A Clay Bottom

By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper

Are Matt Harvey and David Wright looking to the future?

Shortly after All-Star Break, the Mets activated Matt Harvey from AAA Buffalo to start for the big boys at CitiField.

Last week, Collin McHugh had a make a spot start from Buffalo as well, to be sent down again (presumably to be recalled when rosters expand on September 1st).

When people point to the future, and to perhaps support the direction the Mets are going, they point to the Carlos Beltran trade for Zack Wheeler.  The ability to shed a large contract for essentially a half-year rental (and no arbitration option) for one of the best pitching prospects around is not something to shake a stick at.

Yes, when we look to the future, we point and say, hey things are looking a little bright.

I don’t want to be alarmist, or alarming.  But the question I have is…if you’re excited about building a team, and the future…which is cool to think about…don’t you need to build around the future?

It’s a fair question.  Harvey, Wheeler and McHugh can be the next incarnation of Seaver, Koosman and Gooden.  How good the team will be is contingent on how the smartest guys in the room build around them.

It’s also a loaded question, given constraints on this team.

Adam Rubin tweeted that earlier today, about $100 million will be devoted to payroll in 2013.  There’s this lingering idea that somehow, rebuilding doesn’t work in New York, yet that’s exactly what we are seeing.  Sort of.

Rebuilding won’t work anywhere in the United States of America (or Canada, if you’re counting Toronto), however, if the right supporting parts aren’t there.

We were lucky enough to bear witness to this in the 1980s, when Frank Cashen wasn’t afraid to make good moves.  It also took him four years to make some indelible mark before the team started winning.

David Wright questioned the moves of the front office, and wondered what the Mets’ plans are for the future.  It’s a fair question, since Wright would eventually like to play on a winning team.   But like the fans, this team has failed him more each year without a clear plan.

Can’t say there is not a clear plan for the future, we are just unaware of one.  Without one, though, it won’t matter how good Harvey, McHugh or Wheeler are in the future.  It won’t matter if David Wright is offered a boatload of money and years, and R.A. Dickey becomes the grounding force of the pitching rotation for years to come.

Without a clear plan, all the Mets will have is a clay bottom foundation to support the youth in the future.


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