With the Mets 52-57 and seven games back in the division, Sandy Alderson continued to preach patience on Friday, speaking first to a group of reporters before the game, and then joining the SNY booth for an inning and a half during the broadcast.
Alderson admitted that the Mets are going to have play better if they expect to make the post-season, but pointed to July as a sign of a seismic shift as his team posted a 15-10 record – the best mark in the NL.
Eventually the conversation moved towards the deadline and the lack of action by him and his front office. When asked if he had any concerns that the Braves, Nationals and Marlins all attempted to make deals to improve their teams, Alderson quipped, “Lots of times you look back on those trade deadline deals and say oops.”
The Mets GM said it was a tough position for the Mets to be in and that while he certainly didn’t see the Mets as sellers, he wasn’t sure that the team should be buyers either. “We’re neither here nor there at the moment,” Alderson said.
Regarding all the rumors centered around Bartolo Colon, he downplayed those rumors and intimated there wasn’t nearly as much interest in the veteran righty as was being reported.
“Don’t assume in all cases that we’re fielding numerous calls from numerous teams. For whatever reason the market doesn’t always develop for certain players,” Alderson said. “So many of these marquee pitchers that went late just before the deadline, as well as some second tier starters, whatever teams might have circled back on someone like Colon, may not have had time to do it.”
Alderson did indicate that this offseason will be one of action.
“In order to potentially improve the club some significant way as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to have been prepared to deal some of our young pitching,” he said. “At this particular stage we’re not prepared to do that. At least in the deals that were presented or that were available to us. I actually think if we’re going to trade some of our young prospects, we’re probably better off doing that in the offseason.
“We have a known commodity in those prospects. I think a recognizable group of prospect aspects in the game. In some ways we don’t want to limit ourselves to the options available now as opposed to what we think may be available in the offseason.”
One player who was hoping for some moves and believes it’s time for this front office to start using some of that surplus to improve the offense is team captain David Wright.
Wright told The Star-Ledger: “I think that we get to this winter and we have this ability with a surplus of young talent — especially young pitching — to make a move.”
“And on top of that you have a guy that’s a proven ace of the staff coming back, a guy that’s a proven closer coming back, more time and development for Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda making tremendous strides forward. You get to the point where you see Matt Harvey coming back, you see Bobby Parnell coming back. And then the development of some of those young players…
“Yeah, that’s when you get to the point where it’s decision time for what is that final piece? What are those final two pieces? That’s when you realistically think about making a move like that.”
I can tell from reading other sites and seeing comments here and on Twitter, that most fans came away utterly disappointed in the Mets lack of action. Some seem to just want to see deals for the sake of deals. Others wanted to see the team swap top pitching prospects now rather than later. Others still wanted the Mets to break the bank for players like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez who ended up staying put anyway.
As I wrote on Thursday, the last thing the Mets needed was a repeat of the fiasco that once saw the front office trade their top pitching prospect Scott Kazmir in a futile attempt to overcome a similar six game chasm from a playoff spot. How did that work out?
I don’t have a problem with trading some of our high-upside surplus to fill another vital need for the team. But wouldn’t it be more prudent to trade those chips in the offseason when there are more options available and there’s no gun to the head?
Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong, but I don’t think so.