Feb 25

Until The Product On The Field Improves, Mets Attendance Will Continue To Decline

mets fans

Josh Kosman of the NY Post is reporting that the Mets won’t have much money to play with this season and are expecting to lose more than $10 million this year as well as suffering a fifth straight year of declining attendance.

“There is little room this year to raise salaries,” said a source familiar with the team’s finances told the Post.

Last week, principal owner Fred Wilpon told reporters that the Mets’ money woes were over and suggested that he had the resources to boost payroll and sign some major free agents if that’s what Sandy Alderson chose to do.

“While attendance is expected to be down,” Kosman writes. “The team is banking on a small uptick in gate proceeds in its second season of so-called dynamic pricing, which allows ticket prices to be adjusted on the fly based on supply and demand.”

As I’ve said repeatedly and will say again, unless the product on the field improves, fans will continue to stay away. People don’t flock to ballparks and lay out a hundred bucks a game just because a team’s farm system ranks in the top ten. What matters most is wins and the players they pay to see.

As I’ve preached for the last two years, it looks like payroll will in fact be around $80 million in 2013 counting dollars that are actually being paid out. In July of 2011, many of my readers were aghast at that projection and yet here we are.

Next season, the Mets will have about $30 million in payroll commitments, give or take a few. Does anyone really expect Sandy Alderson to go out on a $70 million dollar spending spree? I don’t.

Read Kosman’s full article in the New York Post here.

Nov 11

Josh Thole Will Most Likely be Back In 2013

Yesterday at the GM Meetings, Sandy Alderson spoke with reporters and emphasized that while he gets perhaps a little more payroll flexibility than he originally anticipated, that it still doesn’t change much about the kinds of players they can acquire this winter, and that they still will be looking at the bottom of the free agent market pool.

Mike Puma of the New York Post added that with regard to catcher, Alderson also said they will likely be keeping Josh Thole because of how difficult it is to find just one catcher, let alone two.

Thole, who earned $498,000 in 2012, is arbitration eligible and could easily double his salary and earn close to one million dollars in 2013.

As we highlighted on Mets Merized Online, it’s slim pickings at catcher. I keep hearing many Mets fans mentioning the name of Blue Jays elite catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud as a potential target for the team. But they have as much inclination to trade their top prospect as we do Zack Wheeler, so unless we’re talking a swap of top prospects, it is unrealistic to view him as someone the Mets could potentially go after.

Any team that has a solid catcher that they are willing to trade understands the scarcity of quality at that position and would demand a premium in return and rightfully so. We would do the same in their position.

As far as Thole goes, he’s cheap and has very little offensive value, but he’s shown a good ability to catch a knuckleball, and has developed a good relationship with R.A. Dickey.

Nov 05

Cody Ross To The Mets? Don’t Bet On It.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, The Mets could target free agent OF Cody Ross this winter.

“The Mets have a glaring need for outfield help”, Puma points out, and “multiple baseball officials yesterday pointed to Cody Ross as a possible free-agent target for the team.”

The righthanded hitting Ross batted .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in 476 at-bats for the Red Sox this season. He was particularly effective against lefthanded pitching against whom he batted .295/.373/.636/1.010.

Ross, 32, signed a one-year deal with Boston last season for $3 million dollars.

While the Mets had shown interest in Ross last season, when he was coming off a poor .240 campaign with the San Francisco Giants. I simply can’t see that level of interest now when he will be much more costly and is lobbying for a 3-year deal, although I’m betting he won’t get more than two years guaranteed. Click to view odds. If Ross does get a third year it most likely will come in the form of a vesting or team option.

They way things stand now, the New York Mets can’t even afford to bring back Scott Hairston who proved to be the only productive player in their outfield. It’s a shame that a team that plays its game in the sports mecca of the world, New York City, are not only going to let an outfielder like Scott Hairston walk, but that they are still grappling with extending their face of the franchise David Wright and their ace R.A. Dickey as we speak.  How palling and frustrating is that?

Anyway, getting back to Cody Ross, I just don’t see how he can fit into the team’s budget unless a significant player was traded to make room for him on the payroll.

It’s common knowledge that the Mets have only about $10 million or less to spend this offseason which makes it difficult to see how they can net someone like Ross who will cost in upwards of $5-6 million per season and that he’s looking for a multi year deal.

Then there’s the other question of whether Ross would even choose to play for the Mets over the 6-7 other teams who are said to be very interested in him including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

I think this is a great rumor to entertain Mets fans, Ross would certainly fit in very nicely. But unfortunately it’s a rumor that has no legs.

Aug 13

Mets May Trade Scott Hairston Before September 1st

Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes:

The Mets have yet to place Scott Hairston on waivers this month, according to an industry source, which makes sense. It figures that the Mets want to reap the benefits of Hairston for a while longer before putting him through the waivers process, at which time they’ll have a decision to make.

That time will come by Aug. 31, and really, the Mets’ decision should be simple. If they want to send the correct message to their fans, they’ll trade the righty-hitting outfielder.

The Mets must cease worrying about small goals such as finishing at .500 or better, or keeping their fans mildly interested through the regular season. Given where they are in their development — in need of myriad key pieces — they need to think about a bigger picture.

And Hairston is the one player whose value could be maximized at this juncture of the season.

Of course we should trade him, but as far as getting max value for him, that ship sailed when Alderson told teams he wanted one of their top three organizational prospects for him.

Because of his unrealistic and preposterous stance he blew a golden opportunity to help the team fill anyone of a dozen different sore spots.

The areas this team needs help in have doubled under his tenure and even something as basic as one everyday outfielder is nowhere on the horizon.

Now, he’ll end up trading Hairston to the lowest bidder instead of the highest bidder because that’s how waivers works. It’s just another blunder in a season full of them for this front office.

But what really irks me is the comment Alderson made alluding to the fact that Hairston had priced himself out of the Mets plans for 2013. You say that, and know that, and yet you STILL hung onto him because you feared the team needed him more than the return we could have gotten for him? Smart, real smart….

Go ahead and trade him now for the next Chris Carter…

Unreal…

May 25

R.A. Dickey Wants A Contract Extension

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, R.A. Dickey would like the front office to pick up his $5 million dollar option for 2013 and begin negotiating a contract extension, saying:

“I like it here and I want to be here. I feel like the team is moving in the right direction, and I want to be a part of the solution. Now it’s up to them. If I’m in their plans, [a contract extension] is one way to make it known. … I made the comment before, when I signed my contract, that it was my hope to be the best bargain around. It looks like it’s kind of come true the last couple of years.”

I love R.A. Dickey and by all means pick up that option, but as far as negotiating an extension goes, how can you do that while refusing to discuss an extension with David Wright?

During the recently completed road trip, Wright told reporters that the Mets have never approached him about an extension despite several overtures from him that he wants to play his entire career with the Mets.

I just don’t see how 37-year old Dickey gets a new contract before 29-year old Wright. You get my drift?

Written by Drew Staley of Mets Merized Online.