Whether it is time for the Mets to rebuild is becoming a much more frequently asked question.
To better decide on that, 3 sub-questions should be asked.
1) Are the Mets, as currently constructed, at least competitive, if not highly competitive?

Answer:  No

2) Is the farm system so talented that it is about to result in a resurgence?

Answer: No

3) Is the competition weak enough to compete as is?

Answer: No

Based on that, I say that yes, it is time to rebuild.
To briefly elaborate on question 1:

The Mets are not competitive now.  Period.  

Theoretically, they could have been.  But they needed a lot to go right, mostly for Yoenis Cespedes to stay healthy and prevent the offense from sinking into a morass.
But No Show Yo has only played in about 50% of the over 220 Mets games since signing that huge contract.  The Mets have free fallen to just above the bottom in runs scored, and is it realistic to expect them to hit better than a bottom 10 offensive team from here on out in 2018?  No.
The Mets have had 2 superb stretches this year (starting the season 11-1, then going 5-1 in one six game stretch about a month ago). The other 47 games? An atrocious 12-35 (.255).

The Mets have gone 17-36 in their last 53 games, 4-18 in their last 22 games. 

What has made this 22 game swoon so bad, probably the worst ever of the many, many swoons in my 56+ years as a Mets fan, is that in virtually all of those 22 games, they have had good-to-great starting pitching. 
Give that same starting pitching to a hitting and bullpen juggernaut like the Yankees, and perhaps in those 22 games they are 17-5.  Or better.
The bullpen with Ramos and Familia out is clearly substandard, and the starters can go only so long without Thor, who may or may not miss considerable time.

On question 2:

One only needs to ask oneself, which Mets minor leaguers are you salivating to see here this year and next?  Think that way, and you get dry mouth, no offense to the players in the system since you guys did not draft yourselves, the Mets did.  Few guys stir that prospect-is-coming excitement.

On question 3:

I look no further than 19 year old Juan Soto (who, when thinking about him, inspired me to write this article) and the Braves' young studs. 

Soto has not only been sensational thus far, he is (almost more importantly) hardly striking out!  No errors, too!  He has superstar written all over him, and the Nats have other saliva-producing prospects. 
So do the Braves, who besides a great farm system and great recent drafts, already have Albies, Acuna and Swanson in Atlanta, requiring fans at games to get those dental suction tubes in their mouths to whisk away huge amounts of excess saliva.  They have Freddie, too! 

Remember the days of Chipper, Smoltz and Maddox?  We could never catch the Braves then, and we may not  again for perhaps years to come.
Those are our immediate competitors.  Uh-oh!

And there are only so many Wild Cards to go around.

We cannot compete while employing the same strategies!
What to do?
Understanding that rebuilding North Korea might be easier:
The Yankees would have to extremely covet our crown jewel Jake deGrom, who could bring them multiple championships on a Yankees mound. 
If they are willing to trade Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar in a trade involving Jake, I am listening.  Add what you need to from the Mets side to make it happen.  Don't want to deal with the Yanks?  Who else has a king's ransom for the Mets for Jake?  Nothing less will do, or he stays.
If you have cause for real concern that Thor can remain healthy, trade him also to another team for a king's ransom.
I would HATE to lose both of those pitchers, and if I felt the Mets could remain competitive and not have to trade them, I just wouldn't because elite pitchers don't grow on trees. 
Both, especially Jake, could be Hall of Fame caliber with extended health.  And what is there possibly to not love about deGrom as a Mets fan? 
Choose between an in-his-prime Tom Seaver and Jake?  Please don't ask me something that hard.  Seaver by an eyelash?  Perhaps.
If you are not going to trade the two aces, then sign Bryce Harper and Manny Machado this off season.  Go huge.  Screw the budget. 
Let's move on:
Joel Sherman just suggested Jay Bruce for Bryan Shaw
I say who knows, but why not? 

