It was as if the two teams reversed roles. The Yankees held off on big-ticket acquisitions, while the Mets splurged for a year (and maybe more) of Yoenis Cespedes. That's not to say the Yankees did nothing, but the re-signings of Cespedes, Bartolo Colon and Jerry Blevins, coupled with the acquisitions of Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Antonio Bastardo, are better in both volume and talent than the Yankees’ trades that netted Aroldis Chapman, Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks.
Of course, this is all early analysis. We might look at it a few years down the road and think differently -- especially if the Yankees are saving up to make a run at someone like Bryce Harper.
But in the meantime, how often does it happen that the Mets build a better offseason than the Yankees? Let’s venture back a few years and take a look.
(Note: Re-signings are marked with an asterisk.)
Notable Yankees acquisitions/re-signings: Chase Headley", Andrew Miller, Chris Young*, Chris Capuano*, Justin Wilson, Didi Gregorius, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, David Carpenter, Chasen Shreve, Stephen Drew*
Advantage: Yankees, though that didn’t stop the Mets from reaching the World Series.
Advantage: The Yankees fared better, but there has been at least some level of disappointment in each of the big-ticket moves, whether it be related to health or performance.
Advantage: There was concern at the time that the Mets traded reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey for Syndergaard and d'Arnaud, but Sandy Alderson timed this move right. This will be considered an offseason of short-term pain for long-term gain.
Advantage: The Yankees win this one handily, thanks to the performances of Ibanez and Kuroda in the short term, and the long-term potential of Pineda. The Mets were fully immersed in their Madoff-induced austerity mode, and almost nothing from this offseason worked out for them.
Advantage: Martin was a good get for two years and Soriano filled in extremely well as closer when Rivera went down with his knee injury. This is where the Mets’ financial conservatism really began, as evidenced by the caliber of the names listed above.
Advantage: The Yankees take this, even if you were only counting Granderson against all of the Mets' gets. Bay ranks as one of the Mets’ worst-ever free-agent moves (though injuries had a lot to do with that).
Advantage: This ranks among the most successful offseasons the Yankees have ever had; the acquisitions of Teixeira and Sabathia put the pieces in place for a championship team. The Mets had good intentions with their moves but the Perez signing went horribly, Putz got hurt and Rodriguez eventually had off-the-field issues resulting in his departure.
Advantage: It’s kind of cheating to pick the Yankees here, but remember that there was some question as to whether they would sign A-Rod after he opted out. Santana was a great get for the Mets, until injuries ruined his career. Had he stayed healthy, we could have made a case for the Mets here.
Notable Mets acquistions/re-signings: Orlando Hernandez*, Jon Adkins, Ben Johnson, Tom Glavine*, Ambiorix Burgos, Moises Alou, Damion Easley, Guillermo Mota*, Jorge Sosa, David Newhan, Scott Schoeneweis, Chan Ho Park, Fernando Tatis
Advantage: Most of what’s here are re-signings, though the Yankees scored a coup with one lefty (getting Pettitte to return) and inked a bust in another (Igawa). The stench of the Mets’ 2007 collapse definitely colors how we view some of these moves. Had they won the division, Alou would have been a key reason why. Instead, you can blame a part of their losing on injuries that limited him to 87 games.
Final verdict: In the past 10 offseasons (including this one), 2015-16 is only the second in which you could give the advantage to the Mets. But as we well know, winning the offseason doesn’t guarantee anything in baseball these days. We’ll see how it plays out in the coming months and years.