beltran means to the fanbase, I say it counts.
A big splash like this is one way to get the fans excited again. While hiring Beltran certainly put eyeballs on the team and got our blood pumping, it needs to be the first of many changes to the team. A manager can only win so many games.
By the time free agents start signing deals and other general managers are making trades, excitement for Beltran will have worn off. For as exciting as it is, he’s not going to win any Gold Gloves for the Mets. He won’t belt 41 home runs or run down the third out of a single inning. Beltran is going to contribute from the bench.
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Fortunately, the excitement of bringing Beltran to town can help make these big splashes a little—splashier. Beltran is a well-respected baseball man and someone I would hope can attract free agents. He’d also be wise to push the front office to improve the roster in other ways, pushing them to make trades if the right deals come around.
The Mets could have gone in a few directions when hunting for a new manager. Joe Girardi was the safest and surest option. Whatever their reasons were to not hire him left a void for a short period of time. It created some doubt. What is this front office thinking?
We can still have these thoughts. After all, Beltran has zero managerial experience. The same was true for many of the finalists although several had at least spent time as a skipper in the minor leagues. Beltran cannot say this.
Beltran is a name Mets fans know. Nobody can say just yet he’s one we trust managing this team. We can find excuses to hate the hire or convince ourselves this team is about to win 100 games. It’s all conjecture at this point.
The further we get away from finally knowing who will manage the Mets, the less the team can get away with claiming this was a big hiring. Mets fans aren’t sports-unintelligent enough to believe he’ll re-shape the franchise just by writing a lineup card probably formulated by the analytics team.
Hiring Beltran was only the first of several dominoes that need to fall for a successful offseason. BVW grabbed headlines for a few days and I’m sure we’ll all speculate for a few more months about what we can expect out of Beltran.
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Until the roster actually improves, it’s a big splash without the wetness to prove anything.