Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mets Will Struggle To Attract Free Agents

While I fully grasp the fact that the Mets didn't sign a free agent until the Winter Meetings last year, I find it just a hair troubling that there has been little if any buzz when it comes to the hot stove.  I also understand that the team can't commit what little funds might be available elsewhere until the future of Jose Reyes is decided.  Still...this offseason just seems different.

I've accepted the fact that the Mets and their fans likely face a two to four year rebuild, but as I review what has happened over the last 18 months, I'm not so sure that the organization has a choice in the matter.  There is no minor league talent to bring up to fill the voids in the current roster.  As a result, there are no trades to be made for major league ready talent.  So that only leaves free agency...  Unfortunately, the idea of joining the Mets isn't as appetizing as it once was.

The fact of the matter is that the almighty dollar rules free agency.  More often than not, free agents find their way to the franchise offering the most lucrative contract.  Those days are over, at least for the time being, in Queens.  With declining attendance numbers and the potential for an exorbitant amount of money lost in the Madoff lawsuit, the Wilpons simply don't have the money to spend.  As a result, the front office is resigned to sniffing out bargains..and by bargains I mean players with high potential, a cheap price tag and few suitors.

The second biggest issue facing the Mets when it comes to the free agent market is the direction of the team.  It has been widely reported that Jose Reyes is concerned with where the team is headed.  And why shouldn't he be.  If the Mets won't be in a position to contend for a World Series for at least four years, why would he or any free agent make signing with the Mets a priority.

If it won't be the money or the potential for success, whats left?  Fortunately for the Mets, they still playing in the largest baseball market in the world.  Any player looking to cut their teeth in a high pressure, highly rewarding market may find the Mets an attractive fit, but finding players who fit that mold, who aren't seeking top dollar are few and far between.

As I've said before, the Mets' front office has its work cut out for it.  With the exception of Jose Reyes, the market for what ails the Mets is extremely weak.  Over committing to sub-par talent is something Sandy Alderson is adamant against doing.  So if its not going to be the money..if its not going to be the franchise itself..whats it going to be?  How is Sandy Alderson going to get it done this winter?

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