Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Billy Wagner.
These are a few of the superstar players the Mets brought into their struggling organization during a spending spree in the mid 2000’s. The players were imported in hopes of changing the face of the franchise, and the fans were ecstatic and excited about the potential these players brought to the team.
The players built success for a short period of time, and the moves translated into a division championship in 2006. The team carried the success into 2007 and 2008, but the team was unable to wrap up the division in either season and missed the playoffs on both occasions. In 2009, a seemingly promising team was hampered by injuries that sidelined the stars, and the real problem of the team emerged: Depth.
The team lacked depth in 2009, something that came in handy for the team in the magical 2006 season and at times throughout the next two seasons. By depth, I don’t just mean talented players on the deep end of the depth chart. I am talking about the players who came through in the clutch to complete the team. Remember Jose Valentin stepping up, or Endy Chavez’s late inning defense? How about John Maine coming out of nowhere as a rookie, or the inconsistent Oliver Perez finding a groove in the final game of the NLCS?
Mets fans and writers have grumbled about the slow-paced front office this off-season, about why they haven’t locked up Jason Bay or acquired a proven and reliable #2 pitcher behind ace Johan Santana. The fans claim that the team needs to have more depth.
But what I don’t understand is that the fan base full of hypocrites, as well as newspaper writers, complain day in and day out about the small moves the Mets have made this off-season, including the move to sign potential set-up man Ryota Igarashi. The fans have responded by saying, “That’s all you can do?” They say these small moves are not doing enough and that the team is not taking the right approach to the off-season. But these small moves should be answering all of their “depth” questions, because signing these guys are doing just what everyone asked for.
So what do you want, Metropolitan fans? Big-name players? Cheaper options to fill in the gaps? How about just fielding an all-around balanced team that includes some pricey additions while having enough padding for another injury-plagued meltdown?
Last time I checked, this team already has superstars in place such as David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran. With all of the superstars already set in stone, what is left to do? You do the math.