Mets Must Spend Money Or Rebuild

Any direction is better than no direction, and the Mets must pick one

Taz and the Moose
August 01, 2018 - 10:16 am

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Tuesday was not a great day for the New York Mets. They were relatively inactive at the trade deadline – opting to keep Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler – and then lost 25-4 to the Washington Nationals, which was, yes, the worst lost in franchise history.

At 44-60, the Mets will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the second straight season. Their 2015 World Series appearance seems like a long, long time ago.

Where does the franchise go from here?

“First of all, I like their rotation,” former MLB general manager and current MLB Network analyst Dan O’Dowd said on Taz & The Moose. “Who doesn’t? Anybody who evaluates talent for a living, you got to like the progress that Wheeler has made this year. You got to hope Syndergaard at some point in time can have a year of health. deGrom is truly, for me, one of the three best starters in the game at this point in time.”

Yet, the Mets went 70-92 in 2017 and are headed toward a similar finish in 2018. Their No. 1 problem, O’Dowd says, is depth.

“The issue that the Mets have is that no one wins in the game anymore without a roster that’s deep 1 through 35 – maybe even 40 in some years,” O’Dowd said. “When you play 162 games in 187 days, the schedule is just brutal. It’s a game of attrition. Even if they run out a quality front line next year, even if they go out and spend the money to sign Manny Machado – which, if they’re going to keep this core together, they need to go out and add an impact aircraft carrier in the middle of the lineup. But they still don’t have the depth. They have not accumulated depth within their organization.”

If everyone stays healthy, depth is unnecessary. But not everyone stays healthy.

“When you have injured players, you can’t go get players in your system that are negative-WAR players,” O’Dowd said. “So when you just look at the model, the model is not built to be able to compete in today’s baseball. You can deny the reality of the situation you’re in all day long; you just can’t deny the consequences of the reality of the situation you’re in. Eventually it catches up to you. 

“So they got two choices right now,” O’Dowd continued. “They’re going to have to spend significant (money to) create that depth, or you just have to take the talent base that you have that you know can bring back impact players and you’re going to have to go through a rebuild. But you got to set a direction. You can win with multiple directions in the game. You just can’t win with the inconsistency of no direction. That’s impossible.”