The infamous FanGraphs organizational rankings are rolling out this month and the Mets have clocked in at a poor 21 out of 30. At first blush, the ranking seemed odd to me, as Dave Cameron argued in his preview of the series that money is the single biggest driver of success in baseball. While this proclamation seemed like an overcorrection for perhaps staking too much on the perceived "intelligence" of certain organizations, I at least figured the emphasis on resources would help the Mets.
Apparently not--FanGraphs has ranked the Mets 18 out of 30 in terms of "financial resources," despite a $130+ million payroll, a brand new stadium in the world's biggest sports market, and their own TV network. Yes, the Wilpons are in financial trouble, but the Mets will, in all likelihood, be fine. If the Wilpons lose their impending lawsuit against the Madoff victims, they will be out a cool billion and sell the team. If the Wilpons win, they'll make the money back and the team will be fine. In no scenario do the Mets begin operating on small-market finances.
And yes, the Mets and SNY are leveraged up with huge loans right now. But those loans exist to keep the Mets operating with a top-5 payroll.
The ranking of baseball operations as 16th also seems a bit odd to me. The Mets' front office is mostly untested at this point, but haven't these organizational rankings historically emphasized the importance of the supposed sabermetric front offices? Jack Zduriencik got the Mariners to #6org after one third-place finish, no minor league system, and horrible major league talent.
Does Zduriencik's resume of drafting Matt LaPorta trump Sandy Alderson's World Series ring and Paul DePodesta's 6-week reign as Jeopardy champion? Guess so--the Mariners have not yet been ranked.