Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Lesson For The Mets

This has been quite a busy week for baseball. From the announcements of the major award winners to trades and signings, the offseason quickly started to take shape. One of those trades was the huge blockbuster between the Marlins and Blue Jays.

Among those dealt by the Marlins were Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes. They both signed big contracts with Miami just last year and according to reports they also both received verbal no-trade agreements. The Marlins have many issues in their front office, among them is their refusal to include such no-trade clauses in contracts. Combine that with their constant dumping of any big name player they ever have and you've created an environment nobody is going to want to play in.

Baseball has reached an era where players are looking for job security as much as they are looking for money. Every free agent wants a multiyear deal so they know where they will be spending the next 3-7 years of their life. What the Marlins have done, and what the Mets must not do, is make a habit of making those long-term commitments mean absolutely nothing.

There is a difference between trading Carlos Beltran in the last year of his contract and trading David Wright because you don't want to give him one. It's not the same when a player has had that sense of security from one team for almost 10 years and then it's disregarded. If the Mets can't even lock up their biggest homegrown player since the 1080s then why should any free agent feel secure in this organization?

This also speaks to R.A. Dickey's situation. You'd think winning the Cy Young award would guarantee a return, and it certainly works in the favor of his return, but it does not guarantee it. The Mets have seen what happens when they focus on veterans and it includes uneven play and late-season collapses. Howeve, they have also seen the never ending cycle of rebuild take a toll on the fanbase. R.A. Dickey is an important piece in finding the balance between the two.

Garnering trust from other players is important for any organization. Any group of players with partial no-trade clauses lets you know which teams are respected and which are unappealing. The Mets play in New York. They should be appealing to almost any young player. The same logic should put Miami as an appealing spot for those players. But there's something else that makes me think we'll be seeing a lot more players put the Marlins on their no-trade lists.

Whether Wright and Dickey have contract extensions by the Winter Meetings or jot, the Mets have to think about what trading them would mean. Not just to the on-field results, but to the organization as a whole.

Let's Go Mets!

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