Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is known for being astute, calculating, and for being someone who keeps things close to the vest (pun intended).
Like most GM’s, Alderson does his best to avoid information regarding potential player moves leaking out, rarely admits his true intentions, and hardly ever commits to anything one way or the other.
The way Alderson operates, while boring and at times irritating for fans and those covering the team, is the way he should be operating.
Nevertheless, there are still those who take public comments from Alderson regarding potential player moves seriously. Example? Friday’s headline from CBS New York:
Alderson Hints That Internal Options Might Be Answers In Left Field, Shortstop
The above headline is attached to an article that offers the following quote from Alderson, as told Thursday to Lynn Worthy in the Press & Sun-Bulletin:
"Right now, part of what we need to do is assess what we have. If you look at shortstop, (Wilmer) Flores has actually done a very nice job for us at shortstop. (Matt) Reynolds has played well at short, both here and at Triple-A. Den Dekker had an excellent season at Triple-A. So we’ve got to assess what we have before we start going out and canvasing the free-agent market. Free-agents aren’t always the solution."
That quote was given to the Binghamton (Double-A) beat reporter, pumps up players who have passed through Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas, and was in response to whether adding an external shortstop or outfielder would be priorities heading into 2015.
Now, Alderson could’ve said “Flores has been terrible, he simply doesn’t have the range to play short. We need a shortstop badly, so any opposing front office that may be reading this: help us, please! As far as den Dekker, he’s a bit player, perhaps a platoon or bench bat. Our internal options are non-existent at both shortstop and left field, so we’ll head into the offseason with blank checks out.”
Also note in Alderson’s response to the Press & Sun-Bulletin that he didn’t mention trades, he only mentioned free agency.
According to most who are privy to Alderson’s thought process, if the Mets are to acquire a true difference maker at either shortstop, outfield, or both, it will likely be via trade – not through free agency.
As an aside, it definitely is aggravating that the Mets are operating like a mid-market team, but that isn’t Alderson’s fault.
Circling back to the initial point, taking anything that Alderson says in public regarding potential player moves and/or his strategy is foolish.
Alderson will never tip his hand, nor should he.
Unless this is all one huge joke, the Mets haven’t gone through a four year rebuilding process just to stick Matt Reynolds at shortstop and Matt den Dekker in left field when it’s time to actually attempt to contend.
Alderson, the rest of his front office, and Mets scouts all know that Matt Reynolds isn’t the answer at shortstop. Likewise, those same people are aware that Matt den Dekker isn’t the answer in left field and/or the middle of the Mets’ lineup.
If the Mets enter 2015 with Matt Reynolds or Wilmer Flores as their starting shortstop and with Matt den Dekker as their starting left fielder, it will be quite the shocking development.
Common sense says to ignore what Sandy Alderson says in public, while banking on the Mets acquiring a new shortstop and corner outfielder prior to the 2015 season.