Should we get excited yet?

No.  No we shouldn’t.

It’s been a week – and certainly an evening – that will foster optimism for Mets fans.  a 15-6 victory in the wintery north, rumors that the Mets are interested in Stanton or CarGo, reports that Matt Harvey may be the second coming of Walter Johnson.  There’s absolutely reason for us all to reflect and smile.

But please stop there.

Three of the Mets’ first series came against opponents that were a combined 211-275 last year and are a combined 7-20 this year.  The only win against their other opponent, the Phillies, came against Roy Halladay.  Some wins have been emphatic, including Friday’s drubbing of the Twins that saw John Buck, a career .237 hitter, smack his sixth home run.  But, as I read recently, this rotation is best described as “Niese, Harvey, and pray for rain.”  As the season wears on, and the level of competition increases (read: Braves and Nationals) I truly believe you’ll see this team regress to the 4th-place club many expect them to be.

The other big story from the week was the rumors from multiple sites, that the Mets were “staying close” to the availability of Giancarlo Stanton and have shown interest in the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez.  While this may be exciting – and I believe either addition could be a risky, but bold move for the team – they won’t come without a heavy price.

Many believe Stanton, and likely Gonzalez, would cost the Mets both Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud before they ever wear a Mets’ uniform.  A premier hitter in the middle of the lineup is exciting to think about.  But if the Mets’ future is as bright as it seems, why not hold on to both prospects, wait for Santana’s salary to dump off the books and go after a big-name free agent to balance what will potentially be both an outstanding rotation and young, potent lineup?

I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but rather a realist.  The Mets aren’t competing this season, and are unlikely to challenge next season.  I love to see the excitement and energy trade rumors and overachieving bring.  But I think we need to simmer down a bit.  No one likes to get to that point in August, or September (or more likely June this year) where you thought the Mets just might surprise us, and we start the free-fall into mediocrity.

So, basically, I’m trying to save you that heartache.  You’re welcome.

13 responses to “Should we get excited yet?

  1. If you asked me at the end of last season, I would have said the Mets are on schedule to contend in 2015 and beyond.

    I would NOT have said the Mets would contend in 2013. And frankly, even with Stanton or Cargo in the lineup, we’d still have the weak back end of the rotation, weak bullpen, and 2/3 of our weak outfield. That is, even with one of those guys, we are still not contenders in 2013.

    So, it would be absolutely foolish and counterproductive to trade away one of our best prospects (let alone BOTH of them) to try to contend this year.

  2. I notice how when you say why not sign a free agent you don’t say who that player might be. That us because there is no premier hitter to sign this offseason jacoby ellsbury is the best hitter available and I don’t think you could even mention him in the same sentence as Stanton or cargo.

  3. A different point of view given that 5 teams last year improved or decreased by 17 or more games.

    I can see Harvey/Niese winning 30 plus games combined
    I can see Wheeler making an impact like other young pitchers have over the last decade
    There offense appears to be better than expected ( I know the competition argument, don’t you think the Yankees all these years fattened up on bad pitchers and teams?)
    There bullpen appears to be better than expected

    Finally unlike last 2 years they have minor league pieces to trade to upgrade at the major league level

  4. Pingback: My Beloved Mets – Should we get excited yet?·

  5. The Stanton and Gonzalez conversation is particularly annoying when their starting pitching consists of the likes of Laffey, Heffner and even Gee looking questionable. I’d rather see them do something about their starting pitching now and leave the Stanton and Gonzalez conversation for when they are even looking like a contender.

  6. If I’m the mets I try and get the speedy CF from the Reds farm system who stole over 100 bases last year.That’s the CF and lead off hitter we need then wait for next year and get the best available bat in free agents and we’ll contend next year.

  7. This post is depressing, you never know, it’s possible to contend, do I agree that it’s unlikely? Absolutely! But this post was unnecessary and a total killjoy, can we just revel in our wins and mope about our losses as they come instead of predicting the outlook, be it bleak or bright?

  8. As I’ve said – certainly a realist. Don’t mean to depress anyone or a killjoy – just sharing my own personal thoughts. @PJ – I didn’t mention any players because I was referring to when Johan’s contract is off the books, which is offseason 2014, not this year. Not easy to predict who will be a FA at that time.

  9. I don’t know how U can say their not going to compete nxt season when this season is two weeks old? Considering how every yr a team that was below .500 competes and becomes a playoff team the nxt yr. considering how many young players the mets have and all the money coming off the books idk how u can say that they aren’t going to compete nxt yr?

  10. Mike, I just don’t see what will really change between now and then. Even with a year of progression, and even with Harvey having the potential to be as good as he seems, there is a real ceiling of potential with this current club. And the competition isn’t going to get any worse. If we played in a different division I might feel differently. Now, free up some payroll, grab an outfielder, shore up the back end of the rotation and I can see it. But that’s not until 2014.

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