Usually teams have a rough idea heading into spring training of what to expect for the season. Not so for the 2011 edition of the New York Mets. They could move dramatically in either direction.
Sandy Alderson said he’s hoping for a competitive season, which means building up from .500 and laying the groundwork for 2012 and beyond. However, in the back of his mind, he knows it is possible he might have to blow up the team by the All-Star break.
With the Wilpons facing legal problems in the wake of their involvement with Bernie Madoff, we won’t know the full impact of their financial situation until after the lawsuits are settled and that could take a long time. While it seems doubtful they will be forced to sell controlling interest of the Mets, we can’t say that with full certainty.
And, with buying limited interest in the franchise not including a part of Citi Field or SNY, where’s the incentive for attracting new investors? That might be harder to pull off than imagined.
But, if things continue to spiral downward, it’s almost a guarantee Alderson might have to sell off some of the pieces on the field to cut costs to attract a new buyer. Carlos Beltran, gone after this season, would be the first to go. Next, I can see them dealing Jose Reyes for chips rather then spring for a long term deal. If the team tanks in the first half and he’s having a good year, Angel Pagan would draw interest.
They will attempt to trade Francisco Rodriguez, but with that $17.5 million option, that would be tough to do. About as hard as trading Oliver Perez. I’ve been hearing about wanting to get out of Johan Santana’s contract, but with him not available until at least the All-Star break, what team is going to want to take that gamble? Jason Bay’s contract makes him untradeable and David Wright, who might command the most, is the face of the franchise. You have to have some assets.
If everybody remains healthy and have good years, winning 85 to 90 games isn’t completely unrealistic. It is what the team is hoping for. You really can’t say building for because they did little this winter
However, if there’s financial pressure on the Wilpons, there’s no telling what this team could look like come July.