As the 2014 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone, far removed from the blockbusters that saw such leading lights as Jon Lester and David Price change uniforms are the New York Mets, who proved to be neither sellers (of Bartolo Colon or Daniel Murphy) or buyers (of Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzales). With GM Sandy Alderson (above) missing an opportunity to stockpile young talent while dumping Colon, or conversely, take solid aim at contention in 2015 with the addition of the proven Tulowitzki, unless your name is Ruben Amaro, you’d have every right to wonder “what the fuck is going on”? However, as the far more calm and collected Howard Megdal of Capital New York reminds us, what’s going on is pretty much the same thing that’s been going on every season of the post-Bernie Madoff era (ie. player development aside, very little).
Taking the sum of where the Mets are at this point, it’s easier than ever to see the Mets as one or two key acquisitions away from making a real run at the pennant.
The question, and the whole basis for any serious conversation about Tulowitzki, is whether ownership’s financial problems make such acquisitions close to impossible.
Alderson is finished pretending that the next spending spree is around the corner. The party line is now that as soon as the fans start showing up again, the Mets will spend, a ludicrous blame-the-fans strategy for the predicament the team is in because ownership is spending their excess television revenue to stay afloat financially.
If the Mets had an ability to spend money like the rest of the league, let alone near the top of it, they could afford to make trades like this. They could deal some of their prospects, secure in the knowledge that they were adding the relative certainty of in-prime superstars. (If Tulowitzki’s injury history is an unknown, what on earth do we call the incredibly high attrition and failure rate of pitching prospects?)