The Mets will not be pursuing big free agents


From the Department of Not Particularly Surprising Affairs, the Daily News reports that the 2011 Mets are gong to look a lot like the 2010 Mets:

familiar with the team’s thinking say the Mets believe they have too
much money committed to their roster next season – at least $130
million, much of which will go to players who have not performed – to
seriously consider spending heavily on free agents.

Off the table, Andy Martino says, is Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth.

Werth being off the table is no great loss, inasmuch as the Mets did the “sign the corner outfielder on the wrong side of 30” thing last year and found it wanting. Lee and Crawford would be nice additions, though. But again, we’ve suspected that the Mets won’t be playing that game this winter for a while. Having it confirmed like this, however, has to be somewhat deflating.

The Mets are caught in a no-man’s land between being a high-payroll contender and a rebuilding team with a bright future.  If they can’t jack the payroll even higher in an effort to spend their way out of this mess — which, while inadvisable and distasteful could, theoretically, work — then they should tear things down to the foundation as soon as possible and start over.

Kris Bryant wants to be Cubs’ player rep, vows to “fight” for next collective bargaining agreement

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Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was one of the most prominent examples of service time manipulation in recent memory. He was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball going into the 2015 season by Baseball America. He then had an incredible spring, batting .425 with a spring-high nine home runs and 15 RBI. The Cubs, however, didn’t add him to the Opening Day roster, instead keeping him in Triple-A for the first two weeks of the season, ensuring the club would get another year of control over Bryant because he wouldn’t accrue enough service time. He made his debut on April 17 and the rest was history. Bryant won the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

While the MLB Players Association filed a grievance on his behalf, Bryant didn’t say anything. But it was a learning moment for him. The same is true of the past offseason, which Bryant says “opened my eyes,” as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He now considers labor issues a priority, saying, “I need to study up, have my voice heard, continue to learn, because this is going to affect us for years to come. And I’d be foolish not to kind of offer myself out there.”

As Wittenmyer notes, Bryant hopes to replace Jake Arrieta as the Cubs’ player reprensentative. The players make that decision later this month. Bryant also vowed to fight for the next collective bargaining agreement. He said, “Maybe the focus was on other things rather than some of the more important things. But I think with this next one things are definitely going to change, and there’ll definitely be more fight on our side just because we’re going to get the chance to experience the effects of some of the things we agreed to. The only way to get what you want here is to fight for it. And I think you’re going to see a lot of that.”

It’s good to see Bryant motivated by recent economic developments in baseball. Hopefully more players take his lead and become more informed, arming themselves with all of the tools they need to create a better situation for themselves when the current CBA expires.