Robert K, a reader of MetsBlog
I can’t get a read on where you stand on free agents, Matt. Do you feel a guy like Robinson Cano is ever worth a 10-year, $300 million contract? In your post this morning it read like you were against it. I’ve also seen you dismiss other players as never being worth what they ask for on the open market. If you were GM, how would you handle the free agent market?
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Excellent question, Robert. Thank you for asking this. I think it’s hard to get a read on my position, because it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. And, you and I may often differ on player values, which is also how it works in the market place.
In the world of $90-100 million budgets, like the Mets, I agree with Sandy Alderson that is only wise to carry three — maybe four — players making more than $15 million a year with multi-year commitments, such as David Wright. That said, I understand the importance of star power in New York City where entertainment dollars are at a premium. I’m intrigued by the mid-market guys we keep reading about, but still think the team needs to make a run at one of the premier free agents. I’m OK with the idea of a mid-level acquisition, in this market and at this point in the plan, but I’d rather fill the void and have the name than leave money on the table…
However, in regards to a player like Cano demanding that type of contract, I do think it’s crazy — but not totally crazy.
If the Mets are at least a few years and several meaningful parts away from legitimately contending for a World Series — I’m talking on-the-cover-of-SI type expectations during Spring Training — it makes zero sense to spend tens of millions of dollars on guys that will get you from 75 wins up to 80 wins. If they ink that player early, when they’re finally ready to go from 80 wins to deep into October, that player will likely be fading and earning most of his money during the unproductive back-nine of his career. To me, the type of contract Cano is asking for is a total waste and can actually derail a team’s overall plan more than it can help.
But, if I’m able keep my budget flexible, and able to add significant talent every winter, when it’s time to go from 85 to 90, 95 or 100 wins, I can go all-in on that era’s Cano to make a run at the World Series.