Thursday, July 28, 2011

Comparing '04' to '11'

After three disappointing years in which veterans aged, free agents didn't work out and the biggest headlines were about the manager and GM's egos clashing, the first half of 2004 saw a positive response from the fan base. On July 30, 2004 the Mets were six games out of the wild card spot and first year GM Jim Duquette decided to become a buyer.  The result was the Wiggington and Kazmir trades, neither of which trade worked out for the Mets who were never truly in the race that season to begin with and never got much from the likes of Chris Benson and Victor Zambrano.

The situation is eerily similar this season; it's been four years since their last playoff appearance, the two past seasons have been so disappointing they have a new GM/Manager and are playing an exciting brand of baseball that has fans excited about the team while keeping them about six games out of the wild card.  That's where the comparisons end, with a veteran GM who can see the bigger picture and isn't just concerned with keeping the fannies in the seats through August, the Mets aren't making bad desperation trades. Instead of being buyers, Alderson has been a shrewd seller, wisely picking and choosing the moves he makes.  This isn't a fire sale where the main concern is the bottom line, in fact both moves that have been made the Mets sent money to those teams to improve their returns. 

This is a rebuilding process on several levels, the Mets have moved players with value or who are on bad contracts.  They are restocking the farm, while investing money saved in draft picks who are signing over slot, other money saved can be used this off season and the players replacing those traded now will be evaluated on the major league level. 

This team has as much a chance of making the playoffs as the '04' team and regardless of how the season turns out, they now can look forward to having Zach Wheeler and whoever they obtain from the Brewers in the system.