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Thoughts on Sandy Alderson’s Winter Meetings Remarks

Earlier tonight in Orlando, Sandy Alderson held court with the Mets’ beat writers for the first time since arriving at the Winter Meetings.

Aug 27, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks at a press conference before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Per usual, Alderson didn’t deliver many juicy comments, but he did say a few things that were interesting.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York did a terrific job of summarizing Alderson’s most important quotes.  Among them?

The Mets will likely add at least one starting pitcher from outside the organization:

I don’t think we’re totally comfortable with what we have in the organization. We’ve got a lot of quality. We even have some depth. But to replace two spots in the rotation with the kids coming out of our system, I think, is a little much to expect coming out of spring training. It’s conceivable we could have two in the rotation by the middle of the year, or by the end of the season certainly. I think putting that kind of pressure on the system coming out of the gate is something we’d like to avoid. It might be necessary, but I think we’d like to find someone.

When prompted, Alderson noted that it’s not out of the question that two young starting pitchers could find themselves in the opening day rotation.  However, chances of that happening are close to zilch.

Everyone keeps focusing on two names – Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard.  A pitcher who continues to fly under the radar is Jenrry Mejia.

I think the likeliest scenario coming out of spring training is one that has Mejia in the rotation along with whoever the Mets acquire (joining Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee).

A late inning reliever is a priority:

The bullpen is important. The bullpen needs to improve. I think most of that improvement is going to come through the development of our young, good arms in the system. Would we like to have somebody more established that could pitch with Parnell in the eighth and ninth innings? I think yeah. All things being equal we’d like that.

Alderson clarified that the ninth inning is Parnell’s, meaning that the team is searching for someone established to serve as a bridge to Parnell, not as Parnell’s competition.

Don’t categorize players:

Let’s not categorize players quite yet. I mean, I know it looks like, ‘Well, OK, you’ve got this guy and that guy … ‘ But let’s see how it plays out, because I think that’s a little bit unfair to sort of predetermine.

After this comment, Alderson was asked about potentially trading Daniel Murphy, and he refused to dismiss the possibility.

This of course set off a bit of a storm among fans, who took it as an indication that Murphy was a goner.  I took it as Sandy being Sandy.  No one is untouchable, and there’s no reason for Alderson to paint himself into a corner by labeling certain players and saying who is most likely to be here come April.

It’s highly likely either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda will be traded shortly:

I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. It takes two teams to make a trade. I won’t tell you what our intentions are, but hopefully it’ll resolve itself shortly.

About his first base situation, Alderson noted…

We have two. We only need one. If, for some reason, we come out of these meetings with both, we’ll adjust accordingly and move on. There is an ‘after-market’ following the winter meetings. It’s not like this is the final bazaar.

It’s been rumored since the end of the season that the Mets prefer to trade Davis.  From Alderson’s comments tonight, it sounds like this is a situation the Mets would like to have resolved in short order.

Ruben Tejada is still an option:

We came into the offseason hoping to improve in a number of areas. And I think we have improved, hopefully, in one area. That, logically, leaves three or four others to potentially address. But, depending on how things materialize, we may live with certain weaknesses. The idea is to minimize the number of weaknesses — not necessarily correct all of them — and hope we’ve constructed a team that minimizes those. For example, we can come out of these meetings with Tejada as our regular shortstop. Worse things could happen to us certainly. But, to the extent we can address as many additional issues as we can, we’re going to try to do that.

I won’t be pleased if the Mets enter the season with Tejada as their shortstop.  However, I’ll believe it when I see it.  The above is clearly not a ringing endorsement of Tejada.  Rather, it sounds more like if the Mets improve a few more areas via trade and/or free agency, they may “live with” Tejada at shortstop.

 

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Topics: New York Mets, Sandy Alderson

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  • Herb G

    Nothing earthshaking here. Mostly old news. The one new piece of news is that they are talking to Johan about a return, but I’ve been thinking they might do that all along. I don’t believe, however, that Santana will be THE veteran starter that Sandy brings in for the rotation, but if he does sign Johan it increases the odds that he also brings in a Dice-K/Harang quality starter, and lets them vie for the 5th spot in the rotation, with the loser probably pitching in the minors for depth.

