Mets season ticket holders were gathered at the Caesar’s Club at Citi Field tonight, where Sandy Alderson and his front office fielded questions about a variety of issues.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York did a nice job of covering the event and retweeting some of the quotes from those who were on hand.
Regarding the lack of spending this offseason, Sandy Alderson insisted this was his decision and not ownership imposed.
“The reason we haven’t spent the money is not because of Fred Wilpon,” he said. “It’s because of me.”
“Since last year the Wilpons have had nothing but good news regarding their finances. Their financial capacity is far more than adequate and from a baseball perspective.”
When asked how he will navigate future offseasons when there will always be high priced free agents and over-aggressive bidding, the Mets GM replied:
“We understand what the market dictates and we have to be prepared to exist in that market. Am I going to recommended that we sit here in New York City and function like the Oakland Athletics for the next 10 years? No I’m not.”
“I’m not asking you to believe me until you see some manifestation of that, which I hope is sooner rather than later. I’m not getting any younger.”
As I’ve pointed out before, ownership authorized an increase in payroll for 2013. Money was also freed up because of deferred salary by David Wright and Jason Bay. I estimated that Sandy Alderson had about $25 million to spend this offseason if he wanted to. That number is probably closer to $17 million now.
Here is a summary of some other things that were discussed this evening:
- The front office is very high on the minor leagues, especially with Travis d’Arnaud and Zack Wheeler recently named among the top ten prospects in baseball by Jonathan Mayo. Much is expected from those two in 2013.
- “Success of big-market teams is not just money, but a successful farm system. We have a renewed effort in the draft.”
- Regarding the state of the Mets outfield, Alderson was very disappointed when he learned Hairston had signed with the Cubs. Sounded like he woke up to the news that morning and didn’t see it coming.
- The Mets were never in legitimate trade talks with Arizona for Justin Upton because they wanted either Harvey or Wheeler. Can’t blame him for taking that stand, folks, and I wanted Upton bad.
- He will no longer make jokes about the outfield, and admitted the outfield will not be a strength for the Mets this year. Reportedly by those who were there, Alderson looked uncomfortable when discussing the outfield.
- Regarding Wilmer Flores being moved to left field, there are NO PLANS for Flores to transition to the outfield and he is slated to play both second and third base for Triple-A Las Vegas this season.
- Regarding Michael Bourn, Alderson doesn’t believe he’s worth losing the 11th overall pick over. The Mets were in serious pursuit for Bourn.
- The National League East is the toughest division in baseball, but “changes you make in December and January don’t mean you’re going to win the pennant.” Also regarding how good the NL East is, “There are no easy outs.”
- Dillon Gee is good to go and will be ready for Opening Day… John Buck is a first rate catcher… Collin Cowgill and Jack Leathersich (an MMO 2013 sleeper) will be two players to watch this year.
- They are very confident about the bullpen, and will have plenty of solid options will in camp.
Great job by all the Mets season ticket holders who attended including a few of our own writers. They covered a lot of ground and hit on many of the big concerns of the Mets fan base. Well done, guys.