The 2009 Major League Baseball season ended just about a month ago, and with the New York Yankees capturing their 27th championship, the offseason officially began.
It seems like forever ago, especially for Mets fans, as their favorite team's season was basically over before the leaves even began to change color, but indeed it has only been about a month.
So the hot stove season has basically just begun, and with that said, what the hell are the Mets waiting for?
Think back to last offseaon in the Big Apple. The Mets had collapsed at the last minute for the second consecutive season, and the Yankees had missed the playoffs for the first time since the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Both teams made splashes in the free agent market, but think back to what the Yankees did that offseason.
The organization, so embarrassed by their exclusion from October baseball, barely waited for the final out of the 2008 World Series to offer CC Sabathia a huge contract. Brian Cashman and company even outbid their own offer when they didn't hear back from Sabathia's camp right away.
In other words, the Yankees made it no secret that they needed CC Sabathia and proved that they would do whatever it took to put him in pinstripes, period. The Yankees also proved to their fans that they would in no way accept mediocrity, and they would do whatever it took to bring the Yankees back to the top of the baseball food chain.
As it turned out, the Bombers did land Sabathia, along with AJ Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher, which ended up landing them another World Series title.
So one year later, after the Mets find themselves in a similar position as the Yankees were in last season. They are coming off of a disappointing season, they have a large amount of money coming off of their payroll, and the best available free agent just happens to be a perfect fit.
So again, what the hell are the Mets waiting for?
Sure, the past few seasons have proven that there are plenty of bargains to be had for teams that are willing to be patient, and it is also true that Omar Minaya has proven that being patient can lead to huge rewards (i.e. the Johan Santana trade, the signing of Francisco Rodriguez), but still, the Mets are in no position to be patient.
The Amazin's are coming off a 90-loss season, a season in which they were believed by many, including Sports Illustrated, to be a favorite to win the National League pennant. Not to mention, Mets fans had to watch two of their most hated rivals, the cross-town Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, battle it out in the World Series.
The Mets have too many holes to fill to let the quality free agents slip away to other teams. They also have a fan base, who after sitting through what may be the most disappointing three year period in team history, are getting more and more disgruntled and restless. Having your owner come out after the season and pledge to improve the team and then sitting on his hands once the free agent period begins is not what this team needed.
This team needed to make a splash, and they needed to do it immediately.
Only a month into this offseason, it is way to early for Mets fans to panic, but it's not too early to be disappointed. Maybe the Mets will land a Matt Holiday, or a John Lackey, or an Orlando Hudson. Heck, they may even eventually land all three, however unlikely that may be. But no matter what happens in the end, as each day passes, Mets fans will become more restless, and the reality of the Mets being noncompetitive in 2010 becomes more likely.
Only a month into this hot stove season, and all is quiet in Queens. And that, my fellow Mets fans, is a bad sign.