Where to begin? After the Mets lost out on re-signing their star shortstop Jose Reyes, who is reportedly taking a $102 million deal from the Florida Marlins, the local papers are opining about the once-Amazin's prospects. The Post's Joel Sherman explains why the Mets should trade David Wright now and offers others ideas about potential team rosters, and adds this, "Privately Mets officials will say they do not see the likelihood for strong contention before 2014."
The NY Times's George Vecsey is insulted that general manager Sandy Alderson claims not re-signing Reyes has little to do with the team's owners' investments with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff: "It is intellectually dishonest to suggest that the incarcerated Uncle Bernie has nothing to do with all this failure and loss. Madoff robbed the guts and heart of a franchise. I will never believe that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz consciously defrauded loved ones and friends, but nothing is the same with this team. The fans know that, and are staying away. Tickets are going for pennies on the Web, and that is Bernie Madoff’s doing."
Alderson blamed a $70 million decline in revenue on gate receipts and the Daily News reports, "The Mets drew 2.4 million fans to Citi Field in 2011, down from 2.6 million the year before and 3.2 million in 2009, the ballpark’s inaugural year. In 2008, the team attracted four million ticket buyers to Shea Stadium." The News' James Harper suggests that Alderson, who had to slash the budget of the Oakland Athletics with Moneyball tactics, needs to use the same thinking in Flushing: "At this point, building a strong bullpen is probably the best way Alderson could improve his club for next season. And that could be vital to a team that figures to have mediocre starting pitching, especially if Johan Santana is still struggling to return from his 2010 shoulder capsule surgery."
As for the Marlins, they have reportedly offered Albert Pujols a 10-year deal.