Alderson on Sirius XM

By Rich Sparago

This morning, Sandy Alderson was on Sirius XM radio. Metsblog captured a very important quote from that interview. You can read the entire quote here. Essentially, Alderson says that while sacrificing draft picks is not consistent with the organization’s current philosophy of building through the farm system, the farm system has strengthened to a point that sacrificing the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft is something the Mets can consider. Alderson tempers his remarks by saying that he would be reluctant to sacrifice the pick. However, he clearly did not rule out the possibility.

Feb 21, 2012; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during camp at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

This is very important (and good in my opinion) in the evolution of the franchise. Most fans agree that the Mets’ organizational depth was not adequate when Alderson took the reigns in October of 2010. The only way to correct that was to acquire talent through the draft, which Alderson has done (e.g. Brandon Nimmo). Alderson expedited this process by obtaining young talent from outside the Mets organization (e.g. Zack Wheeler, Travis D’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard).  Now, the Mets’ organizational depth, while not by any means the best in baseball, has improved to a point where sacrificing a draft pick (or young player) may make sense under certain conditions. I’ve droned on about how I feel that signing Michael Bourn is one of those “conditions”, so I won’t go on about that again. However, looking at the bigger picture, the fact is that Alderson’s strategy of developing a stronger farm system to give the Mets flexibility to do other things is working. Maybe Michael Bourn will not be the first example of the ability to sacrifice potential youth for a needed veteran, but the fact that the Mets can entertain this thought process represents significant progress.

Other highlights from the Alderson interview:

The Mets are still looking for relievers, and will likely watch Brian Wilson throw again in the next few days.

Zack Wheeler and/or Travis d’Arnaud may be with the Mets early in the 2013 season.

Scott Hairston wanted to be a full-time player, and that’s one reason the Mets did not bring him back.

Alderson had been hoping to make trades to improve the ball club, but says that “there is not a lot left on the shelf”.

The Mets may go into spring training with the current outfielders on the roster. There are no guarantees that any deals or signings can be made.

These are the key points from the interview. The full interview can be found here. For some reason, this interview intensified my excitement for 2013 by leaps and bounds. As mentioned above, it’s one thing to hear talk of a “plan”, but it’s quite another thing to see a plan begin to come together in the manner in which it was intended. While I realize that nothing is guaranteed, imagine this. If the Mets have Michael Bourn leading off, stealing bases, and playing Gold-Glove center field, if they have d’Arnaud and Wheeler coming in the first half of the year, and they have a character like Brian Wilson helping to back-end the bullpen, doesn’t 2013 seem a lot more interesting? In addition, we can watch the continued development of Kirk Nieuwenhuis (whom I’d put in LF in the above scenario), the maturation of Matt Harvey, and we can see our captain, David Wright, cement his place as leader of the team.

I have been a bit skeptical of Sandy Alderson’s moves, or more appropriately lack of moves. However, today it all began to come together for me. Again, this morning’s interview may not amount to immediate action. However, something really is starting to happen in Flushing. Now I can really feel it. Can you?

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