Mets: The Public Be Damned?

One of the earliest mass media PR gaffes was made in 1883 by railroad baron William Henry Vanderbilt when he supposedly uttered “the public be damned” to a Chicago reporter who questioned him about his passenger trains.

The first mass media PR slip also spawned the first mass media PR spin. After those remarks appeared in black and white, Vanderbilt back tracked somewhat, claiming first that he was taken out of context and then further stated that “”Railroads are not run for the public benefit, but to pay. Incidentally, we may benefit humanity, but the aim is to earn a dividend.”

Take that last paragraph and substitute “Wilpon” for “Vanderbilt” and “The Mets” for “Railroads” and I believe you have an accurate assessment of how this modern-day Vanderbilt family views the Mets. As a firm believer in free markets and private property, I grudgingly support their right to do whatever they want with their property. The problem for me and I suppose for all Mets fans, is that this in direct conflict with what we want: a pennant-winning baseball team again.

The fact of the matter is that the Mets generate cash for the Wilpons via TV and MLB licensing deals, which are in sufficient force to overcome depressed gate receipts. This cash allows them to develop other money-making schemes (also their right). They are rich enough to shut out the howling of their fans and are laughing their way to the proverbial bank. They don’t care what we think. And they are under zero pressure from anyone who can force them to do anything to change the way the team is operated.

I believe that they shrewdly picked the right front man in Sandy Alderson. He certainly has the street cred: a commendable military service record, past GM experience that includes a championship and a stint in the Commissioner’s office. Like a good soldier, he has followed orders: cutting operational costs, while maintaining at least a veneer of respectability (read: hope via hyping prospects) around those operations.

This is probably the year that the pressure begins to mount on Alderson, as it has become apparent that he just isn’t that good, but the Wilpons don’t really care for after all, Alderson has done his job. Their major liability, payroll costs, are under control and they can safely project them for the next 4-5 years as being among the lowest in baseball; merely a fraction of what other major market teams pony up each year. In fairness to Alderson, his team currently has a better record than other franchises with much higher payrolls, but at the same time, he is approaching a five-year losing streak, whereas other GMs with similar payroll constraints have assembled winning teams during Alderson’s time here.

The Mets of past years reacted against losing, firing GMs and managers, making splashy trades and signing Free Agents. It didn’t always work, but at least they tried. These post-Madoff Mets merely shrug their shoulders and count their money.

What can any of us do about this? Not too much unfortunately. There is just too much other money coming to counter the blow of a stadium being 75% empty. They can merely ignore the empty seats and the barbs from blow-hards like me and others in the media and the blogosphere, while most likely using the perks that are associated with owning a major league team to keep a few key media figures quiet.

I believe that deep down they would love to be a playoff team, but this   would have to be more of a happy accident than a result of a concentrated effort to get there. And for all of their PR mis-steps, no one in the inner circle is clumsy enough to let slip that profits trump pennants.

And here’s the thing: that equation isn’t anything new to baseball either. For every Murder’s Row, every Big Red Machine, every Yankees Dynasty, every Bleeding Dodger Blue, every The Giants Win The Pennant, every We Are Family, in other words every big or consistent winner, there needs to be big or consistent losers. Space constraints prohibit the listing of teams that went decades (centuries?) as losing franchises, but they are out there.

For example, I grew up under the shadow of the Philadelphia media and was well-acquainted with that city’s then-dreadful baseball history. It certainly influenced my choice of the Mets as my favorite team in 1971. There is much to suggest that the Mets are heading in that same direction. We’re lamenting a potential seventh-straight losing season, but recent events may be a foreshadowing of a far longer stretch ahead.

Not much to do but settle in and accept it. This is hard for someone like me, as Mets fandom has spanned parts of three family generations. I have been able to let go of other bad habits over my life, but I admit that this one is hard to break. I believe in miracles and think we certainly need one here; but I wonder if The Almighty doesn’t have other ideas.

Oh well–we’ll always have April of 2015.


A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. James Preller July 2, 2015 at 7:18 am
    I agree with this assessment, particularly that the endless hyping of prospects in the Metsblogosphere only feeds and serves to validate the ownership’s scam machinery.

    In the end, I think we care too much about baseball and it’s probably pretty stupid.

    • Bat July 3, 2015 at 12:38 am
      A significant number of Mets prospects have been highly regarded by independent third parties like Baseball America, Fangraphs,, and Baseball Prospectus.

