Where are we going?

We are not that far away.

While not as gripping as “Ya Gotta Believe”, this seems to be the slogan of the 2013 New York Mets. Both Sandy Alderson and David Wright made allusions to this preposterous idea recently and the sentiment leaves many more questions than answers.

How far is that far? What are we really far from, the division or a championship? Are we even moving?

Because it feels like we’re in park.

Alderson was quoted as saying, “We’re at the point where we can make significant improvement in a hurry. And we’ve been looking at ways that we can actually do that.”

But they don’t. And they probably won’t.

Michael Bourn could be a Met, but Alderson doesn’t want to give up a first round pick. Why? Not a single homegrown Mets prospect is even in the top 100 prospects list recently put out by ESPN.com writer, Keith Law. Shouldn’t that scare Mets fans? Sure, we have Zack Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud, but the Mets didn’t make those moves. Think of it this way:

You can have Michael Bourn. He can give you 40 stolen bases, an effective bat in the lead-off spot and strong center field play. Or you can take what is behind door number two; a door that has produced more tigers than ladies.

Forget the failed casino proposal. There is plenty of gambling going on in Flushing as we speak. Citi Field is a casino where Alderson thinks every deuce is wild and his slot pulls will come up all 7’s. Andrew Brown, Marlon Byrd and Scott Atchison are all more jokers than they are aces. This is the hand we have been dealt to somehow fool the house and overcome the odds.

If we are truly still rebuilding, that’s all something we will have to deal with. We will fold our dreadful hand, call muck and wait for the next pot. But if you tell the fans that we could be competing and we could be improving… Well then why aren’t we?

Don’t sell us the present and buy for the future. Don’t assure us with uncertainties. Don’t tell us that this is the direction we are moving, but the other way works fine too. Pick a road and stick to it. Whether that road leads to riches or ruin is still an uncertainty, but until then, we’ll be asking a question that has plagued us since we were children.

Are we there yet?


TP said...

I'll believe the Sandyspeak if he secures a legit MLB CF/leadoff hitter (Bourn, Fowler, Crisp) and a legit MLB closer (Valverde, Wilson, even KRod) to compete with FF. This would give the team a reasonable shot to compete without any glaring holes going into the season.

Reese said...

Michael Bourn is actually not a particularly good leadoff hitter and wants way too much money for what he produces. You could pick up a Rajai Davis or Tony Campaña for next to nothing as they are not starters and produce higher OBP and more stolen bases for way less money. That is without even considering the draft pick issue.

Soto said...

Most recent news says the Mets are offering Angel Pagan money ($10MM per) for 3 years and may be willing to go 4.

For 10MM a season, I jump at that chance to sign Bourn. However once again only if the 1st round pick is protected which since the MLBPA has stated it will back the Mets seems more and more likely.

Mack Ade said...

I don't know why everyone is so concerned about protecting a pick that the Mets will under-slot anyway, not pick the obvious colege outfieder that would be available, and go high school again.

Soto said...

because even if we underslot the 1st round pick....we can still use the remaining slot money to overslot on "steal" picks like the Flexen's and Evan's of the draft.

Mack Ade said...

ah... that's right... we can get two more underachievers...

Herb G said...

Guys, let's not kid ourselves. There are several potential trades out there that might give us a credible leadoff hitter/CF. None of them, not a one, has the track record (no pun intended) that Bourn has. We might catch lightning in a bottle and acquire a kid that pans out to be close to Bourn, but it isn't very likely. Notwithstanding that fact, I'm guessing that if Sandy can't reach an agreement with Bourn/Boras, or he can't get the pick protected and backs away from Bourn, he will go down the trade route and acquire the best possible Bourn alternative.

Reese says Bourn isn't a particularly good leadoff hitter, but more than 85% of his career plate appearances came as a leadoff hitter. And with a career .339 OBP as a leadoff hitter, he is more likely to be better at it than anyone Sandy gets via the trade route. Rajai Davis, who Reese suggests, actually has a much lower career OBP than Bourn and contributes fewer SBs. Tony Campana has some potential, but it is just that, potential, and so far he doesn't look anything like a Michael Bourn alternative.

Although I agree with Soto that the slot money is important, and I don't want to lose that #11 pick, I believe that acquiring a dynamic leadoff hitter and potential gold glove CF for the next 3 or 4 years overshadows those factors. I don't necessarily agree with Mack's cynical assessment of what our draft picks are likely to yield, but the fact is that the pick is still a long shot to bring us a future star of Bourn's caliber. So, the bottom line is I am hoping against hope that Sandy bites the bullet and goes the extra mile to sign Bourn as long as the deal is reasonable. And to me, reasonable could be as much as 3 years/$40 million, which includes a 4th year option.

Soto said...

underacheivers? Mack this guys (kids) are 18 years old playing in Brooklyn last year....Thats an EXTREMELY aggressive assignment made only by the elimination of the GULF Coast Team.

Mack Ade said...

First Herb... now Soto... there was a time writers here lived with my humor...

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