The Athletics’ and Mets’ payrolls are similar, only $6 million separate the two teams, but 11 games separate them in the win/loss column. Why is that? Billy Beane has perfected his “Moneyball” scheme, and Oakland has consistently been one of the best teams in the American League the past five years. Coco Crisp, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick have turned into stars on the west coast, and there is no reason why that can’t happen in Flushing.
When Sandy Alderson took the Mets job, he knew that they were strapped for cash after the whole Bernie Madoff scandal. The Wilpons continue to limit the amount of money that Alderson can spend, so he needs to do it wisely and effectively for the Mets to have any chance of competing in the National League.
Alderson was Beane’s mentor in Oakland, and Paul DePodesta, the vice president of player development and scouting, was Beane’s assistant. Sabremetrics are taking over baseball, and the Mets need to start crafting a roster that is conducive to this new way of thinking. They have tried by taking flyers on free agents who have had success in the past, but unfortunately for the Mets, the signings of Chris Young, Eric Young Jr. and Curtis Granderson haven’t panned out the way they had hoped, but that’s all part of the process.
The A’s have always been known for their pitching as they lead the American League in team ERA at 3.11, and that will drive their success this season as they have to be the favorite to reach the World Series. The Mets have that sort of pitching in place with Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee, Noah Syndergaard, Jake deGrom and Rafael Montero. If Beane had this stockpile of pitching, he would trade one, if not two of them to bolster the lineup. That’s what Alderson needs to do. It’s clear that their lineup is the weakest part of their team, so Alderson should pick the two pitchers who they value the least and trade them away for a big bat.
Hopefully in a couple years, the Mets could be competing for the NL East crown, but in the meantime, they need to take a good hard look at what the Athletics are doing because they should be the Mets model for success.