In a report for the Daily News, John Harper asks, “If you were betting on baseball futures over the next five years, including 2013, would you put your money on the Mets or the Yankees?”
Harper polled three executives who said they’d be tempted to bet on the Mets, although if their careers were on the line, they would ultimately vote for the Yankees due to their unwillingness to trust the Wilpons over the long-term.
In addition, according to Harper, the executives he spoke to believe the Steinbrenners will forget their goal of keeping their payroll under $189 million if they have a disappointing season in 2013.
“What happened the last time the Yankees didn’t make the playoffs (in 2008)? They spent a zillion dollars on free agents and won the World Series. If they have a bad year they’ll forget that 189 number in a hurry,” one executive told Harper.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:
It’s certainly a compelling debate, with neither argument providing absolute answers for the next five years.
On the one hand, the Mets have acquired and developed an exciting crop of young, hard-throwing pitchers, and ultimately pitching plays a major role in a team’s success, regardless of how much is spent on them. The Mets are also attempting to build their product from within, something the Yankees have been able to do successfully despite their frivolous (and often fruitless) spending on free agents over that time. In all fairness, while they’ve spent a ton of money on external talent, the Yankees’ ability to at least make the playoffs in all but one year since 1995 suggests they have done a great job in their team building strategy. Now, given their stated goal of reducing payroll, their existing contracts for aging players, and questionable talent coming through the minor leagues over the next few seasons, it remains to be seen if that will continue for them. But that should not mask the success they’ve had over the last 20 years; that is a course I hope the Mets are on with their new team building strategy.
The question is — as the Yankees have done — will the Mets augment their crop of young starting pitching by developing better position players, as well as consistently acquiring players from the outside to fill their holes on the field? The Wilpons have said on several occasions over the winter they expect payroll to rise after the 2013 season, but from a fan perspective, it’s fair to be skeptical about their declarations based on what has happened over the last few years. Nobody knows what will ultimately transpire from a payroll standpoint, nor can anyone predict if the Mets can make external investments in a fiscally responsible manner if the budget does expand.
But if the Mets follow through on the promise and the hope, and begin to make wise investments from the outside, I’d bet on the future of the Mets any day of the week…