I’ve been disappointed that the Mets didn’t do more to shore up the pitching rotation this offseason. I’m also surprised that they didn’t attempt an upgrade, even incremental, at first base. The more that I thought about it, after John Lackey, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay signed their free agent deals there wasn’t anybody left on the market that I’d consider a “difference maker”. Sure, there were, and still are, some players that would be solid peripheral players for the Mets. But the 2010 season doesn’t hinge on any free agent that’s been available since Holliday signed with the Cardinals.
The 2010 season does depend on Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Bay. They’re the ones that are going to carry this team. I know it’s a long season and everyone needs to make a contribution at some point. But there’s a big difference between making an impact and making a contribution.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as being an apologist for the Mets. I’m not. There are some moves that they could’ve made to make the team better. I was a big advocate for getting Jon Garland. I thought he would’ve been a perfect fit by providing a solid 200 innings at a reasonable cost. It didn’t happen. And I’m still surprised that they would go into the season with Daniel Murphy at first base. A .266 singles hitter at first base is tough to swallow. The Mets certainly haven’t done everything they could have to make the team better.
But I have to give them credit for looking like they’re going to keep the payroll at or near the $140 million where it was last year. Clearly, they have a plan that they’re not sharing publicly with good reason. They need to maintain a bargaining position with other teams and free agents. If that plan doesn’t look like it’s going to work out, we’ll see some management changes. I’m confident of that. There’s no way that the Wilpons’ will live with another season like last year. It’s unacceptable to underperform for two seasons in a row. One season could’ve been considered a fluke because of the injuries. It can’t happen again though.
Things could’ve been done differently, and better, this offseason. However, I’m not going into spring training believing that 2010 is a lost cause. Ya gotta believe.