Remember all that late season speculation about how the Mets were going to be more active in the free agent market this off-season?
At best, it looks like somebody misread the market value of free agents. At worst, it seems like a concerted effort to sucker a fanbase that’s already endured five straight losing seasons of “wait until next year.”
In a market where Jason Vargas commands a four-year, $32 million contract, it’s pretty clear $25-$30 million isn’t going to buy much improvement.
Can Sandy Alderson still sign some cheap, useful players? Sure. He found bargains with Marlon Byrd and LaTroy Hawkins last winter, and to a lesser extent, with Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang during the season. (Of course, he also gave us Collin Cowgill, Brandon Lyon, Rick Ankiel and Aaron Laffey.)
I had to Google to make sure Miguel Socolovich was a real baseball player today after the Mets signed him, but he did put up some nice numbers in a very limited sample size for the Hiroshima Carp this year.
Who knows, maybe Alderson can even work out a trade or two to pick up some help for his major league roster in exchange for prospects.
But at this point, I think the best we can hope for in terms of excitement might be if Alderson forgets about “Super Two” status and arbitration eligibility long enough to let Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard legitimately compete to break camp in the New York Mets’ starting rotation.
Hot stove season looks like another bust, but I’m still holding onto a tiny shred of (mostly irrational) hope that Alderson will finally live up to his “miracle worker” reputation.