Shake it up. Let's keep moving.
Trade Asdrubel Cabrera this June or July - get him healthy post haste.  By the time this team gets good, he'll be old.  Let him help someone else.
Ditto Jeurys Familia - get him healthy, and sell him to the highest bidder.
Michael Conforto may need a prolonged dose (minimum 30 days) of AAA to get going.  Do it - it worked once before.
All of this would likely lead to super levels of losing in 2018. 
So, do it - get the # 1 pick - the meteoric descent of this team gives them a real shot at the worst record.
Tell Justin Dunn and David Peterson that they will, like Juan Soto, get to the major leagues as fast as they can be ready.  Their abilities alone dictate their timetables.  Screw Sandy's trademark  patience. If you are ready this year, get on up here.
Call up Peter Alonso and Jeff McNeil ASAP - in case you were asking, they were on base 5 more times on Wednesday, and McNeil also lined out to deep right. 

Of course, the Queens offense is so potent, we could understand wanting to wait until 2021 to bring them up, right?
Release Jose Reyes NOW, for Pete's sake (and for Jeff McNeil's sake, too).  "No Team For Old Men."  Shut down the old age home in Flushing.
Draft more power arms, like this year's draftee 100 MPH de Oca, and more power bats. 
But, of course, don't be simplistic - study what every other top 10 team drafting-wise over the past 10 years to see what they did right while the Mets did it wrong, and try to copy their approach. 

Study success.  Producing what one respected baseball writer just said was the Mets' propensity for producing C+ prospects ain't success.

Right now, remove Alonso and McNeil from the equation, and the Binghamton, St Lucie and Columbia Mets farm teams are hitting just .235 with 84 homers in 192 games.  Self-explanatory.
Without a well-functioning pipeline producing real major league hitters and pitchers, you are forced to do things like signing guys to 4 year, $112 million contracts who are most likely to lead the majors in two categories:
1) quad injuries
2) games missed due to advancing age causing breakdowns.
Oh, and biggest suggestion of all?
Sell to a competent ownership group. 
Jeff Bezos created Amazon.
Jeff Wilpon couldn't create the Post Office.
Leader competence (and brilliance) matters - fact of life.
As the Book of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time to tear down and a time to build up. 


Mack Ade said...

Morning Tom -

You would think that even these guys would wake up one morning after loss after loss and agree with you.

Maybe the McNeil and Alonso move is a tune-up. I do not know. I think Sandy and Company will take this team into the abyss with old vets, huge DL lists, and AAAA additions.

Viper said...


I agree in that you to start over and trade Jacob and Syndergaard becuase the Mets won't spend big in the off-season in order to get better. So why waste deGrom's and Syndergaard best years on a losing team?

But this is the one BIG PROBLEM I have with this rebuild possibility.
Sandy Alderson would be the one making these trades and as the architect of this mess, I don't trust him to do this. He is part of the problem and should be the first one to go.

Thomas Brennan said...

If that abyss gets us to the # 1 pick, I would at least see that as an unstated strategy.

But calling up Alonso and McNeil in, say, 4 weeks would either 1) pleasantly surprise us, or 2) result in Smith/Rosario growing pains - growing pains that would lead to losses, which lead towards #1 pick land.

Hard to believe after starting 11-1, but with 95 games to go, currently sitting at 28-37 has the Mets in the # 7 draft slot. The Mets are well within reach of four of the 6 other teams (3.5 to 5 games).

Of the other two teams, the Mets currently "trail" # 1 Baltimore by a significant 10 games and 2015 World Series winner KCR by 7.5 games.

If not # 1, a top 3 pick would be nice.

Thomas Brennan said...

Viper, I agree. My guess is that until season's end, it is Sandy.

Do you have any available GM type you can suggest would be better than Sandy now, because this rebuild could start within weeks? Perhaps Minaya?

I think Reese wants Terry Collins myself :)

TexasGusCC said...

