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.

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3 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.

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