Five straight years of disappointing Mets baseball seems to have caught up with the organization. The team's best player left this year via free agency, and the organization is in an abysmal financial hole.
With that said, there is actually some hope for the New York Mets. The light at the end of the tunnel might be distant, but it is indeed there. Young prospects are about to emerge onto the scene for the Mets in the upcoming years, and the team's financial problems can only get better from here on out.
It's safe to say that this team has hit "rock bottom." If that is the case, then there is nowhere to go but up.
Now that I cleared up that the team isn't doomed, I can proceed to answering a question that many people are asking.
Are the New York Mets rebuilding or not?
That question is being asked frequently around Mets universe. An array of reporters asked Mets general manager Sandy Alderson that question several times this offseason. Alderson made it clear that, according to him, the New York Mets are not rebuilding.
Even though I really like Alderson, the truth is that his opinion on this topic means nothing. A general manager of New York knows that he may never utter the words rebuilding in this state. It is a cardinal rule, and he is doing his job by abiding the "rules."
I believe that the New York Mets are indeed rebuilding. Before fans start arguing that you can never rebuild in New York, because in New York you should try to go for gold each and every season, they have to understand that it is imperative for the Mets to rebuild.
Alderson is handling the near impossible task of getting the Mets back on track very well. I applause his efforts and I believe that the team is right on track. The Mets are in a rebuilding mode, but it is not the type of rebuilding approach that Kansas City or Oakland would take.
It's a "New York rebuilding process." Sandy is finding ways to keep the Mets fanbase somewhat satisfied. He understands that in order for the organization to make money, they have to find ways to draw fans to the stadium.
No, that does not mean that the Mets will be having a circus at Citi Field, although some pessimistic fans might call it that.
The 2012 New York Mets won't overwhelm anybody with their talent, but they do have a respectable amount of skill on their roster. David Wright, Ike Davis and a rejuvenated Jason Bay could make up for a considerable amount of star power in Queens.
The loss of Jose Reyes will be extremely tough for the Mets, but they did the right thing by letting him walk. The Miami Marlins offered Reyes a very risky contract. If the Mets would have matched Miami's lucrative offer, then it would've hamstrung the Mets financially for a long time to come.
I was all for the Mets bringing back Reyes, but to a reasonable contract. The Marlins signed Reyes to anything but a reasonable contract this offseason. Reyes is a very risky player due to his past of injuries. The Marlins wound up taking a $100 million risk that the Mets wouldn't of been able to afford to take.
Simple as that.
The departure of Reyes will allow the Mets to allocate that money elsewhere in the future. The "Reyes" money could be used to lock up some of the Mets' young stars in the next couple of years.
The Mets already used a small amount of that money to improve the team's bullpen and add a speedy outfielder. Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Frank Francisco and Andres Torres were the main players that the Mets acquired this offseason.
They're not exactly the big names that Mets fans are used to welcoming to Queens each offseason, but I'm cool with that. The Mets had little to no success with their old approach, and they are now using a different approach.
The Mets acquired the aforementioned players to show fans that they have not waved the white flag for 2012 just yet. The Mets are rebuilding, but that doesn't mean that the team can't contend. A common misconception in baseball is that rebuilding teams give up the present.
That is barely ever the case; the goal for every MLB team at the beginning of each season is to win the World Series. I don't care what their team looks like; every one involved in the organization has their eyes set on winning the World Series.
The Mets are no exception to that. Alderson has a long-term plan for this team, and a short-term plan. Rauch, Ramirez, Francisco and Torres are part of the short-term plan, while losing Reyes was part of the long-term plan.
Alderson is doing a nice job in implementing these two separate plans. He is balancing the two and carrying out all the necessary processes.
Rebuilding is necessary for the Mets, due to their recent pitfall, but they are still trying their best to put a World Series-caliber team out there. While doing that, Alderson and Co. are stocking up draft picks, and evaluating their minor league talent.
The Mets have an ample amount of young talent in the minor leagues, and those players will be contributing soon.
Alderson came to New York to get the Mets back on track, and that's exactly what he's doing. Fans need to realize how he is building this team for the present and future. He is balancing both, and I applaud him for that.
So while the Mets are in rebuilding mode, it isn't a bad thing. It's just that the team has come to terms with the fact that they need to change the way they do business. The team will be exciting to watch this year, and it will be even more exciting and competitive come 2013 and 2014.
Mets fans have a lot to look forward to, and I believe that the Mets have a reasonable chance at being competitive this season. Crazier things have happened in baseball, and the Mets will look to add on to that list in this upcoming season.