Mets general manager Sandy Alderson made an appearance at the Mets Kids’ Holiday Party, and he talked about a medley of issues surrounding the team.
First, he spoke about the new changes to the outfield wall at Citi Field. He said that it wasn’t one particular event that sparked the change, but that the constant “consternation and criticism” triggered the decision.
The team recognized that they had the power to make a change and went ahead with the plans.
“I was happy that there was some hope this year to think about changing the ballpark,” said Alderson.
However, Alderson does not want to depress one part of the roster just to cater to the new ballpark dimensions. He said he hopes the attitudes and frame of mind of the hitters will improve once the changes are complete.
“I think more scoring makes more sense because it’s more entertaining,” he said. “A little more offense will not only be a plus for the players but also the fans.”
Alderson went on to discuss that he has no regrets in the way the Jose Reyes situation was handled. The Miami Marlins were aggressive players the whole way, and the Mets were not in a position finically to make a deal.
“I don’t think we ever had a shot at signing Jose if we made the first offer,” Alderson said.
Despite losing out on Reyes, Alderson said he was very pleased with being able to bolster the bullpen with Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Frank Francisco. He also still likes some of the bullpen pieces the team currently has, and it should all make for a good combination.
“We weren’t looking to bring in three,” said Alderson. “We were looking to bring in two. We’re happy we got the three, so what was a weakness is a modest strength for us right now.”
Meanwhile, the team’s depth at catcher has been waning, and Alderson is aware of this. But rather than spend the limited funds the team has on a catcher that would not significantly improve the current roster, the team will use those funds on other needs.
“At least for the time being, our catching situation is going to be a year-to-year proposition,” said Alderson.
Finally, Alderson addressed the Angel Pagan trade, which netted the Mets Ramirez and Andres Torres. He said the trade happened very quickly—within a matter of hours. He did say that both Fernando Martinez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis may still not be ready to assume full-time duty or even bench roles with the big club.
There may be a few minor moves that Alderson makes before spring training, but being cash-strapped has certainly taken its toll on the ball club.