Mets GM Sandy Alderson hinted at Wednesday’s press conference that the Yoenis Cespedes deal indicates a change in philosophy for the organization.
Let’s hope so. Long accused of running things on the cheap, Alderson said the $75-million contract should change that perception.
”Sometimes we have a habit – we do in an organization and fans as well – of thinking about the guys we have now, but thinking more about when we’re going to lose them than enjoying the moment,” Alderson said. ”That moment hopefully lasts two, three, four, five years. But I think maybe if the Cespedes signing says anything, is that there are no possibilities that will be dismissed out of hand strictly for financial reasons.”
In particular, let’s hope that will apply to signing their young pitching to long-term contracts. The popular sentiment is the Mets can’t keep them all, referring to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.
Maybe not, but the can try to keep them for as long as possible.
”When you’re talking about long-term deals with younger players, there needs to be sort of a mutual interest in doing so,” Alderson said. ”And typically we find out about that mutual interest a little bit later, closer to spring training or even in spring training. So, we’ll just see if that happens.”
Harvey, signed for $4.325 million, will be 27 in March and a free agent after the 2018 season. His agent is Scott Boras, whose reputation is to test the market and not leave money on the table. He’ll be the first test.
Then there is deGrom, (28 in June) who will be arbitration eligible next year and a free agent following the 2020 season. Syndergaard (24 in August) and Matz (25 in May) could become free agents after the 2021 season. Wheeler (26 in May) could become a free agent following the 2019 season.
Money will be coming off the books when the contracts for David Wright, Cespedes and Curtis Granderson expire, but the don’t the Mets have to replace those players as well?
The market for pitching doesn’t seem to show a ceiling, but if the Mets’ core perform to their potential, they’ll test it.