It seems as if there are new reports surfacing everyday concerning the Mets’ off-season plans, and today is no different. New York GM Sandy Alderson talked to reporters in Miami and touched upon various objectives he plans to pursue this winter to improve the team for the 2013 campaign. His priority first and foremost is to retain both David Wright and R.A. Dickey.
The franchise third baseman told Adam Rubin earlier this week that he’s optimistic about agreeing to a long-term deal with the Mets, although he hasn’t had any formal talks with them about it yet. If Wright does ink an extension with the Amazins, it’s his hope that it takes him to his retirement, making him a lifelong Met. Rumors are starting to circle that the organization is hopeful Wright will stay, eventually becoming their new unofficial spokesman, like Tom Seaver is now. As for Dickey, there were some comments swirling that the front office was wary to commit to the knuckleballer for multiple years, but that’s not what Sandy said today.
Alderson will be making both Wright and Dickey November priorities, as he said that trying to retain their own players is one of their foundational principles. He’s also confident that the two sides will be able to agree to terms quickly, and is prepared to talk about the direction of the team as moving forward, despite this year’s second half slump. What has been consistent is the front office’s desire to be more active in the trade market than with free agents, and even though Jason Bay and Johan Santana are owed a total of $50 million next year, there is enough flexibility now to offer multi-year extensions. However, unlike what we heard yesterday, the organization is not interested in back-loading contracts, a la the Miami Marlins.
While it was said he’s not ready to blow up the team and start over again, there looks to be some major changes on the way to the roster, as Alderson has had several discussions with manager Terry Collins about what needs to be done for 2013, with the focus remaining on building up the farm system and promoting worthy players from within.
It sounds crazy, but I trust Alderson through this process. He’s been patient for the last two seasons to get rid of some dead weight on the payroll (Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez), while waiting for the Bernie Madoff case to be put to rest, and now he feels he knows the organization well enough to make legitimate moves to help the MLB roster for next season. It remains to be seen what he will and will not do, because if this past July’s trade deadline was any indication, he has no problem talking out of both sides of his mouth. The approach he’s taking makes a lot of sense; the front office feels there is talent in the outfield that will be developed while on the MLB roster (Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda), as well as some minor league talent that could be on the way (Matt Den Dekker and potentially Brandon Nimmo). Spending a lot of money on a free agent outfielder like Josh Hamilton would be nice, but it would block their development down the road.
From the way Alderson has been talking about the trade market, he sounds confident he will find a solution for the outfield through trades. It’s rumored that Justin Upton could be on the market, so we’ll see if there is any truth to that once the World Series trophy is hoisted. It’s still early, yes, but from what I’ve heard thus far, the plan sounds like a solid one. Now, it’s all about the execution and results.