Sandy Alderson on shortstop: “I believe we will have what we currently have”
After the Mets signed Michael Cuddyer, general manager Sandy Alderson said that upgrading at shortstop would be next on the agenda. Since then, he’s been walking those remarks back, and it may be time to start believing him.
As has been noted many times in this space and elsewhere, taking what Sandy Alderson says in public about potential player moves can be risky. An example often cited is the fact that Alderson said the Mets were done with major player moves prior to last season while the club was finalizing a two-year deal with Bartolo Colon.
As it pertains to Flores and shortstop, the thought all along from many – including me – has been that Alderson is simply playing his cards close to the vest. That may not be the case.
With just six weeks to go until Spring Training, Alderson spoke with MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo about the shortstop situation and said the following regarding the shortstop situation:
"To this point, we just haven’t found anything attractive. That’s true with respect to free agents. It’s true with respect to trade possibilities. Given all that, I think we do know a little more now than we did a few weeks ago about what’s available. And I still believe when we start Spring Training, we will have what we currently have."
What Alderson said above is more expansive and specific than anything he’s said to this point.
While Alderson is leaving the door open for a shortstop upgrade, that possibility obviously shrinks as the days between now and Spring Training continue to dwindle.
There wasn’t a shortstop available via free agency who the Mets should’ve been excited about, and that market is now barren.
The Mets should’ve been exploring the trade market all along, and according to Alderson, they have been. However, Alderson said they simply haven’t found a deal they’re willing to make.
I wrote about a month ago that it would be a slap in the face to Mets fans if the club entered the season with Wilmer Flores as their shortstop and wrote a week ago why going into 2015 with Flores as the starter would leave them highly vulnerable.
It’s been noted many times, but the Mets moved Flores off shortstop four years ago because every scout who watched him believed he didn’t have the range necessary to handle the position. Nothing has changed since then, but the club appears to be content heading into their first contending year since 2008 with Flores at shortstop and Ruben Tejada – a player Alderson laughs about – as Flores’ fallback.
If the Mets indeed go with Flores at shortstop, every fan will root for him to succeed on the defensive side of things. However, the odds of Flores not being a liability at shortstop are slim, and it doesn’t appear as if Sandy Alderson or the rest of the front office gives a damn about rectifying the shortstop issue or finding a legitimate fallback option. That’s a problem.