When Sandy Alderson was hired as Mets’ GM, most Mets’ fans were overjoyed. Alderson had a track record of success and was also an articulate spokesman who promised to keep the fans informed of the Mets’ plans and to make every fan feel more a part of the Mets than ever before.
We soon learned that the Wilpons were cash-strapped and that high-price free agent signings were unlikely. Nevertheless, among Alderson and his soon-to-be-hired aides, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi, fans felt they were getting some of the best talent evaluators in the game, men who specialized in finding talent in players that other teams found wanting. So, the Mets weren’t going to be players for Albert Pujols, Yu Darvish, or Jonathan Papelbon. Maybe we could still be contenders with some judicious signings, waiver pickups, and cagey deals.
Unfortunately, the two-year performance of this Mets’ front office has been pathetic. Trades brought the Mets the likes of Chin-Lung Hu, Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres. More importantly, not trading Jose Reyes and then letting him walk as a free-agent was a ridiculous move. Trading Beltran for Wheeler just may turn out to be a good or even great move if the scouts are right, but this is a team that needed to be much more active in the trade market.
The free-agent signings of players such as Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch when pitchers such as Fernando Rodney, Clay Rapada, and Wei-Yen Chin were available (to name just a few) and at considerably lower cost is unforgivable.
You might say hindsight is 20-20, but I say when you hire three former general managers, they should be able to evaluate major league-ready talent. Reconstructing the Mets’ bullpen appeared to be goal #1 last off-season and let’s face it, Sandy and Co. did an awful job of allocating their resources to do so and have even admitted as much.
I expected this regime to be much more creative in finding talent whether from Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, or the independent leagues. Look at the players the Mets have signed in the last 2 years. Have any of them made any kind of impact in the major leagues, aside from the one great catch Mike Baxter made to preserve Santana’s no-hitter? I suppose you could make a case for Scott Hairston who the Mets should have traded for a prospect before this year’s deadline, and maybe Tim Byrdak who I suppose is better than no loogy at all, if that’s saying very much, but I really expected more.
Let’s see what happens this off-season, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I understand the Mets are not going to be playing “checkbook baseball” for a while, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pick up some new players who can actually make us fans look forward to next season.