Though the haul of Travis D’Arnaud and Crocs-hating Noah Snydergaard represents some hope for the future, those of us who still give a hoot about the New York Mets had to feel just a tad queasy upon hearing R.A. Dickey call his new club, Toronto, “an organization that’s committed to winning and putting a product on the field that the fans can be excited about coming to support.” As opposed to, y’know, an organization so financially depressed, none of the cost savings afforded by losing Dickey, Jason Bay or deferring some of David Wright’s deal can reasonably be expected to be spent on new talent. As Capital New York’s Howard Megdal argues, “ownership is redirecting whatever funds it can from what would otherwise go toward player salaries for their survival…Sandy Alderson is building the Mets for 2015, while Fred Wilpon and his partners do what they can to stick around till then.”
With revenues continuing to plummet at Citi Field, and enormous loans to service, the team has been cannibalized, with the results clear for anyone to see. Alderson can keep building the minor league system, as he has done, to his credit. But the situation on the field in Flushing is dire in the meantime, and through no fault of Alderson’s.
No one could be expected to fill an outfield, add a starting pitcher, find a backup catcher and, oh right, fix a bullpen that finished 29th in the league in E.R.A. last season with the resources the Mets owners have reportedly put at his disposal.
There’s no real way around spending, either. The Mets don’t have much to give up on the trade market, and a new collective bargaining agreement, with caps and strict penalties, has restricted other shortcut options like international and over-slot signings.