2011 Organizational Rankings: #21 – NY Mets

An organization in turmoil, the Mets nonetheless have the assets to make the turnaround on a short time frame. It’s hard not to like the new management in place, and a new stadium in that market with those resources – the pain can’t continue can it?

Present Talent – 78.33 (t-16th)

Mets Season Preview

Future Talent – 65.00 (t-26th)

Mets Top 10 Prospects

Financial Resources – 76.54 (18th)
Baseball Operations – 72.50 (t-16th)

Overall Rating – 75.79 (21st)

New York Met fandom, self-mutilation be thy name. There’s something about following a team that hasn’t won in a while that turns you against them in a strange way. Doom and gloom settle in, and cynicism abounds. New GM? Ah, he’ll screw it up. New manager? Well he’s not a true Met. New pitchers on the cheap? Yeah, they’ll be injured by May. New stadium? Oh, doesn’t matter if the team sucks. Money to fund one of the most expensive rosters in the game? Yeah, but for how long?

But aren’t some of the non-talent pieces in place? Sandy Alderson has worked his magic with the small market Athletics and Padres, and now is at the helm of a nine-digit roster for a team with a beautiful stadium in a large media market. There’s no reason that a team with those resources shouldn’t be able to spend smartly and find their way to contention. Even with a poor minor league system and an injury-riddled veteran roster, the light should be on the horizon.

Except for that whole Bernie Madoff situation. Cue a return to the cynical Mets fandom. With the newest clawback filings demanding more than a billion dollars from the Mets owners, their financial situation is suddenly cast back into doubt. That has led to the Wilpons offering up a minority stake in the team – but willing investors at that level seemed hard to find at first. Now that some are in town looking at the financials, many don’t like what they see. On the heels of the revelation that Bud Selig helped the team with a confidential $25 million loan earlier this offseason, this news doesn’t paint a rosy picture of the team’s cash flow.

All of this negativity comes despite the fact that Forbes magazine valued the team at $747 million, the fifth-highest in baseball. A closer look at Forbes’ list reveals the same fissures, though. The Mets were one of two teams that lost overall value last year, and they had baseball’s second-worst profit margin in their yearly budget. The Mets also have a 60% debt-to-value ratio. If you only actually own about two-fifths of your worth, you’re not quite rich. That’s one of the lessons of the last decade, perhaps.

So maybe a lot of the darkness among Mets fans is justified. Even with some bounce-backs from the present veterans like Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay, and maybe a step forward here or there from Ike Davis and Jon Niese, it’s difficult to move a likely third place team much further up than 16th in present talent. Even if you like Wilmer Flores and Jenrry Mejia a little more than some, the Mets system is not stocked full of top-end talent. And now it’s become obvious that even though the Mets have money in some respects, they also have money problems. Maybe Alderson’s small-market skills will come in handy after all.

One thing is for certain: It may not be hard, but it’s also definitely not easy being a Mets fan.

With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Zummo
11 years ago

This seems fair to me. Of course it’s infuriating looking at the financial resources ranking when you know the team should be no worse than third, but under the current circumstances, that ranking is fair, maybe even generous depending on how things shake out.

With Alderson at the helm, though, I am optimistic. The team was basically a .500 team last year (+4 run differential) and they got better through subtraction. They’ll be an 84-ish win team, which I can live with, and with the dead weight of a lot of bad contracts coming off the books this year and next, they’ll be okay for long-run contention.