This week Sandy Alderson has been trying to get the fans excited about the prospects of activity at the MLB Winter Meetings this week. I don’t know about you but it’s not working on me. I know the reality of the Mets situation. They have $5 million or less to spend on free agents within the 2011 budget. That’s not good enough to bring back Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, or any other player remotely as skilled as they are.
Frankly, I would more excited if the Mets were able to dump Luis Castillo or Oliver Perez on another team. That’s the best possible scenario. And that’s a pretty sad state of the team.
Alderson was talking pretty tough to reporters this week when he said:
“I can guarantee you, we’ll come back with some good players,” Alderson said. “I can’t guarantee how high-profile they will be. Or how many. If nothing else, we’ll pick in the Rule 5 draft, just to say we brought a player back.”
We’re smart enough to understand the reality though. Alderson is trying to find a low-budget starting pitcher like Chris Young or Jeff Francis. They’re guys coming off injuries or severely under-performing seasons looking for a short-term deal until they can get back to a more “normal” performance level.
The Mets are also looking to add some bullpen help with the recent losses of Raul Valdes, Pedro Feliciano, Sean Green, and Hisanori Takahashi. Middle relievers signing doesn’t generally get the fan base out in mass to buy tickets.
There is the outside chance that Jose Reyes could get traded. The one team that I think would be a good trading partner for Reyes is the Reds. I don’t think the Reds want to start 2011 with Paul Janish as their plan for the season at shortstop. They won the Central Division with 91 games and are bringing pretty much everyone of value back again except Orlando Cabrera. By the way, Brandon Phillips is making the exact same salary as Reyes in 2011, the last year of his contract with the Reds. Although the Reds do have a club option for 2012 at $12 million. Keep that in mind.
- Mets Have No Money, but Several Needs (bats.blogs.nytimes.com)