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Baseball Winter Meetings: Mets Are Trolling For Cheap Spare Parts

The Washington Nationals threw $126 million at outfielder Jayson Werth. There is talk they will throw a seven-year deal for $150 million or more at Cliff Lee. The New York Yankees, as usual, are kicking the tires on the big-name, big-money players.

The New York Mets? Well, the names you hear connected to the Mets are second-tier pitchers like Chris Young or Jeff Francis, a backup catcher like Ronny Paulino or an extra outfielder like Fred Lewis.

Yes, the Mets are playing a different game this offseason. Financially strapped, the Mets are bottom-feeding in Sandy Alderson’s first year as general manager. Alderson is playing the ‘lower the expectations’ game.

“We’re getting a sense of what the market is for some of that second-tier starting pitching,” Alderson said. “Right now [the price] is fairly high.”

Alderson even hinted that the Mets may wait until later in the offseason, when players are fidgety about finding jobs, and prices come down.

“There are players available today, and there are going to be players available a month from now,” he said. “There is no guarantee the players available today are going to be better than the ones available in a month. That’s the game we’re playing right now.”

It’s all enough to make a fan wonder if shelling out money to watch the team play in 2011 is a good idea.

Do they really expect to sell any tickets this offseason? Sure, if they start like they did last year, they may get some good crowds in May and June, but barring a big move, Citi Field could be a ghost town this year.

That certainly won’t help the Mets fill their financial coffers.