Tom, I will answer to some of your points:
1. JdG for Torres and Andujar seems unlikely. Andujar, Frazier, Sheffield, and maybe one more is possible, but it would take a king’s ransom.
2. Conforto will not breakout in AAA. That league is too easy for him. He needs to stay in the majors. Players slump, it’s not changing.
3. The bullpen has to be re-evaluated, but so does Callaway’s usage. Last night, for example, Robles is rolling and a man on first with two outs. He just struck out Jake Lamb, a better hitter, but you take out Robles in a non-threatening situation for able ins and Sewald? Why? And this isn’t second guessing, because I was annoyed immediately.
4. Ramos is gone, forget him. Sewald should go. Oswalt and Peterson should come back up. Put Vargas in the bullpen already and leave Lugo alone. Bullpen: Familia, Swarzak, Gsellman, Vargas, Blevins, Peterson, Oswalt, and one more.
That’s all I have for you now. But yes, sell off Familia, Cabrera, and Bruce for Shaw.

Eddie Corona said...

Oh man... this was like a letter from Patton... I even had to check to see if this was a Reese article...
I am with you TOM... Blow it up... Thor for sure... I hesitate for Degrom but let do it too...
Lets not make the Wright Reyes mistake over again... Fire Sandy get Cashman, Theo's, or the Cardinals right hand man in and lets move forward...

Mack Ade said...

OK -

Say you do this and you want to send to Queens all the chips that are ready.

Starters - none

Relievers - Bautista, Smith, Peterson

Catcher - none

Infielders - McNeil and Alonso just got to AAA. Other than them, ex-chip Colon could be given a look see

Outfielders - Kaczmarski

That is it folks.

Mack Ade said...

The rotation is fine.

Stack up Crismatt, Dunn, and Peterson in Binghamton by the end of the year to await a 2019 entry point.

Reese Kaplan said...

You get the dynamite. I'll light the fuse.

Mike Freire said...

Amen, Tom!

It is time, but I share the concern that others have about who would be authoring the rebuild.

Sandy? Eh, not so much.

So, the rebuild should start at the top with the Wilpons (not likely), or at least a different GM.

Adam Smith said...

This is all so damn depressing.

Thomas Brennan said...

Adam, "This is all so damn depressing" was my next choice for my article headline LOL. Man, though, my brother is SO disgusted and depressed over this. Me? I pay attention less than my articles would lead one to believe.

Eddie and Mike, what can you say when, other than the two concentrated hot streaks, the club is 12-35? R..E..B..U..I..L..D

Thomas Brennan said...

Texas Gus, always enjoy your comments. I was actually agreeing with what you said with how to handle Conforto (keep him here) but wrote what I did to see if anyone would react. Not surprised you did!

The rest of it, however, I meant 100%.

I like your idea of Vargas to the pen, too.

Warner Wolf today said he felt that Mickey's use of the bullpen has cost the Mets 6 games, and that he has to stop making decisions like he has the Cleveland staff here. Maybe - I hardly listen or watch when the pen comes in - who needs the agita - but the starters have to do whatever is possible to stretch another inning out of the same # of pitches. Or moan when the pen screws up your start.

TexasGusCC said...

Where did you hear Warner Wolf? I haven't seen that guy since he did sports on CBS channel 2 when I was a kid in Brooklyn.

Here is my problem with blowing it up:
You blow it up when you have old players and no system. You have young players and no system. So, you reload. Look at the Braves. They kept Freeman and loaded around him. Besides, are prospects guaranteed? No.

Wasn't TDA a top prospect that everyone wanted? What happened?

Wasn't Zack Wheeler a top prospect? What happened?

There aren't sure things with prospects, so tread carefully. Look at Lewis Brinson. Top prospect that now is being ragged on. Keep your good players, trade the ones in their last year, and reload.

Thomas Brennan said...

Wolf was on Len Berman show on WOR.

Rest of what you call for is sensible. It helps to not be snakebit.

Mack's Mets © 2012