Is an investment in the past an investment in the future? I ask because there are so many people talking about the possibility re-signing of Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran and Marlon Byrd. There are some things to consider. So let’s discuss them.
Santana represents the achievement of something in other Mets pitcher was ever able to achieve. That being his no-hitter. The first pitcher in the history of the franchise. Who knows how long it will be before the next one come along. Some of us might be dead before it happens again. He represents a warrior, a man who never gives up no matter what. Is that what did him in? He decided to go an inning or two or 15 too many and blew his arm out. Love the fight mentality, but was it reckless? Alderson has already made his interest known in signing the pitcher.
Carlos Beltran brings the team back to a time when the fans were their happiest, albeit the same time that they hated him. However, he represents a playoff berth. Him alongside fellow 2006 teammate, David Wright, could create magic. You can call him an All-Star, but I put no stock in that since it is based on fan voting and ballots get stuffed. With that said, there is no denying he is among the best in the field. He is the perfect compliment to balance the outfield. The downside is the dwindling of his superpower called range. Consider that abyss at Citi Field. Could he handle it now at 36 years old?
Another question to consider is will the fan base fully support Beltran or kill him? Some still haven’t forgiven him for 2006. If he comes back, you must give him the full support. There is no booing a guy who chose to come back to a city that increasingly gave him grief for a pitch they themselves couldn’t hit.
Some writers, or bloggers, will have you believe that the signing of Beltran and Santana has the potential to be great. It does. Yet you have to be smart about it. Both Santana and Beltran represent old hope. The team needs new hope. They had that with Byrd. He may be getting up in age, but he showed he can handle life at Citi Field, in New York City, the biggest pressure cooker there is. He is respected by all now. I’m sure. Beltran is too, but Byrd has built relationships with current team players. How many of them will still be around has yet to be determined.
The other thing to consider is the success Byrd had this year. Is it a one time thing?
More than anything else, consider injury history and age. Numbers are great, but age and injury history tell a whole other story. Maybe you want to consider Curtis Granderson. He is only 32 years old and has some pop. His average may not be great, but if you were a player at Yankee Stadium, you would be a little home run happy too. At Citi Field he has the potential to do some damage on the base paths. If I were Sandy Alderson, I would have Granderson come to Citi Field for a tryout and see how he fares. Based on that, I would make a decision. As a GM, you have a right to protect any potential investments.
Radical thinking is what is necessary at this point. Alderson needs to think out of the box. He does that he is good. So do you bring back the past or do you go for the future? Consider what was just presented. Make your decision based on that.
So who do you sign?