Alderson Vows That Only The Best 25 Players Will Make The Cut

An article by posted on February 25, 2011

Despite what my colleague Greg Pomes wrote here on Tuesday regarding Oliver Perez being guaranteed a spot on the roster, a solid case can be made that Alderson’s comment was taken out of context or perhaps even misinterpreted.

Yesterday, Alderson not only made it clear that he will cut Oliver Perez and the remaining $12 million dollars on his contract, but he also cited an example to shut the media up for continuing to hound him daily on the subject.

He was as firm as can be when he was asked once again about cutting Perez, and said that Perez’ salary will not be an impediment to releasing him if he does not win a job on the roster. Andy Martino of the Daily News captured his quote and wrote the following,

Because he is counting on that, Alderson vowed the Mets would bring their best 25 players north at the end of the spring and that Ollie Perez’s $12 million salary and Luis Castillo’s $6 million would not be an impediment to that.

“I can say that,” Alderson said, “because I’ve got a track record in that regard. When I was in San Diego I signed Jim Edmonds one spring for $6 million and wound up releasing him 45 days later.”

I wish all fans would simply afford Alderson the courtesy of getting one full season under his belt before pounding him relentlessly even before he has presided over one regular season game. Heck, not even one Grapefruit League game…

I just don’t understand why so many fans are so unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt for at least one full season before concluding that he’s done nothing for the team.

Like many of you, I would have loved to see the Mets go out and get a top-shelf starter this offseason, but I also understood why it was not possible. In addition to budget constraints - a problem he inherited, there was also the matter that there really wasn’t a perfect fit in free agency or trade.

It would not have been prudent for the Mets to throw $50 million dollars more than the Phillies at Cliff Lee, to get him to don a Mets uniform.

Trading a package of top prospects to acquire Zach Grienke was simply too much of a risk for a player who has had problems in the past handling pressure and stated his preference of not wanting to play for a big media market like New York.

I like Matt Garza a lot, but did I really want to give up Jon Niese and two other prospects to get him? Probably not. I still see Niese and his killer curveball becoming a huge part of our rotation and a mainstay for years to come.

Mid-level pitchers like Jon Garland and Jorge De La Rosa would have been great add-ons, but they already had their minds made up as to where they wanted to play, and a couple of million more dollars would not have changed their minds.

So Alderson went out and rolled the dice on some pitchers who had great success in the past, but had been hampered by recent injuries, making them affordable AND attractive options.

Even if only one of Chris Young, D.J. Carrasco or Chris Capuano deliver injury free seasons and return to their previous performance levels, it would be a huge coup for the Mets. And the best part is that so far this spring, the early results have shown all three to be pitching effectively with no setbacks and more importantly, increased velocity.

With the offense this team has, I’m not ready to hand over the division to the Philadelphia Phillies. Our pitching was not the problem last season, it was our offense. So far Reyes, Bay and Beltran have looked great in camp. You could expect to get more offense at second base this season as it has become a top priority for Terry Collins. Sophomores Thole and Davis should be more comfortable at the plate this season, and should improve on their rookie seasons.

Things are really looking up for the Mets, so stop looking down all the time. Get those chins up and see what is unfolding before you. There are plenty of reasons for renewed hope and optimism. Don’t turn away from it.

Don’t throw Mets phrases like “Ya Gotta Believe” around unless you actually mean it. We’re Mets fans, and nothing has ever come easy for us. This season will be no different.

We are due for another one of those patented Mets miracles, and given the low expectations for this season, I’d bet anything that this is the year we shock the baseball world once again.

If you wanted a true example and a perfect definition of what a “Cinderella Team” is, the 2011 Mets are certainly it. The pieces to make it happen are all there. 

Do you want to say you were on board from the very beginning?

Or are you gonna jump on the bandwagon in July or August and then pretend you were on board all along?

LGM YGB!

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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