New York Mets fans were willing to accept a lot of punches over the last few months. Many still believe they shouldn’t have sold at the trade deadline. Others fully gave into the notion of bettering the farm system. They realized this offseason wouldn’t be as spectacular as the last two. It was a major change for a hungry fanbase sick and tired of losing.
The hiring of David Stearns brought some renewed hope for the organization. A wunderkind or wonder kid depending on your preference of word choice, he was the unanimous favorite for the President of Baseball Operations job. Who better to run this team than a guy with so much success on a budget like him?
So far, the offseason has done a great job at testing our patience. Small moves. Cheap moves. Nothing but additions for guys who’ve been good in the past. Players too familiar with the IL. Stearns came to the Mets with many fans able to comprehend how big of a step back they might take. It doesn’t award Stearns with a free pass.
We'll be patient, but David Stearns is already on the clock
The Mets don’t have to win the 2024 World Series or even get into the playoffs. A .500 record? We can only dream. The expectations have been lowered immensely for this team. As each day passes and free agents either sign elsewhere or the team turns to other options, a questionable scowl pops on our faces.
Mets fans were never going to give Stearns a free pass for the 2024 season. The difference is if the team failed to improve, it would have been all right as long as they’re heading in the right direction. The Mets don’t seem to be heading anywhere at the moment. The offseason is young but those power moves we became accustomed to seeing Steve Cohen greenlight aren’t there.
By going short term and taking risks on some fringe-MLB players, Stearns is opening the possibilities wider for next winter. It’s smart and yet tossing away a whole year to backtrack is wasteful when there are opportunities to get better without spending a whole lot of money.
The 2024 season results won’t cost Stearns his job even if they lose 100 games. He has begun a process. No matter how painful it is, this will not push him into the unemployment line. This is precisely what Cohen signed up for. It’s not what the fans did.
It remains unclear as to exactly what the Mets are willing to do or not. Appearing to be out of the market for any major trades, the limited choices for them to spend money on in free agency add to the lack of inspiration you may also feel.
Stearns may still surprise us and have an offseason to remember. It has been a slow race thus far with plenty of other fanbases calling for the heads of their executives.
The troubling part of the offseason is that as savvy as any of Stearns’ moves could turn out to be, it’s only one year. Does Luis Severino actually stay if he’s any good? How awesome of a prospect could they even get at the trade deadline if they sell?
This is shaping up to be a light winter for the Mets. And if it doesn’t help improve the ball club, it should be a mark against Stearns.