Alderson On Trade Deadline, Keeping Hairston, Being Competitive

An article by posted on July 31, 2012

At 4:00 PM today the trade deadline came to and end with nary a move from the New York Mets. As the song says not a creature was stirring not even a mouse….

We weren’t buyers, nor were we sellers…. We were what you’d call not-so-innocent bystanders. Life goes on.

In a conference call at 4:30 PM, Sandy Alderson faced the music and was as well prepared as a high-priced lawyer delivering the opening statement in the trial of the century: And surprisingly he opened by saying the Mets were buyers till the end.

“I’m not sure we ever totally changed course,” Alderson said. “Being buyers has different connotations, most strongly having to do with the current season. … If you go back and review the chronology of the last month, you realize that things changed pretty rapidly from just before the All-Star break and certainly right after the All-Star break until just the last four or five days. So in terms of being aggressively buying for 2012, certainly things changed during that period of time, and very swiftly. At the same time, we continued to look for opportunities to improve the team both this year and in 2013. And in some cases even looking at rental players that would have only helped us in 2012. We didn’t give up on the buying activity at all.”

How’s that for an opening statement? The courtroom and jury were moved and hanging on every word.

The Mets lost 14 of 18 games after Frank Francisco landed on the DL.That’s when this current slide began. That was when Collins said he needed to begrudgingly change everyone’s bullpen roles and even R.A. Dickey was called on to fill in with disastrous results. According to Alderson there were no relievers available during that time. He also added that given the team’s poor performance after All Star game, it  made it unwise to deal a prospect for big time reliever.

“There really wasn’t availability. If you’re talking about an impact reliever at the end of the game, and you go back to right after the All-Star break, the market really had not fully formed. Would a reliever of some renown, some ability, have made a difference? It’s possible.”

Regarding not trading Scott Hairston, Alderson said he didn’t believe it was worth moving him unless he got a team’s top three prospect (Wheeler, Flores or Harvey). Wow,

Honestly, remember when Alderson said the available players were “too pricey” on July 25th, if he was expecting a top three prospect for Hairston, he’s right, that’s as pricey as things can get. So Hairston is here to stay and I’m glad.

“Right now he’s a very important part of our team. We feel it’s important to keep 2012 as competitive as possible.”

Competitive or in other words what you’ve seen in the last 19 days. It may help sell a few more tickets to be competitive. Competitive is a very popular word these days, bit means different things to different teams.

Things got hot when Adam Rubin asked Alderson about if not buying why not sell? Or if he was opposed to detracting from the win total of a non-playoff team. (There were three teams who wanted Hairston, Alderson confirmed before this question).  Alderson replied:

“Well, maybe you’re not a Mets fan, Adam. Or you’re not a Mets employee. Or you’re not a Mets observer. You’re certainly a Mets reporter. It’s not clear to me you have the same mindset as all the other constituencies that relate to the Mets. It’s a good question, but if we’re just going to get marginal talent, and I’m talking about let’s say maybe not even top-30 prospect status in an organization, then we have a choice to make.”

“I thought we would talk on this call about the fact that we didn’t add anything. And now we’re talking about why we didn’t subtract, which is interesting to me. As I said, we’re about changing impressions, changing perceptions.”

Ahh… memories of that Omar Minaya press conference… Don’t worry though, nobody took their shirts off…

Nobody could get under a Mets GM’s skin better than Adam can. :-D

Alderson did end the call with a message of hope for the fans,  ”I understand fans are disappointed with what has happened the last three weeks, but it’s not the end of the season.”

He’s right folks, it’s not the end of the season.  Plenty of great competitive baseball still to be played.

Lets Go Mets…

Thanks to ESPN and MetsBlog for transcribing parts of the call….

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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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