I've been astounded by the pass the Wilpon/Katz ownership has received from the national baseball press. Sure, we have plenty of bloggers and fringe reporters like Megdal who have been critical of ownership, but rarely if ever have I seen a prominent national baseball writer take on the organization and delve into the financial situation.
Maybe the worm is turning. Buster Olney posted a piece arguing the Mets, playing in the largest market in the country, must be able to resign players like Wright and Dickey or the team should be sold.
It's an ESPN Insider piece, but is summarized on MLB Trade Rumors. It's great to see some pressure being applied to this organization from outside the local media and fan base.
I love Dickey. I think hes great for the team and I think hes great for baseball and I think he is great all around. With that said, we need to be realistic here.
Dickey is not a traditional knuckleballer. What makes him so effective is that he throws a hard knuckleball unlike any other pitcher in the history of baseball. He has proven he can be effective, but I think this is the best year he will ever put up which I dont think many people would argue with. Heck, even if he can put up 12-15 wins a year for 3 years, we would all take that right?
But he is approaching 40. He pitched 2012 with an injury. What if next year he gets an injury he is not able to pitch with? What if he loses a few MPH on his pitch, becomes much more hittable and is all of a sudden an average pitcher?
If Dickey was 32, I would say sign him to a healthy extension. But he is not 32, he is 38. Knuckleballers age different, well knuckleballers that throw 70 do, his pitch is much faster than that and puts a lot more stress on your arm.
We have pitching. Pitching was not really our big issue in 2012. We have some really nice looking young pitching. We need offense, and Dickey can help us get that offense. We are not playing for 2013, we are aiming for 2014 and beyond....do you really envision Dickey to help us in 2014? Maybe he can, but he can win the Cy Young every year and it will not matter because he will be doing it on a losing team year after year because of the lack of offense.
That's really not the point. Debating the wisdom or signing or trading Dickey under normal circumstances is one thing. Debating it because a team in the largest market can't afford to sign him and make other additions is entirely different.
If the organization was in a stable financial condition there wouldn't even be a debate. You resign Wright and Dickey and you use financial resources to fill in the gaps.
If they hadn't deferred Bay's money there would have been $40 million coming off payroll next season. The cost of extending Wright and Dickey would be approximately $11 million per season more than what they're making right now. If the front office can't plug holes with $30 million they shouldn't have jobs.
~~~ Buster Olney posted a piece arguing the Mets, playing in the largest market in the country, must be able to resign players like Wright and Dickey or the team should be sold. ~~~
He's preaching to the choir. But, things are what they are right now, and because of the stupidity of the wilpons and that ponze scheme, there's not as much money as there once was. Once upon a time, the Mets did give out huge contracts, but now they can't. Do I wish they sell the team? Sure, but then again, I'm reminded of the old saying " the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know". I would love to see them sell the team to Mark Cuban, because I KNOW he's dedicated to building a winner. If the guy spends money with a salary cap, imagine what he'll spend without one.
Now, regarding Dickey, I love the guy, but the team's financial situation being what it is, I would prefer trading him for a great package of prospects/MLB ready potential stars. Rebuild the team, and field a winner in the short future. If that happens, I almost guarantee that the wilpons will be spending money again. For now, I don't care about free agents or re-signing players to huge contracts, even Wright. I'd rather they spend the bulk of their money to pay over the slot for draft picks.
I do not trust that they will re-invest the Bay savings in 2013 which they have been coy about merely stating that it gives them a little more flexibility. I think they will just bring back the same garbage that they had last year.
Their offseason plan seems to be to field as cheap a roster as they can for 2013, while dragging out the Wright & Dickey extensions so as to retain ticket sales and hold-off media criticism.
No. You can forget them spending a load of money to fill holes. That will never happen and that would not even happen on ANY team that has as many holes as the mets have unless you're the yankees.
It simply is not a smart move to go out and acquire 5 free agents who will demand big contracts and might not even perform better than younger guys. If we were 2 or 3 players away from making a run, THEN I would agree with you, but the mets are not. What you described is how management has been running things up until Sandy Alderson and we all see how well that has worked.
The Mets are a NY team, the Mets are in a "Big Market". lets not confuse that with being the yankees. Right now the mets are a small market team in a big city and our ownership does not have $60 million to throw at free agents this year. Even if they did, that would be stupid.
Lets take away the mets financial issues here and look at what our options are here.
1. Trade Dickey for 2-3 players that can help us in the future.
2. Keep Dickey and sign a bunch of players to try to field a contender. You really see that happening? Who would we sign that can make an impact? Cody Ross? I want no part of Cody Ross. This is a guy that I know would absolutely stink on the mets!
We have no outfield. We have 3 Outfield positions that are up for grabs and we have a 38 year old Cy Young winner that can help us fill some of our holes for the indefinite future. Sure these players might not work out, but Dickey can win 20 games every year and that will not make a difference if we cant field an outfield.
