Sandy Alderson On Ollie, Free Agency, Reyes and Thole

An article by posted on November 24, 2010

Sandy Alderson was a guest this morning on the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN. Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog caught most of the action and transcribed parts of what was said,

Regarding going after high priced free agents like Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford:

“I stand by what I said before about our free-agent activity,” he explained. ”We’re going to be active in the market, but we’re not going to be active in the top end. We have to be judicious and surgical in our free-agent participation. Next year, and the year after, we’re going to be in a position – and we want to be in the position every year – to be active in the top end if we desire.”

He is absolutely right. Signing a big name free agent each offseason just to appease the fan base sounds more like what Omar Minaya has done for the last five years. It’s time we attack the way we spend our budget with a new philosophy that does not rely on buying a big ticket item every offseason just because it looks good in the back pages of the newspaper. Obviously, Alderson has a vision of where he wants this team to be a year from now when the resources will be there to acquire what the team needs most.

Regarding the Oliver Perez situation:

He said he understands there are a ‘couple of players’ who have not produced in the past and who are not ‘fan favorites,’ and that ‘the knee-jerk reaction might be to do something to satisfy that frustration.’ However, though he is not ‘afraid’ to cut a player just because he is due a large salary, ”I think, before one makes a decision about players who’ve been disappointing in the past, you have to develop some basis for making that decision.”

Again, Alderson is right. The easy thing would be to simply cut the guy without ever having seen him throw one pitch, or share one conversation with him. Perez will most likely end up getting cut eventually, but Alderson would look pretty ignorant and foolish if he were to simply cut him without personally assessing the situation himself.

He also spoke again about the Collins decision, which I’m sure you’ve hear in one of a dozen different interviews he’s given in the last 24 hours. Nothing new there.

Alderson did give some player updates which Cerrone listed as:

  • Jason Bay will be 100 percent in Spring Training.
  • He would prefer to see Jose Reyes play in 2011, before declaring him the team’s shortstop of the future.
  • The Opening Day second baseman will be a ‘wide-open’ competition.
  • Josh Thole is fully capable of being a starting catcher.
  • Angel Pagan is an every-day player.
  • In a perfect world he would prefer a hitter’s park, but he wants to see Citi Field for a year before making any judgments about its dimensions.

I really love the frequent and open communication between the new GM compared to the way things were approached before in terms of getting the message out to the fan base. This is just so refreshing.

Anyway, there’s lots to digest here and to begin I found the Reyes comment a little revealing. In essence he’s saying that Reyes is not the shortstop of the future, but he can still become that depending on how he plays this season. That would suggest no extension talks until after next season, and even that is not a guarantee.

I also thought there might be a chance that the dimensions at Citi Field would be altered somewhat, but that doesn’t look like it will happen before the 2012 season.

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