Before the Winter Meetings begin next week in Florida, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the New York Post this week that the team would be bringing back players to bolster their lineup for next season, but he was quick to caution fans.
"I will guarantee you we will come back with some new players," Alderson said. "I can't guarantee you how high-profiile they will be."
Oh boy. We already knew that the Mets would not be players for the bigger names on the free agent market—namely Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford—but after that, the talent drop-off is enormous.
The Mets, desperately in need of starting pitching, have recently been linked to names like Chris Young, Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis, all of whom have recent injury history which will make them potential low risk/high reward-type players.
Reportedly, the Mets only have $5 to 10 million in spending money this offseason, making the likelihood of multiple deals unlikely. It also means the Mets will only be able to offer one-year deals to whatever players they're targeting, which might not be a bad thing considering the players.
Aside from the starting rotation, which as of this moment consists of Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese, the Mets also need to work on their bullpen.
Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano turned down the Mets' offer of arbitration earlier this week, increasing the likelihood he wont be a Met next season. Though Alderson has said the Mets will try to re-sign Feliciano, there are going to be plenty of teams offering him multi-year contracts.
One thing you can say about Alderson is that he's being realistic. He's not telling fans that the Mets are going to be able to sign big-name players or greatly revamp their lineup for next season, but he's not saying they can't contend either.
"We don't have a lot of money to fill out the last five of six spots on our 25-man roster," Alderson told the Post. "I would say not a lot of flexibilty, but that doesn't mean we can't be optimistic and competitive about next season."
Unable to sign big players, the Mets may be forced to look inward for solutions to their problems. That could mean giving Oliver Perez (I'm getting nauseous writing his name) a chance to earn a spot in the starting rotation.
Other possibilities include Kevin Millwood and Vincente Padilla.
Whatever the Mets accomplish next week, it's not going to be flashy or exciting. But then again, that hasn't been their style in a long time.