Bill Madden of the Daily News:
Alderson never comes right out and says it, but it sure sounds as if the Mets’ 2014 payroll is not going to exceed $90 million, which, if so, would place them in the bottom third of baseball or less than half as much as the Yankees who, having destroyed any notion of staying under the $189 luxury-tax threshold, now seem bent on blowing past their record $228 million of last year. On paper, Granderson represents a major upgrade in the Mets’ outfield, but it is unsettling to hear Alderson talk about needing to trim payroll, with a trade of Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, in order to address all his other needs, at shortstop, in the rotation and in the bullpen.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
It is not even two weeks into December. The Mets say they are not done. But they are hinting at being done on relevant moves. That somehow they looked at the price for Jhonny Peralta, all but fainted, decided they would do one big thing, swallowed hard and went to four years on Granderson and now they are going to bottom feed and, yep, enjoy Ruben Tejada at shortstop. If this really is it — after all the buildup asking for patience to let the money of Johan Santana and Jason Bay go away — then this will be a breach with the fan base. The promise was stick with us, we have a big vision: Restock the farm, regain financial equilibrium and then step on the gas pedal to relevance and contention. The hiring of Alderson was about a journey to now, and now is here, and here was about accepting the cost and flexing financial might.
Tim Rohan of the New York Times
There was a long table with about a dozen chairs around it, two boards stationed to the side and a screen on the far wall. Here was where the Mets’ brass would convene for the next few days, where they would discuss potential deals and debate adding a shortstop, a starting pitcher or a reliever. Before the meetings had even started, it seemed Sandy Alderson was already tempering expectations, but that has been a Mets theme for several years. Asked how much money Alderson had left to spend, having split about $22.5 million of next year’s payroll between Chris Young and Curtis Granderson, Alderson would not give an exact number, but said simply, “We still have some room.” He added, “I don’t want to set up expectations one way or another.”
Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets
I think we’re still building. I mean, we’d like to win next season, of course. But I can’t tell you what other moves Sandy is going to be able to make between now and opening day. We’ve got a long way to go. This is the second day of the winter meetings. Matt getting hurt has taken away unquestionably a guy who looked like he was going to be our ace. It changes things a little bit. We don’t need an extra pitcher if Matt is the guy there. And you might use the resources elsewhere.
David Lennon of Newsday
A year ago, David Wright told us about the master rebuilding plan that convinced him to sign the $138-million extension with the Mets. On Tuesday, we again heard a similar sales pitch, only this time delivered by Curtis Granderson, who had 60 million reasons to believe general manager Sandy Alderson’s futuristic vision of a winning franchise in Flushing. But we’re not buying it — not yet. When asked about the blueprint, Granderson could have been reading from a teleprompter fed by the front office. “They’re going to go out there and get a couple of pieces — but the right pieces. You don’t just spend a bunch of money just to make everybody happy. You got to do things that are going to give you the best opportunity to win.”
Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger
The Mets have around $15 million to work with and Alderson has admitted this week that the Mets will not hand out another contract like Granderson’s unless they shed salary. Ruben Tejada will likely be the starting shortstop on Opening Day unless the Mets find one on the trade market even though club officials have publicly criticized Tejada’s work ethic and declared finding a replacement one of their priorities when the offseason began. Free agent Stephen Drew would serve as an upgrade, but he is out of the Mets’ price range, though Wilpon said not pursuing Drew right now is a “baseball decision.”