J.P. Ricciardi: Teams Don’t Build Through the Draft
Last week, Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi appeared on WEEI Radio (Boston) to comment on the free agent status of 2013 Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew. During the interview, Ricciardi mentioned that the Mets were “very happy” with the prospect of heading into 2014 with Ruben Tejada as their shortstop. Some fans may not love to hear that, but it was the right thing to say — mainly for the sake of keeping any leverage the Mets may have in negotiations with Drew.
What struck me, though, was this quote by Ricciardi, in response to a question about teams parting with compensatory draft picks for signing free agents who rejected qualifying offers:
”One of the things that is happening in baseball right now, that I scratch my head with it: young players are so overvalued right now, and I think falls in with the draft picks, too. Listen, I get it. No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft,” Ricciardi said. “You can’t build a team through the draft because they just don’t all work out. But you can supplement your system, and I get all that. But if you’re telling me I have a chance to get Curtis Granderson over a second-round pick I think I’m going to take my chances with a proven major league player as opposed to maybe a high school or college kid that may or may not become Curtis Granderson.
“Hindsight is 20-20 and we can all go back and look at guys where they were drafted and what happened to them, but in the end, the major league players, the proven major league player, has a lot more value to me than the Double A kid, the Triple A kid or even the kid who is drafted. I wouldn’t hesitate to give up a draft pick. If I’m the Houston Astros or a club like that who is still building, I might not be as engaged to do it. But if I’m a club that is looking to get closer to being good, I might be more inclined to do it.”
Huh. So, for those fans who believe the Mets should be building a juggernaut dynasty through the draft — well, according to Ricciardi, you’re wrong.
Thoughts? Sound off in the comments.
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