Even before the New York Mets have played their first Spring Training game, GM Sandy Alderson is already laying out expectations for the season by saying that the team is capable of winning 90 games this season. Cynics will be quick to laugh at Alderson, but regardless of how realistic those expectations may be, Alderson is smart to set the bar high.
For starters, Alderson and the Mets handed out close to $100 million to free agents this winter, with most of it being committed to outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Bartolo Colon. After spending that much money and signing two of the most sought-after free agents at their respective positions, it would be foolish for any team not to set the bar high and expect a winning season.
On top of that, Alderson is privy to how talented the Mets are in the pitching department. Despite the absence of Matt Harvey, they have a rotation that includes four quality starters in Colon, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler and Dillon Gee. The Mets also have a deep and talented pool of pitching prospects, many of whom are close to reaching the big leagues and will be able to help the Mets at some point during the 2014 season.
Alderson knows that the Mets have the pitching staff that can put the team in position to win a majority of its games this season, meaning that 90 wins could be within reach.
Alderson also understands that after five straight losing seasons, the Mets may have to combat a culture of losing in the clubhouse — even with the infusion of high-profile free agents and young prospects, many of whom have won regularly during their time in the Mets’ farm system.
With the person in charge of baseball operations setting a lofty goal before the season even begins, it helps to extinguish any thought that this season will end up replicating the previous five losing seasons the Mets have endured. That’s why regardless of how realistic it may or may not be, Alderson was smart to say that the Mets are capable of winning 90 games in 2014.