What Was That, Sandy?
…Sandy Alderson speaking to WFAN on August 22nd, 2012:
"We need an infusion of players, productive players…[I don’t think we’ll] be complacent over the course of the offseason about bringing back the same team because we think it’s an inch away from success. I think we will take a step back and take a broader look at things…after having watched this team for a couple of years. Maybe it’s time to make some moves.”"
…Sandy Alderson speaking to the media on December 11th, 2012:
"“I would expect the roster will look similar to the way it did at the end of last year — with some exceptions.”"
Isn’t the internet a great thing? Quick access to everything, including quotes from months ago that show your favorite team’s General Manager is the baseball executive equivalent of Mitt Romney: A bland, robotic man who is mostly full of it.
I wrote last week that I was ok (for now) with the Mets’ lack of moves. After yesterday’s comments, I’m starting to seethe. To be fair to Alderson (something that’s getting increasingly difficult by the day), he did mention yesterday that he couldn’t predict what the rest of the offseason would bring. If we’re noting that part of his comments, it’s also important to note that he refused to say whether or not the Mets would spend the money they have. The Mets actually have a decent chunk to spend, since they gained increased flexibility after cutting Jason Bay loose and having David Wright agree to be paid only $8 million in 2013. With so many needs, one would think now is the time to invest at least a portion of that cash.
August 22, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson speaks about pitcherJohan Santana
(not pictured) during a press conference before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mets fans aren’t looking for reckless spending from Alderson, they’re looking for a sign of a pulse. It’s one thing to not make any substantial moves. It’s another thing entirely, to state multiple times that major roster turnover is needed, joke “what oufield” when asked about your current outfielders, and then do a complete 180 and say that the 2012 team that needed an “infusion” will likely look very similar in 2013.
Here’s a simple question: What exactly is Sandy Alderson getting paid to do? Aside from the Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler deal, he’s done nothing that can be termed creative. During yesterday’s media session, he focused mostly on potential additions that would require moderate to major dollars. The one trade he’s been focused on is the possible R.A. Dickey deal, to the point where it seems that he’s unaware that he’s allowed to deal other major league players as well. Hell, it’s even permissible to deal prospects for prospects! I wonder if he knows that.
To repeat, money has been saved by the Bay contract termination, and by Wright agreeing to accept substantially less in 2013. Those moves allowed the Mets additional payroll flexibility. It’s nice that they have that flexibility, but Alderson stated yesterday that the money may not even be spent. This is a team with needs at catcher, all three outfield positions, the bench, and the bullpen. They have only a sliver committed to player salaries in 2014, and the free agent class after the 2013 season is weaker than the current one. If money isn’t going to be spent now, when exactly will it be spent? And on who?
We’ve been hearing over and over that the grand plan is to contend in 2014. Why, though, is it impossible for this front office to realize that it’s OK to add a few players before 2014? You know, to continue to put the pieces in place? Again, this isn’t a plea to spend blindly. It’s a request to show us what the plan is and what the hell it is we’re paying to watch at the ballpark. Is it impossible to make small signings, to make trades that don’t involve R.A. Dickey, or to make trades that would mean taking on some salary in order to fill a hole? What exactly is Sandy Alderson doing?
At the moment, it seems that Sandy Alderson is doing close to nothing. That he’s content to bellow that there needs to be roster turnover, to make fun of his own outfielders, and to then walk back his own comments and do absolutely nothing to improve the ballclub. It could turn out that what Alderson stated yesterday was mostly BS. We may see a few moves, or even a rash of them. I just don’t have any faith in that happening. If Alderson goes through the rest of the offseason without doing anything of substance, without turning over parts of the roster, and without adding that infusion he spoke of, it’ll be a fireable offense. It would also be proof that our suspicions were accurate – that he simply doesn’t give a damn.