One thing you have to give New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson credit for is that he has been pretty accessible to the media as he's made it customary to meet with them and answer questions during the first series of a home stand.
He did that very same thing last Tuesday as the Mets were taking on the Phillies at Citi Field.
When Alderson met with the media, he said “the fact that we have so many dollars coming off the books we recognize and a good percentage of that, at this point undermined, certainly will be reinvested in the payroll. But I can’t give you a specific number.”
As the Mets try to put 2017 in their rearview mirror as quickly as possible with the ushering in of youngsters like Dom Smith and Amed Rosario, they look to reset the team in the offseason with the hopes of punching their ticket to the postseason just as they did in 2015 and 2016.
Maybe it was just to temper the expectations of the fan base or maybe it was just a dose of reality, I don’t understand why Alderson would not commit to spending just as much in 2018 as he did in 2017.
He would have been better off not saying anything instead of saying what he did. The Mets have $70 million off the books next year and they spent a tad over $155 million in payroll this season.
Does spending money necessarily mean that you are going to win baseball games or even a World Series? No, there is no direct correlation between the two as you can clearly spend money and still might not build a championship-caliber team.
It does make life a little bit easier and it allows you to cover up mistakes and baseball decisions that a front office will make.
However, for the Mets, when you have very little in terms of solutions coming from the minor leagues that we have not already seen on the major league level, that is where the problem lies.
They need to find a solution at third base as David Wright will now be rehabbing from yet another surgery, this time for a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. They also need to add a significant piece in the outfield as Michael Conforto will undergo surgery for a torn posterior capsule in his left shoulder and will be out for the next 6 months, putting the start of his 2018 season in doubt.
If this is really just a pause and not a rebuild as Alderson stated in late July when he started trading away his veteran pieces to contending teams, then the Mets will need to address multiple positional concerns during the off season.
I don’t think the conversation about what you will and will not spend is all that productive at this point in time. With the Yankees rebuild taking very little time as they established themselves as a playoff contender for the foreseeable future, the Mets have to attack in the offseason and not to preach patience.
It is good that Alderson plans to put a "competitive" team on the field. It is time to do one better and try to field one that can bring a championship back to Queens for the first time since 1986.