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Only a few things in life are certain; taxes, death and the New York Mets are a mess. With the Wilpons’ money problems stemming from the Madoff scandal and the remnants of Omar Minaya’s spend first worry later contracts coming off the books at the end of this season the Mets have already started there “rebuilding” process of trying to get this team to where it should have been in 2006, a World Series.
Sandy Alderson, the new GM, brings with him business and baseball savvy that the Mets have sorely missed over the past few years. Every deal that was made by Minaya never panned out as it should have no matter how big the free agent. Even the two that have payed off, Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana, still give Mets fans a reason to cringe.
Beltran outperformed the massive 7 year $117million dollar deal he received back in 2005, but if you ask any Mets fan and I’m sure they’ll tell you they remember the curveball from Adam Wainwright that froze Beltran like a deer in headlights. Santana was everything and more when he was signed, which was the best pitcher in baseball, but injuries and age are starting to catch up with this once prized-off season addition.
Alderson has trimmed away the fat left from Minaya and done it the right way. It started at the beginning of the season when Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez were simply released, though still under contract, so as to free up roster spots for other players. He continued this by trading once prized closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named and getting another obnoxiously big not well thought through contract off the books.
Alderson kept the trend going by making a huge splash near the trade deadline by dealing Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. These moves should allow for enough wiggle room for the Mets to attempt to re-sign their high energy shortstop Jose Reyes who’s contract is up at the end of the season.
Alderson has got this team headed in the right direction. He’s looking ahead and planning for future seasons, while still attempting to put the best talent out on the field without breaking the bank to do so. With pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Wheeler, and prospect Brandon Nimmo who was taken 13th overall in this years draft in the minors the Mets are looking a good core group of players to lead them in the coming years, hopefully alongside Jose Reyes and Jon Niese who is quickly becoming the most consistent pitcher in the Mets rotation. Alderson already knows what Minaya just couldn’t seem to figure out.
Spending the most money on talent doesn’t mean you will have the best team. Hopefully now with Alderson leading the helm Mets fans will finally have something to really cheer about, a contending baseball team.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/chamberoffear/