Amid their egocentric beliefs that they’re influential in the big business that is baseball ownership, you can read the clumsily presented and agenda-driven Mets stories from those who have neither the skill nor the nuance to even try to hide their contempt for the Wilpons.
Or you can read what Bill Madden wrote yesterday in the NY Daily News.
It says something that there are very few in-depth, verifiable narratives regarding the deal collapsing apart from broad-based assumptions and outsider statements of what’s “obvious”.
We don’t know what happened; Einhorn said his piece, rife with corporate cliches; the Wilpons have said nothing.
Don’t automatically think that the supposed “white knight in a bad hairpiece”—Einhorn—is being entirely forthright as to the chain of events and that the Wilpons’ silence is an admission of “guilt”.
The main issue that’s being debated now is how much money are the Mets going to have to spend this winter to improve the club and who’s in their price range.
You’ll find your answers if you care to look for them.
Here are the facts: the Mets have prohibitive contracts coming off the books; there’s not much available via free agency; the Mets improvement—if any—in 2012 will come from rebounds, returns from injury and young players stepping forward.
The contracts of Luis Castillo ($6 million) and Oliver Perez ($12 million) are expiring; and they’ve already dumped Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran.
The one free agent the Mets are absolutely going to pursue and will pay is their own free agent, Jose Reyes.
Apart from that, here are the big name free agents this winter: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Lance Berkman, Beltran, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Hiroki Kuroda, Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, K-Rod.
The Mets don’t need a first baseman; they could use Buehrle and Kuroda, but neither is coming to the Mets; Jackson is big and durable and I’d go after him, but the Mets aren’t giving him the $70-90 million (at least) he’ll get on the open market and he’s represented by Scott Boras. Given what the front office believes about relief pitchers, they’re not paying for Bell or Papelbon; if they go after a closer as a backup to Bobby Parnell, it’ll be a Brad Lidge–type on an incentive-laden contract.
What free agents are they missing out on sans Einhorn?
On the trade front, they could go after B.J. Upton or Marlon Byrd; check in on Brandon Phillips. There are useful though not earth-shattering free agents like Jason Kubel and Josh Willingham.
These are ancillary acquisitions who would help, but not throw a scare in the NL East that the Mets are coming.
The Mets improvement in 2012 will stem from finding out what’s wrong with Jason Bay and getting him into some semblance of what he was with the Red Sox and Pirates, or trading him for another heavily-paid underachiever like Chone Figgins.
The rotation will be solid if Johan Santana comes back and gives them 180 innings at 75% of what he was; if Mike Pelfrey is serviceable; if Jon Niese steps forward; and if R.A. Dickey continues to pitch as well as he has.
They’re not spending big on the bullpen. Teams build superior bullpens with castoffs and retreads and, money or not, that’s what the Mets were and are going to do.
Offensively—with or without Reyes—they’ll have enough to score a fair amount of runs with David Wright, Ike Davis, Bay, Lucas Duda and an improved Angel Pagan.
The size of the offer they present to Reyes will be a greater window into the financial circumstances of the club; not a pieced together extrapolation that pops up—without disclosed sources—in the blogosphere or on Twitter.
When the Reyes negotiations start, then we’ll know.
And not before then.
2 thoughts on “Einhorn Or No Einhorn”
After spending the last few months in DC and seeing the NL East from a different perspective, I really think it would be dumb to rush into the free agent market this offseason anyway.
I do think that Jose Reyes should be resigned and I feel that while Reyes isn’t a traditional Alderson style player in the OBP department, he does fit extremely well into the Alderson homegrown player department and Alderson is smart enough to know that the money spent on Reyes will be recouped in ticket sales that would be lost without him on the team.
I kind of felt that the Einhorn deal would fall through when the Wilpons got a favorable judgement in the Madoff case. I also kind of got the feeling that they might even have been stringing this thing along for the positive PR and to show the fans that they were doing something proactive, but that selling any part of the team was really going to be a last ditch thing that signified that they were going to have to sell the entire thing in the short term.
In the end, the Mets are theirs and if they don’t want to sell to a specific person under those terms—super-favorable to the buyer—they had the right to back out.
As for Alderson/Reyes, although he went overboard with the Padres trying to validate Moneyball with the excessive and overbearing “boss” thing, he’s smart enough to look at the whole picture with Reyes and come to a reasonable conclusion on what to do. I trust him in that regard.