Spring training is finally here. In National League East camps, pitchers, catchers and even some position players have reported and optimism is in the air.
With the bleak financial situation owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are in thanks to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, Mets fans have reason for pessimism as the parent club readies for the 2012 campaign. New York's payroll is expected to drop by a record $50 million this season and many questions abound.
Still, despite the Wilpons' austerity program, spring should be a time when players and fans alike dream of success and better days ahead. It will be especially difficult in the NL East this year because every team in the division seems to have improved. On paper, the Mets seemed destined for last place.
With that said, here are five moves general manager Sandy Alderson can make that won't cost the Wilpons an arm and a leg and could make Terry Collins' squad more competitive than they are presently...