When you sit down and think about it, the Mets really did pinch their pennies this season. Some people will call me stupid pointing quickly to the Jason Bay signing. I agree that’s a nice signing and I like seeing him in a Mets uniform. But since he got here Omar has been the king of the obvious. What he has lacked is finding depth and those diamonds in the rough that are so important to winning teams. We lack the role-players and veteran leadership that we need. This is because as soon as Bay was signed, the Wilpons slammed the checkbook closed. I really think they thought to themselves “Ok we signed them (the fans) Bay, they should be happy, now not another dollar more!”
Lets use two examples of players we knew absolutely, 100%, wanted to play for the Mets. I have been screaming and yelling for Orlando Hudson for two years now and for two years now we have missed the boat. It’s no secret that I think he is just what the Mets need. A good hitter and a great fielder up the middle. His presence would be an upgrade in the lineup, and a huge upgrade in the field. How in the world, when so much is riding on the performance of your flaky pitching staff, can you not make this move and upgrade a middle infield spot? The real kicker is for two years in a row now Hudson has signed for a $5 million dollar, 1-year contract. That is such a bargain. And I am not even taking into account his clubhouse benefits.
Along with Hudson another guy that publicly came out and said he wanted to play in Queens was Jason Marquis. He signed a 2-year $15 million dollar contract. Your telling me that the Nationals can afford to sign him but the Mets can’t? Am I supposed to believe that we couldn’t use another arm? Look at the Yankees, they get it, they had a stud rotation last year, and they went out and jumped at the chance to make it stronger when it presented itself. The Mets instead chose to pass. Now let me slow it down a bit by saying I don’t think Marquis is a top of the ladder starter. He’s not the solution for the Mets. But I fail to see how he wouldn’t help us? We need to sign anyone who wants to be here. After watching so many players that didn’t want to be here (ie Tom Glavine, Aaron Heilman, et all) we need to welcome people who want to play for us (hell you could debate even the owners don’t want to be in Queens!).
Take these two contracts and it adds up to around $12 million dollars. If estimates are correct that the Mets payroll is somewhere around $120 million for the year, that would mean an increase of only ten percent. For a ten percent increase you would add a Gold-Glove second baseman and another good bat to your lineup. You would add another professional pitcher and deepen your rotation that much more, and in turn strengthen your bullpen. Not to mention adding to guys who would really be excited to play in New York, and not just because of the dollar signs.
It’s kinda crazy when you think about how the front office had no problem adding that extra year to Bays contract even when nobody else was bidding against them. It’s moves like this that drive me bonkers. It’s like Omar and the ownership get dazzled by the big names and get tunnel vision and lose sight of the actual goal. The goal isn’t to put a big name up on the scoreboard, it’s to put a winning team on the field.
The thing I think they fail to see is that a winning team will sell a LOT more tickets then adding one good player (lets be real, Jason Bay isn’t even a great player, and no superstar). The fact remains that be refusing to spend a few million dollars more fortifying your roster, you will lose many million more in lost revenue when nobody is coming to games in August.