      So to characterize all of the Mets prospects as overly hyped by the Metsblogsphere and thereby imply that the prospects are nothing more than an exaggeration of Mets fans, Mets beat writers, etc. isn’t accurate.

      • argonbunnies July 3, 2015 at 7:10 pm
        I’d say that while the Mets’ good prospects are indeed good, the over-hype lies in the amount of coverage devoted to those prospects as if they were saviors, which they aren’t (at least not without help!).
  2. Steve S. July 2, 2015 at 11:15 am
    Sad, but true. But Mets’ attendance is up almost 2400 per game this year. A fan boycott would help, I believe. We can watch the pitchers on TV, until we fall asleep in front of our sets, as the zeroes go up on our row of the scoreboard….
  3. The King July 2, 2015 at 11:24 am
    Notwithstanding its good pitching, this team is impossible to watch. I can’t devote three hours of my life hoping they’ll score a run and it will hold up.

    Also, who builds a team on pitching and bad defense? I remember 1969 — does Sandy & The Wilpons? That ain’t Bud & The Glider on the left side.

    As for the fundies, I know players aren’t as savvy as they were 30 or 40 years ago. But guys like Murph and Tejada would have been sent down or worse for their basic lack of understanding of how to run the bases, which base to throw to etc. etc.

    Abandon hope . . . .

  4. DaveSchneck July 2, 2015 at 11:43 am
    Good points. While it has been brutal to watch this lineup, I do believe that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, but that light likely won’t shine until 2016. 2015 is more or less shot. A week from now the Mets will likely be 6-7 games behind in both the division and the WC. I would much prefer them to be sellers with an eye to next season. While we have waited 5 years for a contender, 2016-2018 looks to be the window. Of course, they do need to assemble a major league offense and defense,but this winter will provide the best opportunity to do so.

    By the way, Alderson road a multi-year losing streak as a Padres exec into his stint with the Mets, so he is pushing a decade more or less of fielding losers. Marine or not, Ivy leaguer or not, that is not a streak to be proud of.

  5. CJ July 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm
    If they keep (not) scoring the way they have been…the fan boycott will come naturally. it is no fun to watch this team right now…even a pitching purist cant stand watching no hitting.

    I read the Mets werent impressed with Amaris Ramirez during recent Brewers series…haha, but Eric Campbell or MIchael Cuddyer does impress. of course not, but this is getting ridiculous. Something has to happen, trade or just sit Cuddyer and Duda and play some other kids. This team cant even lay down a bunt.

    Trade Harvey and Syndergaard for Trout. I know it wont happen but its nice to dream. how ’bout syndergaard for hanley ramirez???

  6. Steve Hussy July 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm
    I remain baffled that anyone is fooled by PR spin any more. Just read everything twice, and add some cynicism to your second read. The answer will be found there. Alderson has done some good things and some bad things, but throughout he has been a politician, dodging questions and answering in doubletalk. But it really isn’t hard to figure that out.
    • Dan42 July 3, 2015 at 7:45 am
      I think he’s done a great job of applying Selig’s lipstick to the Wilpon pig, dontcha think?
  7. DanB July 3, 2015 at 7:53 am
    Two changes in baseball have created the Mets’ business plan. One is the addition of a second wild card. It lowers the level of play to make the playoffs. The Mets can sell a 500 team as being on the verge of the playoffs because one good win streak might put them in the playoffs. And the cost of creating a wild card team is much cheaper then creating a division winner. The second change is the increase in network money compared to local revenue. If the Mets keep their costs low, they will still make a profit no matter what happens to ticket sales. But Dan, you forgot the most important element — the Wilpons own a future development site that happens to have a MLB team on it. Met profits are gravy to the potential gains they expect from developing the surrounding area.

    I believe in the free market as much as anyone and eventually I do believe the free market will save the Mets. Eventually the networks will resent paying billions for a league that rewards mediocrity and punishes great teams. Also, someone will want to realize the passed over profits and offer the Wilpons a number they can not turn down.

    • argonbunnies July 5, 2015 at 11:19 am
      NYC just rejected the Wilpons’ proposal for the Willets West mall and movie theater. I am inclined to laugh at the Wilpons’ misfortune, but then it occurs to me that success in this venture might have encouraged them to spend more on the Mets, so perhaps I should cry instead.

