Today at Major League Baseball’s annual winter meetings New York Mets manager Terry Collins declared that Curtis Granderson, the newly acquired Mets outfielder will bat cleanup in the upcoming season, followed in the lineup by either the Mets first baseman or the Mets other free agent pickup Chris Young. Mets fans, this is horrible news.
It is not horrible news that Granderson will bat cleanup, given the players the Mets have been rolling out in the 4th spot in the order in recent years, it is a tremendous upgrade. It’s not even horrible news that Chris Young, a man with a resume that includes a 30 home run campaign, will bat fifth. It is disturbing that Collins can say it in December.
I understand that Collins does not make the personnel decisions, that is the job of General Manager Sandy Alderson, but I am assuming that Collins is in the know when it comes to organizational decisions. There’s no way Terry Collins should know what his batting order is going to look like come April. To me this is an organizational admission that the team is done adding legitimate Major League level talent to the roster, something that is just not acceptable at this time, not before the winter meetings are even over. Mets fans will not, and should not, accept that this as the finished product of this off-season, there are still too many holes in this lineup that need to be plugged. Is the team improved from last season? Probably, but Mets fans have been sold on the premise that when the tremendous amount of money tied up in the contracts of Jason Bay and Johan Santana was freed up Alderson would re-invest it back into the product on the field. That time has come. If Alderson is done making Major League roster moves of note then he has lied to the fan base. Curtis Granderson and Chris Young do not even come close to making up the salary that is coming off the books and the very least Mets fans should accept is a payroll equal to last year’s squad that won just 74 games.
I must admit thus far I am pleased with the signings the Mets have made this off-season. The Chris Young signing is a low risk, one year deal with some potential to be a steal if Young can return to the form he had a few years ago, and the Granderson deal provides the team with a stable, proven commodity. It’s a good start, but Sandy Alderson can’t be finished bringing in Major League players and expect the team to be drastically improved, but from what was implied by Collins’ statement, he is.