The 2013 Major League Baseball season is finally over, and the Boston Red Sox have won their third World Series trophy in the last nine years. I’m happy for my friend Bart, who has been a Red Sox fan all his life, but mostly I’m ready to start looking ahead to next year.
Although considering Jeff Wilpon‘s comments this week, I’m not quite sure why.
In the Newark Star-Ledger, Jorge Castillo writes:
We’re in “a little bit of transition because we have definitely deficiencies that we have to fill this offseason and the ability to do it,” Wilpon said, describing the state of the franchise.
Yet in Newsday, Marc Carig reports that the Mets will likely again use some combination of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Wlimer Flores and Josh Satin at first base, one of the team’s “black holes” in 2013.
Wilpon first identified four players he considered “locks” for the 2014 roster; David Wright, Zack Wheeler, Jonathon Niese, and Dillon Gee. He later added Murphy, Travis d’Arnaud and Juan Lagares to that group.
So, with the exception of Bobby Parnell, pretty much every decent, potentially healthy player on the current roster would appear to be untradable. It’s going to be hard to bring back good players if the only “trading chips” are really spare parts for a Triple-A team.
Considering the question marks surrounding the Mets’ financial situation and Sandy Alderson‘s apparent unwillingness to pay market prices for free agents, I’m not looking there for any significant changes, either.
Will Alderson finally start moving prospects along faster? It seems like Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard should get a legitimate chance to win spots in the starting rotation next year if Wheeler, Niese and Gee are the only veterans in the picture. Some might argue against “rushing” players, but is it really rushing them to give them a chance to see if they can help the big league team?
Michael Wacha was the NLCS MVP for the Cardinals and started games in the World Series in his second year as a pro. He was drafted seven picks after the Mets chose Gavin Cecchini, who spent the year playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
I have the feeling that despite Wilpon’s words, we’re going to be looking at essentially the same team to start 2014 that we saw on the last day of 2013. I hope I’m wrong, and I really hope that if I’m right, they find some way to overachieve. A lot.