      The city’s rationale for rejection was reported as “this land was only purposed for a stadium” which seems arbitrary to me. Perhaps the Wilpons have made enemies in the wrong places.

  8. Steve S. July 3, 2015 at 11:28 am
    Rob Manfred? Rob Manfred? Rob Manfred?

    Never mind, you don’t care about the big-market Mets being #21 in payroll…..

    • argonbunnies July 5, 2015 at 11:16 am
      The Mets aren’t hurting the other 29 owners, and that’s who Manfred serves, the owners. The only agency responsible to the fans OVER the owners is, in theory, Congress, who can threaten to remove MLB’s anti-trust exemption if teams aren’t honoring their promise to provide their cities with good ol’ American entertainment.

      THAT threat would give Manfred some incentive to pressure the Wilpons.

      I would comment on the likelihood of Congress siding with regular citizens over billionaire patriarchs, but this ain’t a political blog, so fill in the blanks with whatever you believe.

      I suppose it’s possible that a boring Mets franchise could negatively impact the sport’s visibility and cachet, which IS bad for all 30 owners, but I suspect that’s hard to prove, and I’m sure the other 29 owners would favor one lead weight for their industry over a precedent of commissioner interference.

      • Extragooey July 5, 2015 at 8:34 pm
        There is another organization at play here and that is the MLBPA. Usually both the MLB and the PA aren’t looking out for the interest of the fans, but in this case the MLBPA’s interest just so happens to coincide with the fans. If the Mets aren’t spending enough or if this low payroll for a big market area continues, I’m sure the MLBPA will chime in.
        • argonbunnies July 6, 2015 at 11:28 pm
          Good point. The MLBPA can’t be thrilled with a team in the sport’s largest market skimping on payroll.

          I’m not sure what they can do about it, though… maybe harp on it leading up to the next CBA talks in hopes that Manfred applies a little pressure to the Wilpons in the name of labor peace?

  9. Brian Krysz July 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm
    Do what I do, tape the game and watch it in fast forward, thus missing the commercials and the Mets batting. Then you can watch the good young pitchers and if/when the Mets score, rewind to see it.
  10. argonbunnies July 5, 2015 at 11:05 am
    Applying a pro-free market defense to an American business run by a cartel with an anti-trust exemption is, um, quite generous.

    In fact, baseball franchise owners are NOT just like any other business owners. They get special privileges (lack of competition for one), and the intent of their charter is that they PAY for these privileges by being responsible purveyors of good ol’ American entertainment to their cities.

    It is quite fair to accuse the Wilpons of simply cheating the system and soaking up government perks without delivering on the promise those perks are based on.

    • Extragooey July 5, 2015 at 8:46 pm
      Agreed, all this talk of the free market is silly when talking about the MLB. It is anything but free market when it comes to baseball.

      I do believe the Wilpons are in a recoup some money mode, but I don’t think the Wilpons will pass on an opportunity to field a potential championship team. The simple fact is that a winning team brings in more money or increases the value of the team so they can make more by selling pieces of it off as they’ve done during the aftermath of the Madoff scandal. Winning brings in the dough and that’s what will make the Wilpons spend. There are various ways to get to the “winning” state and I do believe the Mets are taking the conservative route. But who says the conservative route isn’t the best route in the case of this Mets team.

      • argonbunnies July 6, 2015 at 11:35 pm
        I agree, the Wilpons would certainly LIKE to win. I just don’t think they’re sufficiently motivated to do what it takes to up their odds of winning, given that there are no guarantees.

        If they could buy a 95% chance of winning, I bet they would, but faced with buying only a 65% chance or so, they seem content to settle for a 15% chance. Or maybe Alderson has them suckered into believing that what looks like a 15% chance to Vegas actually IS a 65% chance… I dunno.

  11. DanB July 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm
    If the Wilpons spend around $100 million, they can sell the team as being on the verge of a wild card. But if they spend $100 million, chances of being a division champion, let alone a World Series winner, are slim. However if they spend more then $100 million, there is no guarantee they win anything. Wild card teams don’t bring in as much revenue as champion teams, but the risk is much lower. I don’t think the Wilpons have the nerve to increase salaries that high. Remember, the Mets young cheap pitching will start being not so cheap. Are the Mets eventually going to spend $100 million just on a pitching staff?
    • Extragooey July 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm
      I’m not sure why you think $100 is the threshold for just being good enough to maybe make the playoffs. Mets are ranked 21st in opening day payroll. If there’s perfect correlation between salary and success, the top 10 make it so 21st is not even close.

