Alderson & Co. Are In Unfamiliar Terrain

TWO MEN, TWO VIEWS: Alderson said the Mets would be fun to watch, but Collins always believed his team was in the hunt for a Wild Card this season.

Of the 30 major league teams, only six are at least 10 games behind in the wild-card standings. The Mets are only 3.5 games behind, a position which should have them as prime buyers.

The problem of shopping in the bullpen aisle, say the Mets, is the cost. That translates into not expecting too much. Huston Street and Jonathan Broxton, while manageable in salary, extract a big prospect price the Mets aren’t willing to pay.

In weighing the present and future, the scales a tipping toward the latter, said assistant GM John Ricco: “We’re watching every day the same thing people are. But you also can’t fool yourself into thinking that there’s one guy that is going to be the be-all and end-all solution to all of our problems. You can fall into that trap and make some big mistakes.”

The problem for Sandy Alderson is his team isn’t one of the six teams that are 10+ games out, which is what the expectations of them were – probably even from Mets management. Alderson never thought he’d be a buyer.

Although their contracts are Jeremy Lin Ridiculous, Alderson was thinking maybe somebody would be desperate enough to take the Johan Santana and Jason Bay off his hands.

Despite their skid, the Mets are in it now. There’s no guarantee in the future Alderson is trying to protect that they’ll be close again anytime soon. That defines the pressure he is under.

Thoughts from Joe D.

I think it’s true that Alderson never once imagined his team would be buyers despite whatever was said leading up to the season. Honestly, I believe only Terry Collins believed in this team from the word “Go”. He spent a large part of Spring Training trying to convince his team that they were that good even without Jose Reyes. But the front office? No way they saw this coming and they are now operating in unfamiliar territory.

The longer they wait, the better the chances are that the Mets could just as easily become sellers. So why buy now if you’re them? Keep Waiting. I’m positively certain that is the game-plan for now. That is why all you hear about are whispers and murmurs, but no real advances toward making a significant move that can help improve this team’s chances. The Mets are interested in this player and that player, that’s all we hear and read. But it never gets to the nitty-gritty stage. What it does is keep the fans engaged though, and don’t underestimate the value in keeping the fans tuned in for as long as possible.

The one true sentiment coming from the front office these days is their constant moaning about the prices being too high.

Only a year ago, was Sandy Alderson’s price too high when they swapped Carlos Beltran who had no compensation picks for the Giants’ top pitching prospect? I’m sure he wasn’t complaining about high prices went that deal went down.

The fact is that the prices are not too high, they are what they’ve always been, and that is whatever the market will bear. That’s a historical fact.

The only thing at play here is that the front office finds themselves having to navigate through foreign waters and they would rather be anywhere else right now, but here.

They don’t believe in these players or in this team like many of the fans do or like Terry Collins, David Wright and R.A. Dickey do. This is sort of like a worst-case scenario where they’re concerned, and the Mets being this close to a wild card is like throwing a wrench into their system and a crinkle to their plans.

The Mets are winning. Somehow the players didn’t get the memo.

I look forward to seeing how this passion play turns out. But I’ve got a hunch that when all is said and done, the Mets will end up selling – for thirty pieces of silver.

About John Delcos 577 Articles
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 30 years, including 18 in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I also covered the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians before that. Today I am a freelance writer and social director for several media outlets and a Senior Editor for Metsmerized Online.