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There's no one way to build a contender or World Series team.

These are really fun reads from Dave Schoenfield at ESPN Sweet Spot about how the Red Sox and Cardinals were built.

Basically, the Cardinals were largely built internally, but they spent good money on outfielders - Matt Holiday and Carlos Beltran. The Red Sox have certainly had their development success stories (Ellsbury, Pedroia, Bucholz) but relied more on the free agent market.

The number that I think is most important is $83 million. That's the number the Red Sox spent on 2013 contracts through free agency. Filling multiple needs simultaneously through free agency is expensive. Yes, the Mets have many needs - most notably in the rotation, in the outfield, and at short stop. In fact, I would argue that it is beyond the Mets' budget (whatever that budget is) at the moment. Moreover, as Michael Baron pointed out two days ago, the Red Sox had a better base of proven, returning talent in 2013 than the Mets will have in 2014.

Put simply, I believe that the Mets have too many holes, and not enough money to address them all at once this offseason to become a playoff caliber team in 2014. (Unless, of course, the Mets have $80 to spend on 2014 payroll, and that strikes me as wildly unlikely.) Instead, the team should be focused on acquiring cost-controlled talent, so that when Harvey returns, and their talent base is closer to playoff level, the Mets can find their own Victorino, Holliday, or late-career Beltran.

Tags: Analysis , Toby Hyde
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