      I think they are at this salary point because they are conservative. The less cynical view point, or naive view point (i’m sure many are thinking this), is that they hired Alderson to start from scratch kind of, or at least as close to it as possible for a NYC team. This means developing from the inside and trying to sign the right players focusing on value. It didn’t work out with Granderson nor Cuddyer, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t try or are on this path. Once again, it’s only been a few years since the Mets were one of the top spending teams. It’s still the same owners.

      • Joe Janish July 6, 2015 at 8:01 pm
        I think $100M is about right, give or take a few million. Winding up in the top ten and being close enough to chase for the top ten for much of the season are two entirely different things. That said, MLB is mediocre enough that virtually every mediocre team is in the race, and almost every team is over $90M.

        The Mets were one of the top spenders because Omar Minaya’s teams were breaking attendance records and they had the Madoff money tree. Citi Field may never reach the volume of revenue generated by the cheap seats of Shea, and the Madoff tree will never again grow back. Further, it could be argued (and was, many times on this blog during 2006-2009) that the Wilpons stopped just short of spending “enough” even when they were “top spenders.” Despite all the hype about the Mets’ “high payroll” during the “good old days” of 2006-2008, they still didn’t come close to matching the high-water marks of the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Giants, Tigers, Angels, and other truly big spenders. (Yes, there were years that the Mets had one of the top 5 payrolls, but that’s not the point — even with that kind of spending, they still should have had more to spend beyond, considering their success in ticket sales and other revenue streams.)

        BTW, funny post from a long time ago, about “rebuilding from within:”

        • argonbunnies July 6, 2015 at 11:53 pm
          Yeah, it’s funny to me how much Alderson’s “building up the farm” movement was hyped as something NEW, considering how much Minaya talked about holding onto core minor leaguers when he was here. The Mets’ problem wasn’t that Milledge and F-Mart got traded for old guys, it’s that they weren’t any good.

          At the same time, that look back is a reminder of why any Mets owner might disdain spending to win — it didn’t work in 1992, it didn’t work in 2002, it didn’t work in 2009-2010…

        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 1:02 am
          If you think MLB teams are building smaller stadiums and getting rid of cheap seats just to make less money, you are kidding yourself. Teams don’t do things to reduce revenue. The money is in box seats, not the upper decks.

          You can Google MLB team payrolls from 2006-2009. The Mets came in less only to the Yankees in 2008-2009, Yankees and Red Sox in 2007, and in 2006, they were 5th but barely behind the LA Angels and the White Sox. I’m not sure where the other teams you listed came in, but I don’t see them above the Mets in those years.

          You know why they were filling the stadium and breaking attendance records in those Minaya years? Um… Winning?

          So the Wilpons say they were going to rebuild, but didn’t and through free agency and trades, built a championship caliber team in 2006. Then in 2009, they hired Alderson and are actually building from within and what? Now you guys want him to go back to his older Wilpon ways and spend through free agency and deal prospects away again?

        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 1:02 am
          @Argonbunnies Um… it did work in 2002, or did you miss the 2006 season?
        • argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 3:04 am
          Gooey, if you re-read my post, you’ll see I said “spending to win”. My first paragraph’s about prospect-growing, but the second one’s a contrast.

          The Mets’ attempt to spend to win in 2002 contributed exactly nothing to their success in 2006. Any Met fan knows that the 2006 success wasn’t about Mo Vaugh and Jeromy Burnitz, so that’s why I’m assuming you just didn’t read me right.

        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 11:41 am
          Fair enough, I was lumping teams into 5 year periods. But you’re right, the rosters were completely different.

          However, the late 90s teams and 2006 weren’t exactly build with lots of home grown talent. So for your examples of spending failures, these teams counter that argument.

        • argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm
          Yeah, winning the bidding for a 27-year-old slugging gold glove CF worked out well, as did trading two middling-tools / high-performance prospects (Jacobs & Petit) for a well-paid borderline-HOF slugger. The Pedro and Wagner deals each played their part too. 8 years earlier, Piazza was a franchise-changer. D’you think that’s enough evidence for the Wilpons to forget their failures? I kinda doubt it… especially seeing as how guys like Beltran and Piazza rarely get to free agency anymore until their 30s. Hey, Bryce Harper will be 26 when Boras puts him out there for $400M in 2019…
      • DaveSchneck July 6, 2015 at 8:12 pm
        To follow up on Dan’s point, the Mets currently are 21st in payroll, tied for 15th overall record-wise, and 17th in run differential. They are clearly mediocre by virtually every measurement. But, to Dan’s point, it is not so much whether they wind up 10th or 15th or 20th, but how deep into the season they can remain within striking distance of 10th (really 5th in the NL). At a $100 mil payroll, is they play “meaningful games” deep into Sept, the owners turn a profit. Spending their way into the top 5 “elite” teams is a much riskier venture, and one the ownership has shunned since the Madoff debacle.

        We will see what their commitment to winning is within the next several weeks. My persona feeling to to try to upgrade without dealing the big 4 pitchers or overpaying with prospects. That essentially means taking on money to retain their top prospects.

        • argonbunnies July 6, 2015 at 11:56 pm
          Yeah. Every year there are a few useful players who can be had just for cash. One of them could easily wind up being the Mets’ best option at a given position down the stretch. I’d love to have Aramis Ramirez as a platoon / bench guy, for instance. We shall see…
        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 1:29 am
          My point was that the $100 payroll is completely arbitrary. It’s the amount the Mets currently are at and you guys are unhappy with management, therefore that’s the threshold.

          I’ve already acknowledged that the Wilpons are probably in save mode or conservative mode. It could be they are looking at it as killing two birds with one stone, make some money as well as running a smarter and more efficient team. They look around at the success of mid market teams like the cardinals and the giants and think to duplicate it and make a profit as well. Like I said, I’m not sure that’s not exactly bad for this team.

          Apparently people were or are making fun of the Wilpons for the often repeated mantra throughout their ownership of “We’re going to get younger and more athletic.” Now that he’s actually doing it, you guys are unhappy right?

        • argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 3:38 am
          “Younger and more athletic” looks like the 2014 Royals. Regardless of when exactly the Mets wanted to do that and how long they tried and how many times they spoke honestly or dishonestly about it, the fact is they’ve never achieved it, and they’re not close now.

          See, the key part is NOT “younger” — it’s “more athletic”.

          Juan Lagares is the only Met who qualifies, and that’s when he’s healthy, which he currently isn’t.

          Personally, I’m not sold that athleticism is THE way to go — I think it’s one of many options, and the best solution depends on what else you have and what’s out there and what’s undervalued, etc. But let’s not pretend that fielding AAA players like Tejada because we don’t have anyone better constitutes some kind of “young & athletic” movement.

        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 11:39 am
          I’m pretty sure “younger and more athletic” is probably not meant literally as in only get young guys who are athletic.
      • DanB July 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm
        Before I begin my rebuttal, I want to thank EGooey for disagreeing with me in a polite and civil manner. I enjoy your posts, even when I disagree. And at the end of the day, I hope you are right as I want the Mets to win.

        The $100 million number is a neighborhood, not a hard number. It is based on TV money and needing to be seen as being on the verge of the playoffs.
        When the Mets spent money under Omar, it was to generate preseason revenue which they invested in Madolf. It was not about spending to win nor to make money from baseball. The Wilpon history of deposits and withdrawals support this idea as did the Mets unwillingness to add payroll in season.
        If I thought the plan was to build through the farm, I wouldn’t mind a lower payroll. But where is the money being spent in the farm? They have fired coaches and not signed draft picks. They won’t call up players who can help to save on arbitration yet they bring up Eric Cambells to prevent signing veteran backups. They don’t sign international free agents. They like cheap young talent but not expensive young talent.
        Did you read the trade the Braves made for Arroyo? They gave up an utility infielder for a prospect and Arroyo ( who is on the DL). Basically they agreed to pay Arroyo’s salary in exchange for another prospect. Where are the Met trades that add prospects for money? When the Mets invest serious money into their farm system, I will believe this a baseball plan and not a financial plan.

        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 1:02 pm
          Thanks for the kind words. I think we’re all adults and can disagree nicely. Nothing wrong with getting a bit passionate though. We’re all Met fans and want to win.

          I think adding payroll mid season has to do with thinking you have a contending team. Frankly I don’t think the teams in recent years merited that type of transaction. Perhaps the teams that collapsed in 2007 and 2008 you can argue for a mid season move, but the collapse happened late and yah, in hindsight they may have needed moves to make the post season.

