(image swiped from Mets Police)
While Stephen Drew is apparently considered a luxury the New York Mets cannot or will not afford, the club’s off-season expenditures on Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have failed to impress the Wall Street Journal’s Jade Diamond, who warns “the club haven’t added much money at all to acquire new talent. Instead, they reallocated the funds made available by departing players.”
No matter how the Mets account for Bay’s deferred payments internally, it seems clear that, rather than spend major-market money to build a winner, they did little else but replace the money that came off last season’s books.
Ironically, the improvement will likely need to come from within, rather than from the newcomers. Colon, who posted a 2.65 ERA for Oakland last season, essentially replaces ace Matt Harvey, who will miss all of 2014 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Granderson, who slugged 84 home runs for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012, essentially replaces departed outfielder Marlon Byrd, who hit 21 homers for the Mets in 425 at bats last season.
In other words, the money the Mets spent primarily replaces the production they lost. So how do they get better? The Mets’ heralded pitching prospects, highlighted by Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, must come to the majors and take steps forward. Travis d’Arnaud, arguably the sport’s best catching prospect, must begin to produce.
But most important, the Mets’ other players, their underachievers, must rebound from disappointing showings in 2013—young players Alderson said “have the capacity to improve.”
First baseman Ike Davis cannot hit .205. Shortstop Ruben Tejada cannot hit .202. If they do, the Mets likely will end up where they did last year.