While speaking with reporters today in Port St. Lucie, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson stated that it’s “unlikely” that the Mets will sign Stephen Drew or any of the remaining “major” free agents.
Two days ago, while appearing on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN, Alderson brought up Drew’s name and stated the following:
"Could we sign Stephen Drew? I think the answer is yes, under the right circumstances. It’ll have to be on terms that are mutually agreeable."
Alderson’s answer from two days ago gives a rosier outlook than the one he gave today, but the easiest way to not go crazy during these negotiations is to simply ignore GM-speak and use common sense instead.
For one, it makes no sense for Alderson (or any general manager) to come out and say that it’s “likely” the Mets will sign Drew. Even if he feels that way, saying such a thing would backfire in the event the club lost out on Drew.
Dec 12, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson talks with reporters after the Rule 5 Draft during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
More importantly, terming any signing “likely” would give that player’s agent a leg up in negotiations.
For some history on why GM-speak and semantics should be taken with a grain of salt, we can look back to earlier this offseason.
While at the winter meetings in Orlando, Alderson stated that the Mets were very likely done adding any impact free agents. This led to Joel Sherman of the New York Post penning a scathing article about the direction of the team.
The next day, the Mets announced that they had signed Bartolo Colon, who they had been finalizing a deal with while Alderson was telling reporters the club was likely done making impact acquisitions.
The Drew saga (and most free agent sagas) are annoying and draining. However, when attempting to come to a conclusion regarding where a free agent will wind up, it’s a safer bet to use common sense over GM-speak and semantics.