There’s something about the Frazier signing that revitalizes the whole feel of the Mets organization and the team. And with just one or two more moves, the Mets can move from an also-ran to a full-fledged competitor for a Wild Card spot in the playoffs. Are they willing to go that far to get that far?
In terms of intangibles, the New York Mets will get everything imaginable from Todd Frazier. As a right-hand batter in a left-handed juiced lineup, automatically he gives the team a different look than before his arrival. Suffice to say; the Mets are a much better team with Frazier than without him, both on and off the field.
But as with any new arrival on a team, a difference for games in the win column are the only measurement that matters. What’s the difference if the Mets, for instance, finish the season at 79-83 or 80-82, or for that matter 82-80. Is it an improvement over last season? Of course. But so what?
Everything changes, though, when you tack on a mere seven wins to those 80 and the Mets suddenly find themselves in the throes of the Wild Card race in the final two weeks of September. The trouble is no one player, including Frazier, can account for those seven wins by himself. Ergo, we need another player or two to push the team over the top.
It’s the job of Sandy Alderson to find and sign those players from the free agent talent pool. Trades are out the window because the Mets unless they want to part with a front-line starting pitcher, have nothing to offer. And why would they want to do that? And there’s no sense in getting into a long-winded discussion as to who those players are. They’re out there, Alderson must find them.
Another consideration is that In many ways, this is a now or never season for the Mets. The NL East is correctly tagged as the weakest division in baseball, but it won’t be for long. Both the Phillies and Braves are in the midst of restocking talent and will be in the thick of things as soon as 2019. The team will likely lose Matt Harvey and the free agent years of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are not far behind. Help is on the way in the minors, but not for at least two and possibly even three years.
Sorry, but back we go again…
All of which puts us back in the familiar territory of querying if the Mets, and in particular, Jeff Wilpon, is willing to take that extra step, which when translated means spending a few more bucks. Here’s the thing to remember, though. The Mets will never, ever lose money this season or any other season no matter what their payroll is.
Thank heavens we have Forbes around to set the record straight with this snapshot showing the Mets take from revenues at Citi Field alone:
As Bob Dylan forecasted long ago, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and in this case, we don’t need anyone to tell us that $168 million is a far cry from the make or break, keep us out of the poorhouse rallying cry from the Wilpons of $125 million.
But that is not even the key number. The $75 net revenue (after expenses) is what we should be focusing on, because that’s money in the pockets of you know who.
By now, their situation should be clear to everyone. First, as stated before, the Mets will NEVER lose money in 2018, even if all the of the Yoenis Cespedes T-shirts that go for God knows what catch on fire in the warehouse. Yet to counted are the TV revenues coming to the team (estimated by FanGraphs) to be another $46 million back in 2016 (higher now). I’m not an actuary, and we could go on, but you get the idea.
And here I am again wishing upon a star. The Wilpons and Saul Katz (the other culprit in the triage) are still, and MLB is letting them get away it, socking money away as a means to recover the millions they lost in their ill-fated schemes with Bernie Madoff.
This, when the question we should be asking is what’s another $20 or $30 million over your so-called bottom line payroll of $125 million that could (no one can say it will) put the team you say you love over the top. And with the excitement generated among fans this season looking to regain a spot in the playoffs, and after that, who knows what could happen?
Back to Sandy Alderson, though. Because if he doesn’t put something on the table for Jeff Wilpon to consider, the whole discussion becomes moot.