    Re: Tajada – We may come out of the winter meetings with him still the starting SS, but we will not go into the season with him still as #1. Sandy will try to deal for a SS this week, andd if he can’t strike the deal he wants, he will continue after Orlando. It could go into January, but it will happen.

    I’m afraid Ike is a goner, although I’ll continue to hope against hope that it is Duda who gets traded. Murph could certainly go too. I don’t think they both go in the same trade though, and given Alderson’s track record in trades, I can’t wait to see what he brings back.

    • chums41

      Why should Murphy go?? In whose crystal ball is his production going to tank in 2014. What genius decided he is a “sell high” candidate? His HR totals doubled last year and his RBI’s jumped by over 20%. What if his next years production improves by just a 1/3rd of those percentage increases ? Well, I’ll tell ya, you have a second baseman hitting .290 with 17 HR’s and 84 RBI’s. Where are we going to replace that production? Finally, if Murph and Ike have a so-so start to the year, Murph will still bring back similar value to what he’d yield now: Ike on the other hand, would not. That is how one defines “value”, an elusive concept that seems to have confused some Mets fans.

    • Herb G

      I’m not saying Murphy should go. But Sandy must explore his options with Murphy. I’m not going to hypothesize about whether Murphy’s production will increase by 1/3 next year or revert to his past performance of 20% fewer RBI and less than half his HRs and SBs. The point is if Alderson can wind up with a better team by trading Murphy than by keeping him, he should trade him.

      I’d love to get Brett Gardner from the Yanks. Although I’d prefer to use other chips to get him, if the only way we get Gardner is straight up for Murphy, I’d do it. I think the Mets are a better team with an outfield of Gardner – C Young – Granderson with Gardner leading off, and EYJ or Flores playing 2B, than it is with the current makeup. Maybe a trade of Murphy for Joc Pederson and Dee Gordon of the Dodgers would also upgrade the team. So there are several possibilities, and Sandy has to examine all of them carefully.

    • chums41

      You trade any player if it will make the team better, period. But a Gardner trade is definitely not one of them. Lagares is hitting .343 in Winter Ball, had a stellar minor league career and there is no proof that he won’t revert to his minor league form and become a .280 hitter in the bigs. Great fielder and a homegrown product, with the team since 2006. Gardner is a .260 hitter in a stacked lineup. That could go to .240 in the soon to be 1000K 2014 Mets lineup.

      Unless we can package Murphy for a top tier SS like Aybar, Lowrie or Castro, I would not trade the best contact hitting player on our team. Especially given the plethora of strikeout players we’ll have in next years lineup.

    • Herb G

      This is not the first issue you and I have respectfully disagreed upon, and it probably won’t be the last.

      Leading off for the Mets in the spacious confines of Citifield, I believe Gardner could have 15+ triples and 40+ doubles, and with a ,350 OBP could again have 40 to 50 SBs and could score 100+ runs.

      I do agree that would be worthwhile to trade Murph in a package for a first rate SS, (I’d add J.J. Hardy to your list) or even a different outfielder like Ethier or Kemp (either of whom could come with substantial cash and probably other players like Dee Gordon and/or Joc Pederson) We’ll have to wait and see what, if anything, Sandy does with Murphy.

    • chums41

      Herb, on the one hand you state that “I’m not going to hypothesize about whether Murphy’s production will increase by 1/3 next year or revert to his past performance of 20% fewer RBI and less than half his HRs and SBs” , yet on the other hand you “believe Gardner could have 15+ triples and 40+ doubles, and with a ,350 OBP could again have 40 to 50 SBs and could score 100+ runs” So my question is how can you be so prescient about Gardner’s future, yet completely unable to hypothesize about Murphy’s future? Which is it?

    • Herb G

      Hey Chums, lets see if I can wriggle out of this. LOL
      I’m not being prescient about Gardner’s future, I am merely saying that based on his past performance in Yankee Stadium, he’d likely get more double and triples and fewer HRs) in the more spacious Citifield

    • chums41

      Fair enough!!

  • chums41

    If Vic Black pitches in 2014 the way he closed up 2013, he is “the bridge” We need to focus on SS and a starting pitcher. We can pick up a reliever later.