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Organizational Rankings: #5

As we finish out the top eight, all of the remaining clubs earn an overall grade of A-, A, or A+. These eight franchises have separated themselves from the rest of the pack – there’s probably a bigger gap between #8 and #9 than between #8 and #4, for instance. If you root for any of the upcoming teams, you should be very pleased. The future looks bright for all the upcoming franchises.

Rankings So Far

#30: Washington Nationals
#29: Florida Marlins
#28: Houston Astros
#27: Kansas City Royals
#26: Pittsburgh Pirates
#25: San Diego Padres
#24: Cincinnati Reds
#23: Colorado Rockies
#22: Detroit Tigers
#21: St. Louis Cardinals
#20: Toronto Blue Jays
#19: San Francisco Giants
#18: Minnesota Twins
#17: Chicago White Sox
#16: Baltimore Orioles
#15: Seattle Mariners
#14: Philadelphia Phillies
#13: Los Angeles Dodgers
#12: Texas Rangers
#11: Oakland Athletics
#10: Los Angeles Angels
#9: Arizona Diamondbacks
#8: Atlanta Braves
#7: Chicago Cubs
#6: Milwaukee Brewers

#5: New York Mets

Ownership: A-

The Wilpons have certainly not been afraid to spend money since taking over ownership in 2002. They’ve also managed to get Shea Stadium replaced, which should only add to the significant revenues they already enjoy. Thanks to the New York media market, the Mets should be one of the best capitalized teams in baseball going forward. Even the Wilpon’s meddling can’t overcome the financial advantage the team enjoys.

Front Office: C

Omar Minaya is a pretty good scout. He does a good job of identifying young players who can contribute at the major league level. However, he’s just not good at the valuation aspect of the GM job – trying to figure out how much to pay for different skills, finding inefficiencies in the market, and putting together a roster that maximizes the assets he has. The Oliver Perez signing, the K-Rod signing, the J.J. Putz trade are all examples of identifying players who could help his team but not understanding how much those players should cost, given the availability of alternatives in the market. When handed a payroll large enough to give him the ability to overpay, he can build a contending roster, but most GMs in baseball could do more with the same resources. There are smart people working for the Mets, but they have the wrong guy in charge, and that’s a problem.

Major League Talent: A-

Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Johan Santana are all among the elite players in the game. It’s hard to imagine a team with those four not contending for the World Series, honestly. The supporting cast leaves you wanting, however. Ryan Church is solid when healthy, but that’s not often. Mike Pelfrey and John Maine have talent, but as the #3 and #4 starters on a contender? Carlos Delgado has held off decline, but for how much longer? Just a lot of questions surround the non-elite part of the roster. However, the big four are so good that they make up for a lot of issues, and there’s enough talent in the supporting cast to imagine this team winning a World Series if enough things go right.

Minor League Talent:: B-

Is Fernando Martinez the next Hanley Ramirez or Ruben Rivera? His aggressive promotion schedule makes his performances tough to judge in proper context, but most still believe in his physical abilities. Jon Niese is a good but not great pitching prospect, and Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte are high upside guys that aren’t anywhere close to the majors. So, while there’s talent, there’s not a lot of upper level depth, and there aren’t any guys on the system who don’t have a real question mark that needs to be answered. The Mets will have to get by with what they have for a little while, but there are valuable assets in the system, so if they need to make a few more big trades, they can.

Overall: A-

Thanks to a roster that should be favored to make the playoffs for the next few years and a stream of revenue that allows the GM to cover his mistakes, the Mets are in a good position to win for a while despite a front office that could use some improvement. There are wasted opportunities in Queens that are keeping the Mets from being up with the cream of the crop, but they have enough current advantages to give them quite a bit of margin for error. They need every bit of that wiggle room, but this team is too talented to keep getting shut out of October baseball for much longer.