This has been a particularly quiet off-season in the Big Apple, from the second Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees and signed with the Phillies, up until the recent signing of 3B Eric Chavez yesterday .
Both the Mets and Yankees are usually thrown into the fire of the hot stove every offseason, one more successful than the other, but this year had a different feel.
Maybe it was due to the lack of quality (top 3 Free Agents were OF Carl Crawford, OF Jayson Werth, and SP Cliff Lee) with the exception of Lee, whom the Yankees did everything in their power to acquire, the other two guys, while being great players, just aren’t superstars.
Or maybe it was the lack of money? In the Mets case this was definitely the reason. As you have probably heard the past few days about the Mets involvement in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-Scheme, the team is in a big hole financially. Even before that came out, the team had said from day one there were to be no over spending of money and or big trades this offseason.
The Yankees on the other hand have money, and were willing to spend it. It just seemed that the Free Agent class was very weak, and with the two top FA offensive players (Crawford and Werth) who got HUGE deals from the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals, the Yankees just didn’t feel they fit their need. From day one the offseason was pitching, pitching, and more pitching for the Bombers, with the question mark of AJ Burnett and the inevitability of Andy Pettitte retiring (just announced it yesterday) the Yankees staff behind CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes may look worse than the Mets 3-4-5 starters (Jon Niese, Chris Young, and Chris Capuano)
This offseason the big additions for each club are as such.
Mets- SP Chris Capuano, SP Chris Young, UTL Scott Hairston, C Ronnie Paulino.
Yankees- RP Rafeal Soriano, RP Pedro Feliciano (Ex-Met), (Minor League deals) SP Bartolo Colon, SP Mark Prior, SP Freddy Garcia, 3B Eric Chavez, INF Ronnie Belliard.
Sure both clubs had to resign key players such as SS Derek Jeter, RP Mariano Rivera, SS Jose Reyes (1 year option) and avoid arbitration with SP R.A Dickey, OF Angel Pagan, etc.
This offseason just never garnered the attention as it had in the past, maybe both clubs are feeling the wrath of the recession?
The Mets have $51.5 Million dollars coming off the books next year owner Fred Wilpon *CANT WAIT* (Bart Scott Voice) with the likes of CF Carlos Beltran, 2B Luis Castillo, and SP Oliver Perez coming off the books. They could also save a big chunk of change declining the option of RP Frankie Rodriguez.
While both teams didn’t break the bank this year, I can honestly see both teams being competitive all year (barring injury obviously) and yes, I mean the Mets too.
So maybe money doesn’t buy championships……but it sure does help.
Bring on Baseball, and bring on the spring.