Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was on hand at the New York Athletic Club for Thursday’s Hall of Fame press conference for Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. After the event, spoke to reporters and fielded some questions about the state of the Mets.
First and foremost, I was happy to learn that Sandy was looking good and has been working from his office at Citi Field as he continues undergoing chemotherapy to battle an unknown form of cancer.
“Really since the Winter Meetings, I’ve been in the office virtually every day and feel good. The treatments are going well. So I’m very much encouraged. It’s nice to be back to a routine and working toward the 2016 season.” (MLB.com)
Sandy’s a good guy and we wish him continued progress and a speedy recovery.
He spoke somewhat about payroll, telling reporters that he expects to end 2015 with a payroll around $115-125 million, or roughly $35 million more than where the team was after 2014. Sandy didn’t address the current payroll but said, “The idea we’re not investing in the team I think is really misplaced and sort of tied up in the populism involving Cespedes.”
Regarding Yoenis Cespedes, Alderson reiterated that the two sides simply do not match up either in dollars, years, and even his position.
“Look, we know Cespedes was instrumental to us getting to the World Series,” Alderson said. “But, I think along the way we learned a few things about ourselves and about the team and I think they way we’ve approached the offseason put some of those lessons in to play.”
For the first time since he initially acquired Cespedes at the trade deadline, Sandy admitted that he was not an adequate enough center fielder, saying you could get away with plugging a square peg into a round hole for 2-3 months, but that’s not a longterm strategy for success.
“How do we improve even if it’s not the perfect fit. And, for three months, four months, it might make sense. For five years? Six years? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to try and do that.”
As for acquiring a reliever, the Mets aren’t ruling high cost options out of hand as many perceive, but it’s simply a matter of not giving a 2-3 year contract to someone when you are confident you have similar or better options already on the team.
He’s right… Whatever you choose to believe, you can’t fault Sandy on his approach to this offseason especially when he plainly explains his position and thought process which is hard to argue with.
As long as we are saddled with such dysfunctional ownership, a GM like Alderson is the perfect tonic because he can still function successfully within his limited parameters. He’s focused on the job at hand but stays mindful of the future as well.
The Mets are still exploring the market for a right-handed hitting outfielder as well as a late-game reliever, but clearly they are not going to overpay so they will wait this out as long as it takes.