In an out of nowhere move, the type Alderson likes best, the Mets swooped in (with a crane) and nabbed their largest signing of the off-season... by pound. Ok so the fat jokes are out of the way. Bartolo Colon last year was very impressive. We all know the background of PED's, yet what one can never be certain of, was his current production a byproduct of those roids?
"Colon was suspended 50 games during the 2012 season for elevated testosterone levels. That was reportedly the result of a stem cell injection into Colon's right shoulder that helped to reinvigorate his career when he was with the Yankees in 2011."
So what about 2013 where he posted numbers that most #1's would be envious of? Of course they are suspect for two reasons. One we just discussed with the possible continued links to PED's? Two, he's ancient and could break down at any time.
The Mets signed a similar pitcher years ago, minus the PED issues, in El Duque who was quite productive in his tenure for the Mets. They don't really compare in anything except for both were guys who were "past their prime" but they compare in one other way. The Mets made that move when they were set to win now. Is this team moving in that direction?
Matt Harvey's injury of course seems to have forced this move but in some ways it was smart for the Mets to make this move a 2 year deal. I am of firm believe that Colon could have had a 1 year deal for the price of 15M per year, so in my way of thinking the Mets got him for the 2nd year at a rate of 5M. Of course considering how the Mets keep the books that most likely won't be how it is sold in 2015. The Mets current rotation minus Harvey is Colon, Wheeler, Niese, Gee and Mejia with Thor and Montero just waiting their turn. That's more quality depth than the Mets have had in years. When Harvey comes back the Mets will still have all of these pitchers (if they so choose) and Hefner who was re-signed to a minor league deal just as I expected. Not to mention arms such as Matz and Fulmer who could easily be in the positions that Montero and Thor are in this off-season. That my friends, is was and always has been PART of the plan. Of course the main part was saving the Wilpons from extinction. But I firmly believe that the path Alderson chose to complete that was to get the Mets back on the map with pitching depth and once having payroll flexibility, use it wisely.
Time will tell if the signings this year were wise but I would like to point out what they have done.
Chris Young 1 year 7.5M
Granderson 4 years 60M $13 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015 and 2016, and $14 million in 2017.
Colon presumably at 2/20 and 10M per.
Again, the Mets have kept that payroll flexibility that Alderson believes is so important. Will the moves work? In some ways that part is trivial.
Next on the list very well could be Stephen Drew. While like Colon, I am not a huge Drew fan, it appears the market may have came back to Sandy. In this age, all GM's seem to value their picks and having compensation tied to Drew while not to Peralta seems to have again hurt the better player. At this point the Mets would only have to forgo their 3rd round pick to sign a starting SS solution for multiple years. In fact a 3 year deal for Drew would fit perfectly in the model above assuming the Mets do what is likely and trade Murphy and Davis freeing up 8M or more. If Drew is signed for 3/30 (I have no idea at this point) then you have actually obtained a SS solution for the team at a cost of only 2M. Would I like to trade Murphy, no not really. However, there are in-house solutions that are much closer to MLB level players than the Mets currently have a SS and the trade market for those could be barren.
So what could the Mets have?
Granderson/C Young/Lagares/E Young/Puello/MDD/Brown OF
That also is more depth than we have seen in previous years.
Add into that the likelihood that the Mets would seek bullpen pitchers in return for Davis or Murphy and that area could be bolstered as well.
Of course all of that could blow up in their face. Someone else could snag Drew but the point remains it does in fact appear that the Mets did indeed have a plan this off-season. We don't have to like the plan but after years of questioning was their a plan besides saving the Wilpons, it is nice to know there are at least subcategories to that plan.