Well the winter meetings have come and gone, once again proving there is nothing that can replace the actual game of baseball. The business of baseball is boring as we read and listen to rumor after rumor, few of which ever pan out. One minute R.A. Dickey will be traded for a power bat, the next minute he will be signed to an extension. Wake me up when Spring Training finally arrives. The Winter Meetings really is nothing more than a lot of hype. Look, a lot of work gets done. I’m sure Mets GM Sandy Alderson has laid the groundwork for a lot of deals, some of which he will make. However, the Omar Minaya days of winning the Winter Meetings is officially over—thank goodness.
I hear Mets fans complaining that Alderson sat on his hands and did nothing. First, what exactly should he have done? Should he have handed Mike Napoli 39 million for three years like the Red Sox did? Give Shane Victorino, who had a terrible season in 2012, 39 million for three years? What are the Red Sox thinking? Seems to me Boston’s farm system has run dry and signing free agents to excessive deals is their only way out—they hope.
Secondly, the trade deadline is not the end of the Winter Meetings. The Mets can still sign free agents and make trades into spring training. The expectations from the media in regard to the Winter Meetings are way out of whack. I love MLB Network but folks over there in Secaucus—you’re not the story. The game and its players are. Ken Rosenthal actually blasted the Yankees because they made no deals. Are you kidding me? Finally, the Yankees show some restraint, unwilling to pay ridiculous salaries to mediocre players, something they have always been criticized for doing, and now they are being scalded for not doing so. What? Is Napoli or Victorino really worth ten million a year?
Alderson, unlike his predecessor Minaya, rarely shows his hand. I would never want to find myself on the opposite side of a poker table from him. He, with his staff of superstars, is very calculated. He does not rush in and make a deal for the sake of making moves or to satisfy the fan base. Remember when Minaya signed Jason Bay? Sure the Mets need an outfielder at the time but did he really need to give Bay that contract which has hampered the Mets for so long? Most Mets fans like the deal. It soothed their winter woes. But winning the off season is not what this is all about. Except for the Caribbean and Australia, the game is played in the summer. That’s when it counts.
Five years from now when the Mets are contenting on a consistent basis, Mets fans and the media will understand the ground work that is being laid today. I realize the process is slow. We want a winner now. But the Mets organization was in complete disarray when Alderson took over. He decided to rebuild from the bottom up, not the top down. The Mets scout and draft better now. There is an organizational philosophy in place. The talent feed system is being built so that it can feed the major league club or foster deals to bring in the type of players need for a winning team. But it takes time and the Mets are slowly but surely getting there. This is the way the Cardinals have done it. So have the Giants, Rays, Rangers, Phillies, Braves, and yes the Yankees. Their core, responsible for so many post season runs, was home grown. The Red Sox did it too but frankly I don’t know what they are thinking now up in Boston.
And let’s not forget resigning David Wright. That was crucial. The Mets needed to show their fans they were willing to invest in their future and keep their one true star in place. There is no Met who wants to win more than Wright, who remains one of the elite third baseman in the game. What he means to the team transcends what goes on in the field.
The future is bright. A team that can sustain success year after year does not happen overnight. But when it arrives, Mets fans will be grateful even if nothing happened during the Winter Meetings of 2012.
Here’s a list of Mets currently playing in the Caribbean. Click on the names to see their stats.
|Francisco Pena||Aguilas Cibaenas||Dominican||Catcher|
|Juan Lagares||Aguilas Cibaenas||Dominican||Outfield|
|Scott Rice||Estrellas de Oriente||Dominican||Pitcher – L|
|Jeurys Familia||Gigantes del Cibao||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Elvin Ramirez||Gigantes del Cibao||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Domingo Tapia||Gigantes del Cibao||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Aderlin Rodriguez||Gigantes del Cibao||Dominican||Third base|
|Armando Rodriguez||Leones del Escogido||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Justin Turner||Leones del Escogido||Dominican||Second base|
|Pedro Zapata||Leones del Escogido||Dominican||Outfield|
|Jenrry Mejia||Tigres del Licey||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Jordany Valdespin||Tigres del Licey||Dominican||Second base|
|Gonzalez Germen||Toros del Este||Dominican||Pitcher – R|
|Jefry Marte||Toros del Este||Dominican||Third base|
|Ismael Tijerina||Aguilas de Mexicali||Mexican||Short Stop|
|Juan Carlos Gamboa||Caneros de los Mochis||Mexican||Short Stop|
|Marcos Camarena||Tomateros de Culiacan||Mexican||Pitcher – R|
|Carlos Vazquez||Venados de Mazatlan||Mexican||Pitcher – L|
|Greg Burke||Yaquis de Obregon||Mexican||Pitcher – R|
|Juan Centeno||Atenienses de Manati||Puerto Rico||Catcher|
|Mark Cohoon||Criollos de Caguas||Puerto Rico||Pitcher – L|
|Randy Fontanez||Indios de Mayaguez||Puerto Rico||Pitcher – R|
|Tomas Nido||Leones de Ponce||Puerto Rico||Catcher|
|Wilmer Flores||Bravos de Margarita||Venezuela||Short Stop|
|Carlos Coronado||Caribes de Anzoategui||Venezuela||Pitcher – R|
|Luis Carreno||Caribes de Anzoategui||Venezuela||Pitcher – R|
|Miller Diaz||Leones del Caracas||Venezuela||Pitcher – R|
|Wilfredo Tovar||Navegantes del Magallanes||Venezuela||Second base|