Last night I couldn’t go to bed after a long day because for the first time since Alderson became GM it seemed as though a plan of sorts was being unveiled.
Before anybody assumes anything, I don’t think anything that happened last night was phenomenal, I just think it was a sign of moving on, and an actual plan for 2012.
The biggest move was the trade of Angel Pagan for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.
I like the trade for a few reasons. Mainly, Pagan and Torres were likely to be non-tendered. Torres+Ramirez likely equal what Pagan would have made so right there you have a smart financial move with baseball reasons behind it.
Second, I don’t expect Torres to be some magical hitter, or even better with the stick than Pagan. What I do expect is that he will be a much better fielder. I’ve been saying that for the Mets, and mostly any NL team I’d prefer the roster be built with strong bats at the corners, and defensive minded at 2B/SS/CF and somewhere in the middle behind the dish.
Don’t think the moving of the fences is a mistake with Beltran and Reyes gone. Citi Field still will be a pitchers park, but players like Wright/Davis/Bay are “expected” to perform at an even higher level than they have, when you add Duda to the mix you have 4 players who could have been negatively affected by the fences, who with that small move are now considered an upgrade.
If you get more production out of 3B, LF alone, you’ve made up significant ground on the loss of a full year Beltran and Reyes. The worst word when building a team is “if”, but right now that is all you can hope for with the Mets corner stars. If Duda can play 140+, If Davis is really healthy, if Wright and Bay can get their head on straight.
Torres in CF should make Bay and Duda better in the OF, assuming Duda is the starting RF. The other thing I like about Torres is that Giants fans liked him. When a player of his offensive caliber is “liked” by the team’s fans that tells you something. Here’s a quote from a friend of mine,
“I like Torres a lot. Great guy, great glove, lots of speed, a little pop, and draws walks. Strikes out a lot and probably won’t hit for average. Split the difference between his career year in 2010 and his disaster last year and you still have a pretty valuable player given his gold glove D and the walks. He has struggled with ADHD his whole life and it sounded like the Giants were worried about that and lost faith in him last year.”
The ADHD thing is interesting. Something I haven’t heard reported regarding this trade. His words as a fan like you or I speak to me because he clearly has an appreciation for the way Torres plays the outfield.
Then from McCovey Chronicles
“The love letter to Andres Torres will come. He is, and always will be, one of my favorite Giants of all-time. I’ll miss him, even as I appreciate that Angel Pagan is a pretty good player.” Grant Brisbee
You don’t love a player like Torres unless he plays hard right?
In 2010, Andres Torres was awarded the Willie Mac award by the San Francisco Giants, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by McCovey throughout his long career, voted upon by the players and coaching staff.
If you don’t love the sound of that, considering the Giants won the World Series in 2010 then I can’t convince you to appreciate Torres.
I’m not saying I love Torres but when you pair him with a very capable middle reliever, how can you not be pleased with the trade?
I think there is still a divide between the fan base, and that divide is going to linger until one half of us gets over the fact that Jose Reyes is not a NY Met. Every move made from Reyes signing to the end of Alderson’s reign can’t be paired with “if they had signed Reyes.”
It’s time to move on, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be disappointed that Reyes is gone, I’m saying no amount of bickering or complaining is bringing him to Citi Field except as a Miami Marlin.
Alderson can’t replace Jose Reyes right now, it’s not realistic. So the best thing he can do is move on, and find ways to improve the team in other weaknesses. In 2011, the bullpen racked up 27 losses for the Mets. Rauch/Ramirez/Francisco should “on paper” decrease that total.
As fans we have a choice to make, either move on, or become Randy Quaid in Major League 2.
Alderson proved with his actions last night a few things:
#1 He is capable of making an impact trade that isn’t superstar or big time prospect driven. The Pagan for Torres/Ramirez deal was a creative one. The easiest deals to make are X Superstar for X Prospects, and have a nice day.
#2 He is concerned with 2012, if he wasn’t there would be no reason to bring in 3 veteran relievers in 1 day. Nobody can come here and say as of this morning Alderson doesn’t care how many games the Mets win in 2012.
#3 Information on exactly what they are trying to do with player movement is not going to be leaked, they are holding their cards close to the vest and I like it.
I like the moves because they aren’t flashy, but they are significant. It showed me that Alderson isn’t here to just trade everybody or let every player walk.
It also showed me he recognized what I’d say was their biggest weakness and he did his best to fix that problem while not exhausting his budget.
As a Met fan it’s time to get behind that concept.