Cuban defector, Jose Abreu, will be one of the top free agents in a very thin market this off-season. For the Mets, the slugging first baseman might be the best fit of all, costs considered.
We briefly discussed Abreu yesterday, and it’s a topic that will likely become exhausted by November. Writes Joe D at his MetsMinors.Net site:
“While posting some of the most prodigious offensive numbers in Cuba over the last four years, even more impressive than Yasiel Puig, Abreu is just now about to enter his prime production years. His potent righthanded bat would be in the middle of any major league lineup and nobody questions that. His impact on the game will be immediate and immense.”
Of course, for those of us who lived through Kaz Matsui and any number of other disappointments, we know there are no sure things when it comes to players unproven in MLB. There will always be risk, always be busts. In this case, there’s also huge upside.
So what do you think, Mike? Interested in adding a big bat to the middle of the lineup, while solving the first base problem in the process? Does the notion of not trading some of our young pitching appeal to you? Matthew Pouliet at Hardball Talk suspects the contract could ultimately exceed $80 million. It’s only money, right?
Although you joke, one interesting facet of signing Abreu is that it is only money. No need to trade any players, or even forfeit a draft pick. Considering the team’s posture during the Bourn negotiation, this should increase our interest.
As we’ve seen, these pitching prospects go down like flies. It’s not like the organization has that many to spare.
I’m not heading down a new road here, so here I go again. Signing Abreu would be a signal to the fan base that the ownership is serious about winning and that they are solvent. It has been years since either of those things have been clear. We hear nonsense about how winning a few more games the rest of the way will invigorate that same fan base. You want to invigorate the fans, make a committed move. Considering our market, how low our payroll has dropped, and our need for a player like this, it’s sad how hard this gets looked at. You mention the bad signing of Kaz Matsui. Yes, sure, that did not work out, the money was virtually a waste. But so what? Stuff happens. We signed Kaz to a three-year deal after the 2003 season and that move killed us so bad we had our only Division win this century, in 2006. We took our losses on Kaz and moved on, as a solvent business does when it has an individual problem. Eventually every move can’t be do-or-die, because you die from the inactivity the associated fear creates. It does not have to be this guy, but soon, very soon, it needs to be a guy. Otherwise the Wilpons should just sell already, before I have to go find them in the parking lot. I’ve done it before.
Of course, neither of us believe the Mets will do it.
I haven’t seen anyone who thinks we will be involved.
Following the seasons put up by Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes, I have to compliment Mr. Abreu on his timing. He’s primed for a monster payday with a lot of big spenders bellying up to the table. Teams that want to win. Hard to imagine Sandy Alderson having the stomach for that. Alderson is all about risk management. He likes the safe, three-yard pass, not the long bomb. There’s also a bit of a prude in him, a snobbery similar to Joe McIlvaine’s old disdain for free agency. “Checkbook baseball,” Joe sneered (and Steinbrenner’s Yankees proceeded to take back the city of New York).
A lot has been written about the Bay/Santana money coming off the books, but $45 million isn’t what it used to be. They might as well take the old contract, cross out Santana’s name, and write in “Matt Harvey.” Soon enough, with Harvey and Wright, that’s 50% of a $90 million payroll. The New York Mets can’t continue to be outspent by the likes of the Orioles, Braves, Reds, Brewers, Nationals, Blue Jays, DiamondBacks, etc. Meanwhile, revenues are down. It’s time to jump-start the franchise . . . or get out.
The New York Mets are a business that receives major subsidies from the City of New York. Whether I agree with that or not, it is fact. A baseball team is also not like McDonald’s, where Burger King is a flat-out competitor. All major league teams are one consortium, and they need each other to profit.
For the people of New York and major league baseball to allow the Wilpons to have three or four years to rebound from Madoff was very generous. Time’s up, they either need to start running this team like the big-market team it is or get the hell out of here already. We know Selig loves Fred, but Bud’s bosses have to be getting sick of this. The Mets being like this is costing every team in baseball real money.
If the Wilpons cannot run this team properly, they need to sell it. There will not be a shortage of buyers. If they were to sell this team, people would never think about our payroll again.
Nobody in their right mind would buy the Mets and run it on the cheap. It’s like buying the worst house in a beautiful neighborhood. The first thing you do is laugh at the dumb previous owner. The second thing you do is invest in the property. Just ask the Dodgers. And one of their investments was in Yasiel Puig, and it is paying off handsomely.