The question has been raised, and rightfully so: Did the Mets have a Plan B or was it all about Zito?
It’s hard to believe Omar Minaya would have gone into the offseason that shortsighted. Yeah, they talked trade for Freddy Garcia. Yeah, they talked trade with Oakland. Yeah, they looked at Jeff Suppan. Yeah, they inquired into a few others.
So, I can’t say it was all Zito. However, all their passion was for Zito. They never really went after anybody with intensity. If they had, it stands to reason with their resources they would have come away with another pitcher.
If there was a miscalculation by the Mets, it was the market price for Zito, but that only puts them in the same boat as everybody else. The Mets’ gamble was to let the market come to them, figuring they had more to offer than Texas.
Nobody, the Mets included, thought Zito would get $126 million over seven years. Considering the limit they wanted to spend, with the benefit of hindsight, they should have been more aggressive early in the market and signed a replacement for Steve Trachsel (they needed to replace 15 wins) and perhaps put more pressure on Tom Glavine.
Even so, they are better off going into the season with inexperience at the back end of their rotation than to be saddled with a bad contract.