- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 774 days ago
What’s Left for Mets to Sign to Minor League Contracts? Is It Even Worth It?
- Updated: January 14, 2012
Has there ever been a more uninspiring offseason than the Mets this winter? Sure, you can point to the fact that the owners are broke. You can say it’s part of the rebuilding process. Both valid points, but fans are still faced with the daunting task of having to root for a team that will not be competitive. All Mets fans went through 2009, but that team was expected to be good. The last couple of seasons there was hope that if the key players could stay healthy, they should be able to compete. Of course, that didn’t happen, but at least there was something to root for.
Sandy Alderson says he is done adding players to the 40 man roster. And he says it as if he just finished building a championship team and he can’t fit any more good players on it. We all know he has his eye on the future, but he gives the impression he can care less about the present.
As for any team, there is the hope that things will break perfectly. In a perfect world, Johan Santana will return healthy and instantly becomes the old Johan Santana. David Wright, Jason Bay and Ike Davis are all healthy and hit 30 plus home runs. Daniel Murphy makes a seamless transition to second base and hits like he did last season. Ruben Tejada becomes Placido Polanco (prior to last season) and Lucas Duda gives the Mets four 30 homerun hitters. Frank Francisco has an all star season, finishing with 40 saves and Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee combine to win over 40 games.
A fan can dream, right? The difference is this season the team needs most of the before mentioned to do right just to avoid last place. The Marlins are improved and there is no reason to think the Braves and Phillies are going to take a step back because they have good teams. Even the Nationals added Gio Gonzalez and I still see them as a favorite to add Prince Fielder. And let’s be honest, to finish 3rd, 4th or 5th gets you no consolation prize and who cares about finishing third just because there were two worse teams than you.
I would like to see more depth on this team. There is very little in the Mets spending range, (minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, and if the player makes the team, they will get the league minimum) as most of the players that may play for that are either coming out of retirement, coming off of a major injury or can’t play anymore but want to stay in the game for the love of it. I compiled a list that I don’t even want to share. But, the problem remains that this team will not survive any injuries this season and injuries are part of the game.
Picture an injury to a Mets outfielder. Yes, it could be a blessing to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis debut in the majors. But, otherwise it will be Scott Hairston. Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno will play every day if anything happens to the starting infield. If Wright and Davis are out again at the same time, Cedeno will play 2B, Turner would play 3B and Murphy would be at 1B. An injury to a starting pitcher (Santana being an obvious concern) will bring in Miguel Batista and outside of Pedro Beato, there is no relief ready to help this season in the minors.
Fans can keep talking about the future. And you will be the ones that will not go to games. You can root for your NY Giants, Rangers and Knicks and only have a small part of the season that you have to pay attention. But, what if you go to games regardless? What if you go to spring training every year? It sucks for us. Fans say it’s not as bad as the late 70s, but at least then, things improved in the 80s. There is no guarantee things will improve this time.