          Mets have taken payroll in the less recent past. Kenny Rogers in the late 90s for Terrance Long, just in time for ball 4 in the post season against the Braves. 🙂 Kris Benson for Wigginton (ugh) and Zambrano for Kazmire (double ugh).

          14 million for a prospect essentially on that deal. Good for them and I hope it works out for them. I can’t say more than that cuz there’s not much more to say. If they think he’s worth it, go for it. I guess the Mets recent move of acquiring that international bonus pool slot is not good enough for you. The farm before all these call ups were rated pretty high across all the organizations that rate farm systems. It was mostly from Alderson trading veterans with value and yes the continued development of already non-Alderson drafted players. Sure, we can always criticize on the negatives. I think we went over this in another thread so I won’t go on.

  12. argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 3:28 am
    Re: $100 mil, I assumed Dan B’s point was that triple digits sounds more respectable to fans; double digits is more at odds with a “win now” message. Otherwise, I agree that $100 mil is an arbitrary cutoff.

    I think the more reasonable cutoff is relative: any team that’s in their ideal window to contend ought to become one of the bigger payroll spenders in the sport for the duration of that window, to maximize their odds of capitalizing on it. Whether the Mets hit that window in 2013 or will in 2016 or 2018 is a matter of some debate. If you took Alderson at his word, though, the window began in either 2014 or 2015, so seeing a bottom-third payroll in those years is disappointing.

    As for winning without spending, that only happens occasionally when some team is ahead of the curve. Five years of Alderson is enough to clearly demonstrate that he’s not. Maybe he’s good, maybe he’s bad, but he’s certainly no miracle-worker like Rays-era Friedman. The Giants may have a middle-sized market, but they have frequently had among the highest payrolls in the game. Not going insane like the Yanks and recent Dodgers doesn’t put every other team in the same vicinity as the Mets.

    As for the 1990-2005 Braves and the 2004-2014 Cardinals, it seems to me that they led MLB in developing players — turning top prospects into stars, fringe prospects into solid players, mediocre relievers into brief dominators, etc. Maybe it’s Cox and LaRussa, maybe it’s the confidence born of winning, or maybe it’s all about evaluating which guys are actually keepers and selling high on the rest. Whatever it is, it’s another ace the Mets don’t appear to have up their sleeve.

    With no industry-leading revolutions, the Mets are in the same position as most teams — hope your farm churns out a few difference-makers at the same time and then use that cheap productivity as an opportunity to buy the rest of the roster without totally breaking the bank. Harvey, Syndergaard, Matz and d’Arnaud look ready to do their part. Familia and deGrom are MORE than doing their part. Wright’s giant contract is irrelevant — it was purchased as a P.R./branding move, and is looking less and less giant by the day as salaries around the game rise. So, really, these Mets are in the position where it makes sense to bring in some pricey top talent, regardless of which general philosophy one subscribes to.

    I mean, unless that philosophy involves never making the playoffs.

    • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm
      I agree with you. I think it’s apparent that the Mets need outside help on offense. Even if Confoto and Nimmo pan out, and they become the solid outfielders they are projected to be, they may not be enough. I believe I’ve said this in another post, let’s not waste these years of low cost, high productive pitching. The question here is timing. People want moves made NOW!!! NOW Damn it!!! Let’s not wait for the deadline or even if anyone is available, just make a trade already!!!

      Praise Friedman all you want, but I’m not going to give him that much credit. Tampa had years and years of really awful bad teams to get them the draft picks needed to build the recent contending teams. I’m sure they had top picks that didn’t go well. I know of Hamilton as being one of them. Delmon Young is another that comes to mind.

      I’m all for pricey top talents. Who are we talking about here? I’m looking at the potential 2016 free agent list and I’m not sure I see anyone I’d go after. There are some on the restricted free agent list that I may go after. I know you think Ramirez is worth going after, and he seems to be heating up. But at this point he’s more of a side piece than a top talent.

      Alderson is conservative when it comes to trades. I agree with his stance. I’m apparently in the minority.

      • Dan Capwell July 7, 2015 at 4:14 pm
        Yoenis Cespedes?
        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm
          Okay, I’ll give you that he’s worth a consideration. But is he more the 292/356/505 of 2012 or the 251/298/446 of 2013 and 2014 combined. He’s hitting well so far this year. I think he’s more of the 2013/2014 version, but I guess we’ll see where he ends up this year.

