Second-guessing trades is kind of cheap in that (a) anyone can do it; (b) hindsight is 20/20; and (c) the central conceit of all such second-guesses is that there was some open auction for a player in which anyone could participate as opposed to a handful of texts and phone calls and human subjectivity and emotion and weirdness affecting the outcome. Put differently, saying “why didn’t so-and-so make that deal?!” is fraught with complications because it rarely if ever is as simple as that.
That said, why in the hell didn’t the Mets get in on that Troy Tulowitzki action?
Distilled to its essence, the Rockies gave up Tulowitzki for $50 million or so in salary relief and some not-at-all sure thing pitching prospects, Jeff Hoffman chief among them. Does it not seem to you that the Mets could’ve topped that? Indeed, making deals in which you ship off a prospect, some organizational depth and $50 million is pretty much page number one of the “What a Big Market Team Should Be Doing” manual. Especially when they are only two back in the division and have a desperate, desperate need for someone like Troy Tulowitzki.
Maybe the Mets never had a chance to make that deal, of course. Maybe at some point over the past several months in which people have reported Colorado and New York to be in contact, the communication lines were dropped and the relationship soured. Maybe the Rockies simply didn’t engage the Mets or any number of other teams who could’ve topped that Blue Jays offer, and decided that, for whatever reason, they REALLY wanted Hoffman and REALLY think Jose Reyes was the key to the deal in some way. We can’t know until the GMs in question write their memoirs.
But I look at this deal from Colorado’s perspective and can’t help but think that they could’ve done better. And I look at it from the Mets (and other teams) perspective and think that they could’ve topped it. And I wonder why in the hell they didn’t.
For the Mets, if they had the opportunity and passed, I wonder if it isn’t because the team, despite its market size and revenue, has operated on a small market budget for years now and that they’re content to continue to do so because no one at the league office is willing to call them on it. For the sake of Mets fans I hope that’s not it. I hope it’s just a matter of the Rockies not picking up the phone and calling them for whatever reason.