How’s this for a suggestion? How about not spending anything, and keeping the roster mostly intact?
Let me clarify. While the Mets will surely not bring everybody back, with some trades and signings likely to happen, they should not invest much money into the 2011 roster….
By 2012, the Mets, with a year under a new GM and manager, will get an idea of the direction their franchise is heading. By then the Mets will have a concrete idea of where they should allocate their money.
Let’s get this out of the way first: metfandan74, you f#@$ing shill! Obviously the Wilpons put you up to this, poisoning the minds of the fanbase into thinking saving their money this offseason is a good idea. CLIFF LEE OR BUST!
Seriously, though, I’m glad this came up at Mets360 first because I’ve been trying to come up with a reasonable way to suggest something similar here. We’ll have plenty of time to delve into this during the proper offseason and obviously the first concern is hiring a GM. But the Phillies will return basically their whole club save Jayson Werth in 2011, and its hard to imagine any reasonable series of moves that would guarantee the Mets could contend in the NL East next season without the full health and productivity of the guys already on the team and without seriously jeopardizing their future.
There will be plenty of minor moves and roster tweaks to improve the team that should help the Mets’ chances in 2011 so I don’t think they should sit idly by all winter. We know enough about baseball’s whims to understand that every once in a while, everything just sort of falls right for well-constructed teams and squads that look great on paper break down, so there’s no sense throwing in the towel on next season before it even starts.
But the Mets, with so many contracts coming off the books after next season, will not only be in a much better position to spend come next winter, they’ll also have a much stronger sense of where they need to allocate their resources. Will Johan Santana ever return to being anything like Johan Santana? Will Jason Bay hit home runs again? Are any or all of Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee and Bobby Parnell viable Major League contributors?
As it currently stands, the Mets look set for 2011 at first base, third base and shortstop. Bay’s contract means he’ll be slated to return in left field, even if the nature of his injury murks things up a bit. Angel Pagan should be back. Carlos Beltran we’ve discussed.
Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey earned spots in the 2011 rotation with their performances in 2010, even if Niese faded down the stretch. The bullpen will need help, but when doesn’t a Major League bullpen need help?
Thole’s first 90 Major League games have been good enough to earn him the benefit of the doubt for 2011, but the Mets would be wise to sign a catching complement good and healthy enough to play regularly if Thole falters.
They will certainly need at least one middle infielder capable of starting at second base while the club determines if one of Tejada, Murphy, Reese Havens, Justin Turner and Josh Satin could eventually man the position in the bigs.
And they’ll need starting pitching, too — someone to eat innings and take strain off the bullpen and depth to ensure that the last rotation spots are earned, not pre-ordained.
But none of those acquisitions should require the type of imprudent, big-ticket expenditure that fans will inevitably begin clamoring for the day after the new GM is named.
It’s not about rebuilding or retooling or re-whatevering. Don’t worry about labels. It’s just about doing what’s best to create a sustainable winner as swiftly as possible. And the way to do that, as we’ve seen, is not always to try to win as swiftly as possible.