          By the way, one name that I was surprised you didn’t add to your Alderson rant was Jose Abreu. I wanted the Mets to take a chance on him and was pretty upset they didn’t and more so after learning it was only a 10 million a year contract on average he signed for. This is also when the Mets were still doing a coin flip on Davis or Duda. Duda ended up with a good year last year so that appeased it somewhat. However, Abreu is still the better player and at only 10 million per for 6 years would have fit in nicely and not bankrupted a team even if he didn’t work out.

      • argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm
        The pricey top talent I wanted was Goldschmidt, before his stock rocketed this year. Assuming that the D’backs’ non-awfulness means they’re not trading their MVP candidate, I’m left to wonder which other teams might look to rebuild.

        I have no reason to believe that any specific one of these players is actually available; however, at least one of them probably will turn out to be. The deciding factor will likely be money; if the Mets are willing to pay enough of it, they’ll get their man.
        – Prince Fielder
        – J.D. Martinez
        – Nelson Cruz
        – Joey Votto
        – Troy Tulowitzki
        – Carlos Gomez
        – Gerardo Parra
        – Ryan Braun

        Down the road:
        – 2016 FA Justin Upton
        – Giancarlo Stanton if the Fish keep losing
        – A-Rod

        I am not saying that I even want every single one of these guys; I think I’d rather lose than win with a malicious cheater like Braun. Just brainstorming options. Obviously if we’re willing to part with a pitcher, the options dramatically increase to include guys like Frazier, Arenado, Donaldson, etc.

        • argonbunnies July 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm
          Actually, if we part with a pitcher, perhaps we could get Puig! He’d be frustrating, but also exciting!
        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm
          Oh, plenty of good players there. Unfortunately they aren’t free agents. Upton is a target I missed. I would stay away from A-Rod. Even if Wright retires and you have room for him, playing him in the field will instantly break him. If we put him at short, he will break on opening day. LOL.
        • Extragooey July 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm
          Puig would come in, Wright would tell him to stop eating in the clubhouse and all hell would break out.
        • DaveSchneck July 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm
          No thanks on Puig.

          Braun really didn’t cheat any more maliciously than any of the others, but his beating on the everyman tester guy was nauseating.

          I am in for A Ramirez as bench depth, so long as this is simply money eating and not costing any decent prospect.

          I would not give Niese away for nothing.

          Carlos Gomez would work but not sure what I would give up for him – certainly not one of the big 4, maybe a Michael Fulmer + another okay prospect.

          Personally, I would save the “big” position acquisition until the offseason, but that must be this offseason as everyone points out the window is now.

          DW is a complicatig factor but I agree his expense was brand-building and should be treated as such.

          TDA is another complication as it is clear he may need to be moved from behind the plate if they really think his bat is legit.

      • Jon C July 8, 2015 at 8:33 am
        ding ding ding

        everyone seems so desperate to make a trade right now, while seemingly acknowledging that the offense stinks—do you think making one trade right now will matter? what of david wright? the smart, although boring thing to do is wait this one out until the offseason.

        Any midseason deal cannot involve our top 4 starting pitchers, we should be moving colon/niese/parnell/murphy anyone else who won’t be around next year.

        People love ripping alderson but I like how the team has been slowly built up around pitching. Its so easy to be an armchair GM. As others have said, we’ll see going into this offseason and next if their really is a commitment to winning to increase the payroll some. But it still has to be for the right guy. Its amazing how you can get ripped for overspending, and then ripped for underspending. It seems to me that things have gone according to plan for the most part.

        • Extragooey July 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm
          Ah, I feel less lonely now. 🙂

          However, I wouldn’t say it has gone according to plan for the most part. Maybe the starting pitching, besides the injury to Wheeler and Harvey’s command issues. Also the closer spot probably has gone according to plan as I’m sure the Mets expected Familia to take over that role this year. The rest of the bullpen hasn’t imploded, and has been pretty decent. Alex Torres is heading for that 1 walk an inning rate.

          I’m sure the Mets penciled in for Legares to improve, Duda to improve, Flores to improve, d’Arnaud to improve, and Wright to get back to +800 OPS. Outside of Duda’s fast start, none of that has happened. So no, this isn’t according to plan.

