The Metsí rhetoric should spark concerns

Ominous Rumblings From the Mets

9/28/13 in MLB   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Sep 11, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Shin-Soo Choo gets ready to bat in the dugout during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY SportsAll along, there has been the implication that once Jason Bay’s and Johan Santana’s salaries were off the books and the non-productive veterans were gone from the Mets, the team would be ready to spend to improve the team. While not out-and-out saying that the club would be heavy players in free agency and trade talks in the winter of 2013-2014, GM Sandy Alderson heavily intimated that the payroll constraints and conscious decision not to overpay for short-term quick fixes would no longer be in effect. Now there are anonymous sources making ominous suggestions that it’s going to be more of the same for the Mets.
 
Adam Rubin wrote on ESPN.com that the Mets have no intention of pursuing players who have draft pick compensation attached to them – whether the Mets’ pick is protected or not – to sign a big name free agent except for Reds' outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. In addition, Rubin reports that the Mets won’t go over four years for Choo. That’s a lot of caveats to get an in-demand free agent. If this is factual, then the Mets are not going to get Choo. It’s not simply because Choo’s agent is Scott Boras. It’s because a four year deal simply won’t get it done no matter who’s representing Choo.
 
There will be major names available via trade this winter. Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Josh Willingham, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Matt Joyce could all be in play. With Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Kemp, there are significant financial commitments. With Kemp, it’s likely the Dodgers would be very reasonable in terms of the return in a trade if the team acquiring him takes all or most of the remaining $128 million on his deal. He’s a legitimate star player with a big personality whose looks and talents would put him on billboards in New York. Are the Mets even willing to explore that? Or will there be another excuse proffered to placate the fans who are dim enough or hopeful enough to believe it for another year of 73 wins?
 
There’s a level of politicking and lurking disingenuousness that is becoming evident in Alderson’s skillful, Nixonian rhetoric. He doesn’t say anything specific in either direction and will never back himself into a corner. There’s a constant state of plausible deniability in everything that comes out of the GM’s mouth. This should be a grave concern if they’re already dropping hints that the winter of stepping forward might actually be a winter frozen in the same place the organization has been for the past three years. 
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