I really do not think Money is an issue here. I really do not think Dickey is going to command a huge contract. I think the Mets can afford what Dickey is asking for.
If we had 1-2 holes...keep Dickey long term. But we do not. Trade Dickey for some players that can help now and in the future. Sign Pelfrey as a #5 starter that can eat innings. Trade for a catcher and a reliever if possible and plug the rest of the holes with the farm and go from there.
Sorry, I don't accept past stupidity as an excuse for failure to act now. Our GM is being paid more than half of our roster to make the correct decisions, if money is not an issue finding two productive outfielders and BP arms shouldn't be a problem.
But money is the issue. If trading Wright and Dickey is really the only viable solution I hope everyone is prepared for another three to four years of non-contention.
We all want to win now. That win now attitude has gotten us very little success and nothing long term. Most free agents we sign simply do not perform well for the mets. It is a sad fact. Beltran actually performed really well compared to the offensive FA signings we have made or major trades (Piazza being the exception).
But what happens is the Mets go for the secondary free agents, and then they come here and flop and we are tied up because we have no extra money to invest anywhere to get decent players to fill holes.
The Mets MAIN priority should be pitching. Pitching is what wins you championships. You need 3 solid starters and at least 2 guys with ace type stuff to really have something special. Mets have always been built around pitching and that is and should always be the main priority. Dickey is a great pitcher, and I would LOVE to see Dickey, Wheeler, Harvey, Niese in the same rotation for the indefinite future. But being realistic, how long will it take for Wheeler and harvey to really be impact MLB pitchers? Do you really think we can get lucky enough to have them both pitch like top of the rotation starters within the next year or two? Lets say they do in fact both develop in to top of the rotation starters, do you really think that will happen for both of them within the next 2 years?
With that said....you do need to have outfielders. Especially a defensive center fielder to help back up that starting pitching.
In a perfect world, Wheeler and Harvey will both have ace like stuff within the next 2 years. Even in that scenario, Dickey does not fit into that plan most likely.
But there is no way we can see the future. All we can do is sit here and speculate. You could be wrong, I could be wrong. Heck we are Mets fans so of course we always want to see the light at the end of the tunnel shining very bright. I was fooled this year into thinking we actually had a shot. That fairy tale ended as soon as the second half started and the flaws of this team really showed.
Lets hope whatever decision Alderson makes is the right decision and hopefully we can look back some time and thank Alderson for making the decision he did.
In my opinion, Dickey will be a Solid pitcher for another 3-seasons, at least.
As good as he was in 2011, probably not 2012.
Now, Harvey has proven something already with his performance in 2012, which is he can get ML players out. Hopefully he keeps it up.
Wheeler is a stud. Unless a injury occurs, the guy will be very good. Whether he becomes an Ace or #2 depends on his progress, but he'll be a #3 pitcher at worst.
Niese had a pretty good 2012, and he's only 26 YO. I expect him to be as good for the foreseeable future.
If these things continue, Harvey should be ready for a break-out season in 2014 and Wheeler will be ready to start the season with the team, and break-out in 2015.
I think Dickey plays a large role in the 2014/2015 seasons. He can be the Rock of the staff, and it would give the entire rotation diversity with Power pitching, off-speed pitching, and then a knuckler.
Keeping Dickey and Wright is the way too go. Dickey will continue to sell out games for the Mets in 2013 which is a huge bonus for a broke franchise.
Hitters can be found on the open market or through a trade, but Pitchers cannot.
Wait for Johan's contract to expire, and the team will have flexibility to make a move.
I know there are plenty of people around here who think that trading Dickey away is the right move, but here's the problem I have with it:
1. If this were a few years ago during the Omar era, this wouldn't even be a question. He'd be signed, period. Now we all know that Omar made some bad deals and arguably crippled the team's budget, but let's keep the team's current financial woes in perspective. This is the result of some bumbling business decisions on the part of the Wilpons. Certainly they're gun shy to sign major contracts after the Bay, Pedro, Ollie, Moises, Santana(?) debacles, but you have in your hands one of the most popular players in Mets history who can supply veteran leadership and potentially anchor the rotation for the next few years.
2. What makes anyone think that this organization - ownership and the GM, would know what to do with all that money saved by not re-signing Dickey, let alone make a smart trade. Everyone seems to think that we'll grab some stash of incredible top prospects for Dickey, when it could end being 3 Josh Tholes. Maybe Dickey's market value isn't as high as everyone thinks because other teams besides the Mets think that his age and recent surgery are red flags. Prospects are just that: prospects, so while the Wheeler deal looks great on paper there's 3 or 4 other deals Sandy's made that don't. I want to see competency in our organization's decisions; I want to see this master plan for rebuilding before I let Dickey walk. So far the decision making's been very hit and miss.
I'd personally rather see what Sandy does with the deferred Bay money in the off-season while Dickey negotiations continue. If he uses it to sign someone like Chris Woodward, I'll have little confidence in his ability to land top talent by trading Dickey.