Mookie Betts to the Mets would ‘ve made sense, if the Mets weren’t involved.
Surely, you’ve heard the blathering by now. What was once a soft hum in certain sects of Secaucus and the North Shore became full-blown Twitter certainty this offseason: Mookie Betts would be a Met next season, thanks to New York’s billionaire savior.
But wait…didn’t the sale of the team to this exact man already fall through once this offseason?
And don’t the Dodgers have the largest checkbook in baseball, with New York’s remaining historically meager?
And isn’t LA an annual contender, whereas the Mets are carried by their “rotation”: a 32-year-old, an inconsistent fireballer coming off Tommy John, and three human question marks?
The cash-poor Boston Red Sox had a better chance of re-signing Betts after a bout of separation anxiety than Steve Cohen’s Mets did. Sorry. The man himself is too busy…re-signing with the Dodgers to hear any of New York’s overtures this November.
LA didn’t trade for the 27-year-old superstar just to let him walk a season later. Troglodyte Red Sox fans didn’t understand that. Neither did the Flushing faithful with even less ground to stand on.
Before Betts became a Dodger this offseason, the Mets dabbled in their pursuit, sure.
They balked at the inclusion of Jeff McNeil, and offered shine-less former prospect Brandon Nimmo and NL DH JD Davis instead. They also would’ve needed to offload Boar-on-the-floor Yoenis Cespedes to make the money work. That was dead from the outset.
But now, one year later and with supposed new ownership (haven’t seen them yet!), I was supposed to be convinced Betts ends up in rainy, cold New York City on a second-string franchise, when Hollywood was sure to offer superior money?
Even if the finances lined up, why would Betts have opted for abject uncertainty with a sure thing in front of him?
The one thing Mets fans had going for them in the Mookie Betts chase is the mythical New Ownership Bump. But skeevy Steve Cohen has already been denied the perch once, and is far from a shoo-in for active duty. Alex Rodriguez’s glam squad of retired athletes from Brian Urlacher to Gary Hogeboom is as unpredictable as the list of shareholders is long.
Every new owner says they want to make a monetary splash, but they wouldn’t be owners if they meant it.
Coming off the coronavirus pandemic (ideally? right?), this offseason will feature the tightest purses in recent memory, with every club now cash-strapped and motivated to “stick it to” the athletes who fought for their fair share in May and June. Cohen or A-Rod or Owner C could’ve lapped the field financially, but why would they want to? Cohen’s financial muscles have already gotten the side-eye from the collusive brotherhood of owners. He’ll need to stay meek to get approved.
Sorry, Mets fans, but your team had no discernible advantage in the Mookie Betts chase, real or imagined. Please don’t make this a Knicks-esque free agent star pursuit. Now that he’s officially out of your price range, don’t act like it was preordained and the universe wrecked this for you.