Mets Continue To Overplay Their Hand Since 2015 Series

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon can try to spin his payroll anyway he chooses but it comes down to one simple fact: Declaring you want to win and doing what it takes to do so are two different things.

“We certainly want to win,’’ Wilpon told reporters today at Citi Field. “There’s nobody going there trying not to win and not do their best to put us in the absolute best position to win.’’

The Mets’ payroll last year was $155 million and they finished 22 games under .500. It was $135 million in 2016 and $101 million in 2015 when they reached the World Series.

That last year, their Series rotation of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz earned a combined $2.18 million, the odds of repeating which fall into the catch-lightning-in-a-bottle category. That is just plain lucky.

Wilpon said he’s not interested in the Mets being a top-five team in payroll, something we’ve known for years. Instead, he said the Mets are concerned with wins and losses.

The problem when looking at things that way is it reduces 2015 to a fluke season, something the Mets have been riding the past two years.

The following four things conspired to put the Mets into the Series that year:

  • Because of injuries and poor performances, the Nationals had a miserable season in 2015 which gave the Mets their opening.
  • The Mets caught lightning that summer with the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Cespedes had a historic six weeks that propelled them into the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, the Mets tried to parlay that trade with a $110-million, four-year contract that will set them back for years.
  • There was their sterling rotation mentioned earlier. Also, unfortunately for the Mets, that rotation hasn’t stayed healthy, and including the fifth member, Zack Wheeler, those five have yet to make a complete turn.
  • That postseason will always be remembered for Daniel Murphy’s blitz through the National League playoffs. Without it, maybe the Mets don’t get past the Dodgers in the Division Series. Unfortunately, the Mets played hardball with Murphy and let him escape to Washington as a free agent.

While it’s never a bad thing to reach the World Series, a case can be made the Mets overplayed their hand and overestimated just how good they were that season and have been paying for it since.

From signing Cespedes to letting Murphy go to overestimating their rotation it has been one bad decision after another.

13 thoughts on “Mets Continue To Overplay Their Hand Since 2015 Series

  1. I agree with Jeff Wilpon.

    Moves have to make sense in dollars, talent and years. Signing for the sake of signing without attention to consequence is foolish.

    There’s still moves to be made and Jeff Wilpon is open to what Sandy recommends.

  2. Start with extending rather than trading David Wright when they had no money due to the Madoff mess. They could have replenished their farm system with 3 or more top talents and saved the immense amount of money that’s hamstrung the franchise ever since.

    Add to that the tolerance for a truly mediocre manager who for seven years delivered an aggregate losing record — 5 of the 7 seasons.

    • Reese: You’re right, except they would never have traded Wright. They did ignore the breakdown signs and consequently, let Justin Turner get away. Wright and their poor drafting could be on that list, too. Thanks.-JD

      • Justin Turner was a utility player at the time with .Career 696 Mets OPS who couldn’t even get a big league deal after the Mets non-tender. Dodgers later signed him in February to minor league deal with Spring Training invite. They got lucky.

        As for 2015, 2016, 2017, there’s a level of amnesia among subset of the fan base looking back through 2018 set of eyes. 2015, World Series, 2016 Wild Card, 2017 would have been in playoff hunt if not for reams of injury.

        Lest we forget, the farm is in rebuild but was deep with quality players – including Top 100 players who have since graduated, have sustained injury, or were traded. Some of those players are still with us including Degrom, Syndergaard, Conforto, Matz, etc, and others may yet blossom.

  3. Mets have also done terrific job this offseason in changing the culture, medical and field personnel – and bought the Syracuse Cheifs.

    They’ve also upgraded minor league field staff and brought back Omar Minaya for better drafting.

  4. It is appropriate we get this Wilpon statement and Vlad Guerrero gets elected into the Hall of Fame. Anyone remember how in 2004 we heard Fred Wilpon talk about how they wanted to sign Guerrero for even more money than the Angels got but they wanted a “contract on his back”? He ended up being pretty durable. And that was when Wilpon thought he was getting 15% returns guaranteed forever from Madoff.
    Maybe these young arms will be healthy and good. But that’s like funding your retirement by buying lottery tickets.
    One thing I like doing is look at which players got a handful of HOF votes and which got skunked. Jason Isringhausen got 0 votes. So a quarter century of the promise of generation K, Izzy, Pulsipher and Wilson got 0 votes total (and Chris Roberts never made it to the show).

  5. I recall concerns about Guerrero’s back as one of the reasons cited for not making stronger push, but I don’t recall the Mets being Guerrero’s preferred choice – that NYC wasn’t his cup of tea.

    Guerrero really benefited from the DH in that he physically declined at age 30 through a variety of ailments leading to decreasing time in the outfield for the remainder of his career. I don’t recall any of those ailments being back-related.

    But an injury prone equivalent with expensive contract on the Mets today is Cespedes with chronic injury but a force when in lineup. If we had DH in NL, Cespedes would be filling that role at least part time.

  6. Well after 15 they didn’t give Cespedes a 4 year deal. They gave him 3 with a one year opt out which he took over a 5 year deal the Nats offered. Then he took the opt out and the Mets did exactly what you demanded. Sign him quick. Your facts are wrong and your hindsight is good maybe. As for Turner he was a backup they didn’t want because he did silly things Alderson and a Wilpon didn’t like.

  7. And did they really let Murphy go? They offered QO at AAV much higher than the 3/37 he got from DC.

  8. >>Wilpon said he’s not interested in the Mets being a top-five team in payroll, something we’ve known for years. Instead, he said the Mets are concerned with wins and losses.<<

    The team is interested in losses

    We did not want to resign our best bat from our team that went to the World Series. The bat that carried us through the playoffs and crushed our opponents. The bat that fell silent during the series. The bat that has pounded us ever since. We traded for Neil who was pretty good. Offered better defense and more injury prone, but not the same bat.

    What did we do after falling in the series? Nothing. Ownership said, Hey! We made it. Let’s just go with the same team maybe we can get there again. We didn’t. Every year we went in with significant holes in our team.

    We have finally gotten rid of the trainer who has overseen our injuries year after year. Replacing him with his assistant.

    If we look at this year, we replace our 8th inning guy with someone not as good and sign another guy who had one good year. We bring back jay because the market for power guys is soft so we can afford him.

    And we are done.

    Yes, we signed a few minor league guys and a rickety washed up all star to a 500k contract.

    We still have a catching platoon that is not as good as career backups on any other team. We have no player who knows how to play third. We have infielders who we will slot into the corner.

    We have one mlb outfielder who is not injured.

    We return with a rotation of Jake and a Thor we hope will pitch more than a handful of games. Matt who was not even a low A pitcher last year. Steve who lost his pitches and is always hurt and let us not forget Zach who can’t make it to the big leagues on a team that had no pitchers

    We are ready for spring. Thanks Jeff! Thanks uncle Freddy!

    • Oh. I forgot. We have Brandon in the outfield. Just in case mike doesn’t make it on the field before the all star break. Yeah!