October is gone, the World Series is gone too, and we’re into the first week of November. All quiet on the Eastern Front.
Thanks to some of the well-timed leaks soon after the season ended, there was suddenly an urgency to this offseason compared to seasons past. An apparent $100 million offer was being floated to the media and in turn to us, a specific quote that both Dickey and Wright could have extensions in place before the World Series was leaked to two different beat writers, and even national sports journalists like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal were being fed some juicy morsels to share with the fan base. “Wow”, I thought. “This feels so much different than Sandy Alderson’s first two offseasons.
Then everything stopped.
Weeks went by… A month went by… The options were both exercised without a whisper of any progress, and instead the word was that no numbers were exchanged and that everything was actually at a standstill.
Now that’s the Sandy Alderson I know…
I have no idea where all that earlier stuff came from, but I’m sure it was all timed to coincide with starting dates of 2013 Season Ticket sales and the 2013 All Star Ticket Plans.
A couple of weeks ago, before the other Sandy turned our worlds upside down, I had asked our writers if they took Sandy Alderson at face value when he said there would be “wholesale changes” to the team this offseason. I wanted to know if it resonated with them. Here is what they had to say:
Jessica - On the outside, 2012 should seem like a disappointing season. But really, who could have asked for a better losing season. I think the Mets need to majorly upgrade their outfield this offseason. David Wright and Ike Davis need protection in the lineup; I hope that is one of Sandy’s “wholesale changes.” And of course, the bullpen needs to be broken apart and fixed again. I’m not expecting them to go after the big money free agent signing; I just expect Sandy to put together a team that can (at least) play .500 ball.
Nick - I believe Sandy and what he is saying, but the problem lies with the Wilpons and the unwillingness to spend money. I do not believe anymore they do not have money, but that they do not want to spend it unless they in their minds think it will be guaranteed a winner. I want Sandy to bring in 3 new OF, RH bench bat if not Hairston, 2-3 RP and a C, but I think it will be 1-2 OF, catcher of some sort and maybe 1-2 RP.
Robert P. – No, it didn’t. I was once very high on Alderson, but the lip service is starting to get old…fast. Any major additions via the trade market will come via the exportation of RA Dickey, if it happens. After that, Alderson will need to get creative. The Mets need major league talent, not prospects, and it’ll surprise me at this point if Sandy overhauls anything.
Mitch – Wholesale changes…pretty funny stuff. Let’s see…it’s now October 28, and not a single move yet. Other teams are making trades, and locking their important players up with contracts. What the hell is going on? Alderson better get a move on. I honestly don’t see how there can be major changes this off-season unless he has some blockbuster trade in the works…but I won’t hold my breath.
XtreemIcon – I don’t take GM-speak seriously. The comment that most resonated with me is when he said (paraphrase) they had two years to see what they had in the organization. That includes kids who weren’t ready when they got here like Harvey, Kirk, Valdy, and a longer look at Thole, Parnell and Duda and how the kids in the minors progressed or regressed. That said to me that Sandy, much like lots of fans, expected those kids to be the future of the organization, and they by-and-large disappointed. When a year ago, the masses thought the Mets had Kirk and Duda for years in the OF, now the Mets need to go out and get three guys. When 2011 was viewed as a sophomore slump for Thole because of how solid he was in 2010, now the Mets need a catcher, too. Parnell was supposed to be the closer of the future, and he’s unpredictable in the seventh inning, forget about the eighth or even the ninth. I don’t think Sandy will be afraid to trade any of these guys now, when a year ago, the Mets had a really bright future.
Clare - I know that it will be almost impossible for wholesale changes since we don’t have the money this year for that. But next year, when salaries are freed up, I expect big changes. So, I am willing to sit through another mediocre season to get to some winning ones.
Barry - I am hoping to see at least one major trade and a few minor ones or signings that will bring at least 5 or 6 players from other organizations to the Mets.
Joe S. – Anything he says is hard to judge because we’ve grown tired of words and long for deeds. If wholesale refers to trading key players (Wright, Dickey, Ike) for unproven prospects then no that’s not my version of wholesale changes. Alderson’s feet will be held to the fire on this, so like everything else, we’ll wait and see.
Rob S. – Sadly, I expect this to be a long winter. I don’t see Alderson doing anything to improve this club in the near future. If we still have Wright and Dickey on Opening Day (even though it’s unlikely), just retaining those two players would seem like an accomplishment.
Jessep – Well, I think you know the answer to this since you & I did a Crossfire after this interview. Here’s what I said then and I’ll say the same thing now. If in April, I look at this team and see an outfield of Bay-Kirk-Duda plus Thole behind the plate, plus the bullpen being relatively the same – then I’m going to start the path toward angry Mets fan. I won’t jump to conclusions today, but I listened to that interview very carefully, and if it proves to be malarkey then I’m going to be pretty ticked off.
Craig: I’m somewhat disappointed with the pace of change under Alderson. I’m probably MMO’s biggest supporter of this front office. I had a lot of hope and I expected things were going to happen fast and that changes would be dramatic. In fact I expected wholesale changes in 2011 and 2012, but that didn’t happen. This last draft was mind-numbing to me, especially as a devotee of the draft. I was disappointed. I was charged with writing the recap for that draft at the time and actually asked Joe to let someone else do it. I was too upset and was unable to put a positive spin on any component of that draft from start to finish. I’m slowly becoming a skeptic. I’m going to see what changes happen this offseason and hope for the best.
Gregg - I’m tired of hearing the Mets promise off-season changes. After hearing it for so many years, it just falls on deaf ears. Sandy’s actions need to speak louder than his words. I pretty much expect to see the same Mets team as we did this year, with higher ticket prices. The big change will the uniforms with the blue tops.
Ed - For me, “wholesale changes” just means they’re finally going to sell a Jonathon Niese blue T-shirt in the Mets Team Store. Alderson probably meant to say “cosmetic changes” but looked up the wrong word in his Thesaurus.
Dan - Oh it resonated alright. It resonated thoughts of lies, tales and broken promises. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Satish – Nope. I expect that they will do next to nothing, which will make me really upset. I don’t expect any major change. The only thing that I could see, is a trade of either Wright/Dickey/Niese/Davis and I’d be really interested in the return. If the wallet was opened up, there are a few names out there that I have gushed over (BJ Upton, Brandon League) that could really help this team, but I am going to temper expectations. Again.
Let us know if what Sandy says still resonates with you, especially his claims that this offseason was going to feature wholesale changes. What does wholesale changes mean to you?