This is not a repeat: don’t expect the Mets to spend big this offseason


The Mets have gone into the offseason in each of the past several years with no plans to spend money. Not real money, anyway. And certainly not the sort of money fans in New York, who are accustomed to sports teams spending big, would like them to spend.

On some level this has been understandable and even wise. Plunking down a ton of money on a big name free agent is not the best thing to do when you’re rebuilding, and spending money just to spend it makes little sense. On the other hand, there are lots of ways to spend less-than-top dollar that still help a club around the margins. This past offseason, for example, the Mets did little to bolster the bullpen despite there being a number of arms available in free agency relatively late into the offseason. Would that have put them over the top? No. But fans don’t exclusively expect to have the team be put over the top. A few more wins here or there does make paying good money to go to the ballpark a bit more enjoyable.

But, once again, it seems, the Mets are going to play it conservatively this winter. Yesterday Sandy Alderson made comments about the team’s plans, and while he gave some lip service to “flexibility” and being able “to do some things,” the message was nonetheless clear: don’t expect us to chase the big names:

“It’s gonna be prohibitive, but improving a team isn’t always a function of just dollars spent . . . Most of the improvement that came from the Mets this year had little to do with the overall [spending] … so it doesn’t equate. We’ll have some flexibility. We’ll be able to do some things. We just have to see what’s there . . . In addition to the young players that are coming through, we need to add maybe one or two veterans next year . . . That’s the thing about free agents, you’ve got to be careful because they don’t all work out … the quick fix isn’t always the best.”

Expectation management 101.

Again, none of this is unwise on its face. Prudence and the avoidance of big mistakes on the free agent market is smart. But this is also New York. And the Mets, despite sharing the game’s largest market and holding ownership in a lucrative regional sports network, have pretty consistently taken the approach of a mid-to-small market team. This has to grate on fans whose expectations are not the same as those in another city, for better or for worse. And whether that’s fair or reasonable, that’s who the Mets’ fans are, and for a long, long time they have not felt like they are getting what they pay for in terms of ticket sales and in terms of their loyalty.

MLB homer leader Pete Alonso to IL with bone bruise, sprain in wrist

pete alonso
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.

The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.

The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.

“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”

New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.

“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”

Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.

The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.

New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.

Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.