Updated by Joe D. on April 15 at 12:00 PM
The reaction to Matt’s interview with Mets GM Sandy Alderson has been stunning. Over 25,000 different visitors have read the post and as I was telling Shannon of Mets Media Relations, it’s been talked about on WFAN and posted or linked to on over two dozen mainstream sites including MLB Trade Rumors, ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo, USA Today, MetsBlog and the Daily News to name a few.
In all fairness, regarding the Giancarlo Stanton rumor which originated with Andy Martino of the Daily News, and was covered on MMO in a post that eclipsed 300 comments, Martino offered a reply to Alderson’s denial that there were any recent conversations and wanted to add his comments here:
Just updating our item from last Thursday on the Mets’ interest in Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. Two pieces of news trickled out over the weekend that both confirmed the Mets’ end of the story and moved forward the Marlins’ end beyond what we wrote.
In the original column, I reported that Sandy Alderson and Marlins GM Larry Beinfest spoke at a minor league game in Jupiter, Fla. This was probably early March. One good Mets source told me that two discussed Stanton, and that “there was heat there.” He was not talking about the temperature in Florida, but his team’s strong interest in the young slugger.
But another Mets person, also reliable, said he wasn’t sure if Stanton came up in the conversation that day. Alderson did not return a phone call seeking clarification, so I wrote what I knew to be accurate: One source said they talked Stanton, one said they talked about something or other. Regardless, we know the Mets are eyeing Stanton in their search for a marquee outfielder.
This weekend in Minnesota, Matt Balasis of Mets Merized Online spoke to Alderson. The GM, in a backhanded way, acknowledged that the teams had talked during spring training (he also said there was nothing happening now. To be clear, I never reported, suggested or implied that the teams were talking now).
To be clear, Alderson said they haven’t talked since “early spring training”. So we are talking about well over a month ago. Also, as Matt tells it, the exchange as it took place told more than just the words alone:
I wish I had video footage of the interview. When I mentioned Stanton for Wheeler and D’Arnaud he scoffed and just said “No,” then there was an awkward pause.
I followed up and said, “So there’s nothing to the rumors?”
And that’s when he said they hadn’t spoken since early spring. He was very, very clear that there was nothing to the recent rumors.
Anyway, both Andy and Matt added more context to the story regarding the Stanton rumor. Though while it was incredibly fun to consider, it was never nothing more than a longshot at best and one that ran out of steam over a month ago.
Original Post by Matt Balasis on April 13 at 8:00 PM
I had a chance to chat with Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson today during batting practice before the game at Target Field. I thought he gave me some very interesting answers on a number of different Mets topics. My thoughts follow the interview. Enjoy…
MMO: On the Stanton rumors, they’ve been all over the news, are there any truth to them?
Sandy: No, no we haven’t had any conversations with them since early spring.
MMO: Will adding players and payroll at the break be based on how well the team is doing or whether revenue is up?
Sandy: You mean adding players? If we feel the team is doing well we will add players.
MMO: Adding payroll, will you base that decision more on revenue or performance or both?
Sandy: Performance, but if we are winning, revenue will be up.
MMO: How do you feel about organizational depth as a whole? This is an organization that’s had poor organizational depth for a long time.
Sandy: It’s getting better. We are starting to see some effects of improved depth and we should be seeing more in the near future.
MMO: If Buck keeps hitting the way he has been, how will you handle it when D’Arnaud comes up? Will you keep playing Buck or will he take on more of a mentor’s role?
Sandy: We’ll find a way to play both of them.
MMO: Any chance you will trade Buck?
Sandy: No. We are not trading Buck.
MMO: How do you feel about the bullpen, this team has struggled with bullpen depth for the greater part of the past decade?
Sandy: The Bullpen seems to be doing well, we still have Fransicso rehabbing and Familia down there so we feel we have some good depth there.
MMO: How do you feel about the team’s performance as a whole?
Sandy: Well it’s only been 10 games.
Thoughts from Matt
I got the sense that there is nothing to the Stanton rumors at all. A lot of the press around me seem to agree as well. Totally unfounded …
Overall I get the impression from watching Sandy interact around his players that while he does appear to be a consummate professional and an exemplary administrator, this is not the uncaring hatchet man he’s been accused of being.
The players joked around a lot (especially Justin Turner) with Horwitz and Collins, but with the exception of a short exchange between Wright and Sandy, there was little fraternization between Alderson and the players.
Nevertheless, he was intent and focused on the players and I would venture to say passionate even, which came out more during the interview when it was obvious the guy cares about this team.
As fans it’s probably difficult for us to distinguish between the job’s specifics and the person. A good General Manager can’t get too attached to his players, a good GM will deal a player when it improves the team.
As much as many of us have lamented the loss of some of our favorite players, this young season has been a case in point for why big long contracts and players whose game is dependent on their legs are risky propositions.
We want to thank Sandy for being gracious enough to answer a few questions for us. It was a pleasure to hear him respond to so many of the questions on many Mets fans minds. We appreciated the time he took to answer them.
I’ll be back at Target Field again on Sunday, and hope to have more video, pictures and maybe a surprise interview or two.