I wrote the other day to not expect the Mets go crazy next winter when the contracts of Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and possibly Francisco Rodriguez come off the books. Sandy Alderson pretty much confirmed that this week.
“Our payroll going into the season will be somewhere between 140 and 150 million [dollars],’’ Alderson said.
Then he drooped the other shoe.
“I think that’s significantly higher than we’d like it to be on an annual basis.’’
With the Phillies’ spending beginning at over $160 million for this season, can the Mets realistically expect to compete if they want to go “significantly,’’ lower?
With Alderson not defining what a significant reduction will be, it doesn’t take a stretch to reason the Mets don’t figure to spend extravagantly in the market, but will use the farm system to develop their team.
Building from within is the preferable way to go, but requires considerable patience and luck. To make it work, as San Francisco did last year, one must also develop pitching and the Mets don’t have any major league ready arms in the near future.
Building from within also requires the willingness to shop the market to patch the holes and in that regard we don’t know of Alderson’s aggressiveness when it comes to pursuing free agents. Even if the Mets slash their budget next year, he’ll still have greater resources than he did in Oakland and San Diego.
When he was hired, Alderson said he understood New York was a different animal and he had act to keep the fan base interested and excited.
So far, we’ve been told to wait. And, we’re hearing it again.