New York Mets fans are dumbfounded as another offseason of inactivity has them wondering where this front office is leading this franchise.
When the New York Mets advanced to the World Series in 2015, many fans were surprised how quickly the “future” arrived after six straight seasons of losing baseball.
However, with that uprising came an expectation that those in Queens would finally truly invest in this team, giving them the resources to stay on top and dominate in the National League East.
With a starting staff that featured five young strong starters, not much else was needed to really apply their grip to the rest of the National League. After struggling through most of 2016, the Mets were able to regroup and rally enough to reach the postseason as a Wild Card team.
Once again, starting pitching was the key to the resurgence, specifically thanks to the development of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. However, injuries and key players underperforming undermined their chances at contention in what was a disastrous 2017.
Underneath all the injuries and underperformances is the fact that the front office just doesn’t seem to want this franchise to really contend. One would figure after the embarrassment that this franchise was in 2017 that Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons would be anxious to get this team the pieces they need to compete for the division title.
Nope. While the team in the Bronx makes moves to add to their strong roster that saw them finish 2017 one game shy of the World Series, the Mets never understood that when you have a season like they had in 2015 you need to build on it, not just watch it fade away.
After all, that’s the biggest problem fans of the Mets have with this franchise and front office. They are way too comfortable being second rate. They are way too comfortable with being an also-ran and having the look of an underdog.
While any other franchise would have been building a perfect bullpen the last two seasons, the Mets were perfectly happy to let all the good free agent relievers go elsewhere. Depth on the infield? Nah. Not the Mets.
I honestly wonder sometimes if the Wilpons and Alderson got the memo that the offseason is a time when you evaluate your strengths and build on your weaknesses to put a better product on the field than you had the previous year.
While most fans can point to the failure of not keeping Daniel Murphy, that isn’t the move that really infuriates me. While it certainly doesn’t help, there is no way anyone could predict that Murphy would become the star he has in Washington. My biggest issue is the fact that year after year fans watch the front office let key players and obvious options that would have put the team over the top go elsewhere.
Already this offseason many of the players the Mets “talked” about are gone. Ian Kinsler? Angels. Zack Cozart? Angels. Joe Smith? Sorry. Carlos Santana? Nah. Pat Neshek? Nope. Melvin Upton? No.
Did anyone else notice the fire sales the Marlins and Braves are having this offseason? Did the Mets front office not realize that Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp would have been perfect fits on this team? Did anyone who is employed in the front office see the players the Dodgers and Mariners gave up? These are the types of things that infuriate me watching this franchise.
I’m sorry if bringing in Anthony Swarzak and Jose Lobaton doesn’t provide enough reasons to anticipate a parade in the fall of 2018. While it is a start, it’s not nearly enough.
Want to provide excitement? Go out and get Mike Moustakas. Make J.D. Martinez an offer. Talk to Jay Bruce. Wade Davis or Greg Holland would really make this bullpen top notch. Trevor Rosenthal is still young and desperate to show he can be the reliever he was when he posted consecutive seasons of 45+ saves in 2014-15. Want to really shore up the starting staff? Alex Cobb or Jake Arrieta would be excellent options. Stop talking about signing Lorenzo Cain and just do it.
While the options in the middle infield are not as plentiful on the free agent market, making a splash with a trade for Brian Dozier would get the attention of the rest of the National League. So would inquiring about Manny Machado.
Rewarding T.J. Rivera with the full-time second base position isn’t a bad option, but doing so would mean that they need a proven, consistent offensive option at third base. If the Rays are serious about selling on Evan Longoria, he is another great fit along with Moustakas or Machado.
The worst thing that could happen to this franchise already happened last season when injuries, lack of bullpen depth and just bad luck destroyed their chances to compete. While no one could predict the incredible overwhelming number of injuries they suffered, the fact is the Mets front office failed to provide this team the depth they needed in the offseason to overcome such issues.
Other teams like the Dodgers suffered injury woes in 2017, but they also had the organizational depth to overcome that. The Mets didn’t and I fully believe that teams make their own luck, which is why they were left with so little options once the injury bug got totally out of control.
If I am the Wilpons or Alderson I am doing all I can to supply this franchise with a slew of riches this offseason to overcome any doomsday option that would come their way. While they have missed out of some key names so far, there is still time to right the ship.
After providing so many hopes for their long-suffering fans, the Mets front office owes them an offseason of accomplishment instead of sitting on their hands and then having very few options once the season starts. Yes, that might mean selling one of their prized pitchers that they have been holding out hope for (Matt Harvey, Stephen Matz, and Zack Wheeler) or dare I say even Jacob deGrom. Wilmer Flores has been languishing for years without a position. Is it time to package him somewhere?
Whatever happens, staying status quo will not help this team. When you have the team in the Bronx making splash after splash it can’t help but make me think this franchise is much more comfortable being an afterthought than being the main thought.