          Starting pitching is where it’s at for the Mets and it’s keeping the Mets above water. Hopefully they can get some bats to help without giving up too much.

  13. david July 7, 2015 at 8:35 pm
    I am actually in favor of Braun. He is still fundamentally an above average player and I think he’d play well in NY (he sure did when the Brew Crew came to Citi Field earlier this year). In fact, all of the Milwaukee options are viable upgrades to our offense and their pitching is woeful.

    Fulmer or Gnoa are legit options, and it would not shock me to see Mejia dealt either although I still like him a lot and think he has a good career ahead of him. Sell Parnell high, dumor Carlos Torres ASAP, and if we need to thrown in one of our young starters then I have no issue trading Syndergaard bc I think Matz is better and we have other guys coming up or coming back, ie. Wheeler. Thor’s stock is high, but Sandy has been very weak when it comes to trading talent so I am not optimistic.

    • Dan Capwell July 9, 2015 at 6:08 am
      The player they should target is Justin Upton. Since he’s a free agent at the year’s end, they can probably get him from SD for something other than one of the “core four.” They might end up sacrificing Conforto or Fulmer, plus a 40-man roster arm like Robles (or maybe Mejia), but Upton’s presence in the lineup would certainly make a big difference. Looking at what the Padres dealt away to get Upton, I’d call it a win for them as well.
      • Dan42 July 9, 2015 at 11:36 am
        Agreed, If they can get him to sign an extension. But as far as I know he wants to be a Yankee, like Beltran back when, so the money will probably be an grand obstacle.
        • argonbunnies July 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm
          Yeah. I have no interest in trading a legit piece for a rent-an-Upton. I also don’t think Upton alone is enough for a 2015 playoff berth. So unless Sandy has a real 2015 push in store, I’d wait until the offseason and buy Upton with just dollars, rather than dollars AND talent.

          Even if Sandy does plan a push, Upton has no incentive to sign an extension when he’s 2 months from free agency.

          One final thought: as much as his production by the end of the year will definitely add to the win total, I really cringe at the thought of planting a streaky whiff machine at the center of our lineup. Maybe there isn’t someone better than Upton out there, but man, I sure wish there were. Each time I look around MLB for the guy the Mets really need to change their lineup, I keep coming up with Miguel Cabrera and not much else. I have a feeling the next batch of elite hitters are currently unproven — that’s why I was throwing around Astros prospects as trade options.

      • DaveSchneck July 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm
        I would listen on dealing anyone, but no way am I giving up Conforto and/or Fulmer for a guy that is controllable for only 2 months. I know, I know, these guys may never pan out to anything, but right now, they are projectable major leaguers, many think Conforto is a middle of the lineup bat, and they are each controllable for 6 years. I will part with them for an above average controllable MLB bat, but not 2 months of Upton or anyone else for that matter. Ynoa for A Ramirez, fine. Fulmer, Ynoa, and someone for Carlos Gomez, ok.
    • argonbunnies July 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm
      Braun’s definitely a talent upgrade, but he’s also one of the few players in MLB who’s proven to be a bad person. I think it’s ridiculous that athletes are viewed as role models, and I have nothing against baseball players for not being perfect, but at the same time, as a fan, I want guys I can root for. I cannot root for Braun.

      In my mind, someone like McGwire offering a quick brush-off denial back in the days when that sufficed, then later dodging the issue, then finally admitting his steroid use to get it over with when he wanted a job in baseball, but refusing to admit how much the juice might have helped him hit HRs… well, that’s just a cheater in denial. Not great, but in the grand scheme of things, not a huge deal to me.

      Braun, on the other hand, cheated, got caught, slipped by on a really stupid technicality, then launched an angry rant about how he’s a great guy who was victimized by a broken system. That’s… that’s disgusting. No one can do that unless they’re an utter piece of $#!* with no scruples. When he followed up by responding to questions about the positive test by bashing the test-collector, I WAS NOT SURPRISED. Scumbag status doesn’t just go away.

      Since he hasn’t been banned from baseball, I’m currently rooting for a career-ending injury. If it’s from an angry HBP, all the better. (Not in the head, though — I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!)

      So, yeah, I felt obliged to mention Braun as an option, but if I were into winning at all costs no matter what, I would have left the Mets to become a Yankees fan years ago. I’m still a Mets fan, which means I’d rather lose without Braun than win with him. (Same deal for A-Rod, though with less ire.)