Mets COO Jeff Wilpon sat down with MLB.com, touching on a wide variety of topics regarding the team and their future.
When asked about the current state of the Mets, Wilpon appeared positive and said the team is invested in Sandy Alderson’s plan.
“I think we’re in a better state than we’ve been, and we’re ready to move forward with the plan that [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] put in place three years ago,” he said. “This is going into the fourth season of his plan, and we’re primed to take advantage of that.”
When it comes to increasing payroll, Wilpon said Alderson does not have the ability to go out and spend without there at least being a conversation first.
“There’s always a conversation on it,” he said when asked if Alderson had the green light to increase payroll. “It’s not something that Sandy can just go out and do whatever he wants, but yes we’ve had multiple conversations, and we’ve had the ability to go after some guys that I don’t think anybody knew we were going after. They didn’t all hit, but we did try, and those all would have expanded the payroll above where we are now.”
On Stephen Drew and why the Mets opted not to spend on another high-end free-agent:
“If those one or two things were there, we would have expanded the budget for them,” he said. “Just to get a guy because the fans think that’s the right thing to do, that’s not part of the plan. Sandy’s not going to overspend for something he doesn’t see value in. The value that we see in those guys versus what their agents were asking for does not meet.”
Wilpon said the team’s biggest current weakness is their major-league ready position player prospects.
“I don’t think we have enough position-player prospects that are ready to compete for jobs at the Major League level right now,” he said. “We’d like to have more, like we have with the pitchers. We’d like to have that same stable of young guys competing for position player jobs. The guys we have are a couple years away.”
Regarding the low payroll in a high-market area like New York:
“I would point to the fact that you don’t have to have that kind of payroll to win.”
Finally, Wilpon on Sandy Alderson’s tenure as Mets general manager thus far:
“I think he’s put the plan in place, and we’re ready to see the fruits of that labor now.”
You can view MLB.com’s full transcription of their sit-down with Jeff Wilpon here.