Sandy Alderson On the Defensive
From Adam Rubin on ESPN-NY:
Alderson expressed surprise the direction of the call turned to why the Mets did not sell instead of why they were not buyers. Asked by ESPNNewYork.com about there arguably being little value in increasing the 2012 win total of a non-playoff team, Alderson said:
“Well, maybe you’re not a Mets fan, Adam. Or you’re not a Mets employee. Or you’re not a Mets observer. You’re certainly a Mets reporter. It’s not clear to me you have the same mindset as all the other constituencies that relate to the Mets. It’s a good question, but if we’re just going to get marginal talent, and I’m talking about let’s say maybe not even top-30 prospect status in an organization, then we have a choice to make.”
He said he had dialogue with at least three AL teams about Scott Hairston, but it was more valuable to keep the 2012 team competitive than have only an incremental help to the farm system in acquiring a Class A prospect. Alderson added that while he has not had any contract extension talks with Hairston, that likely will be at least broached in August.
“Without getting significant help for 2013, we were not going to move players simply to move them,” Alderson said. “We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement to the overall player-development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a ‘seller.’ But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren’t simply going to make a move just to make a move. We didn’t need to dump salary. And we were not interested in the types of prospects that were offered to us and would have had a very marginal impact on our system.
“Right now, he’s a very important part of our team,” Alderson continued, referring to Hairston. “And we do feel it’s important to field as strong a team as we reasonably can for the rest of the season. We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we still have lots of good baseball in front of us. And Scott can be part of that. If you look historically at what bench players, platoon players can bring to a team that moves that kind of player at the deadline, it’s not always a great return. …
“I think there’s a lot of value in, for example, making a run, even if it’s unrealistic. I think there’s a lot of value, for example, in finishing well over .500. I think there’s a lot of value in finishing over .500. I think those things create a perception. What happened or didn’t happen on the deadline may be largely forgotten if a team is able to create a positive impression the second half of the season.
“I thought we would talk on this call about the fact that we didn’t add anything. And now we’re talking about why we didn’t subtract, which is interesting to me. As I said, we’re about changing impressions, changing perceptions. And you do that with wins and losses, primarily. I understand our fans are disappointed with what’s happened the last three weeks or so, but it’s not the end of the season. And there are a lot of impressions to be made over the remaining two months. I happen to think those impressions can be more valuable than a low-A prospect, below the top 30, from some organization in the American League.”
Whoa. Defensive much? Condescending much?
I have to wonder, is Sandy Alderson frustrated because other teams wouldn’t work with him, or is there something deeper going on? This psychobabble sounds eerily similar to assertions that “the Mets will play meaningful games in September.”
Is it possible that Alderson has less power than we’d like to believe? Might Alderson be hamstrung by someone above him — an issue every Mets GM has experienced since Nelson Doubleday was forced out of ownership?
What’s your thought? Am I reading too much into this? Jumping to conclusions? Or is there enough tension here to suggest that not all is peachy on the upper floors of Citi Field’s offices?
Let’s face it the next 8 weeks could be pretty ugly if we subtracted out Hairston’s bat against LHP so the return would have had to be worth the moaning, whining and groaning that would have accompanied a 15-35 finish.
For all we know Rubin may have been inserting his opinion that we should have sold (after not being privy to the discussions) into the question for a couple of reasons. He feels we should have or he wants a ready made story to write about and now only has “The Mets did nothing” after yakking about the deadline for 3 weeks.
This Organization has put public perception in front of many things including intelligent baseball decisions for 20+ years and I’m glad Alderson stepped on Rubin’s toe. The days of being scared of the media in the Mets FO are over. There is only one priority and that is building a year in and year out threat to win the World Series.
Reporters should gather and then report the facts and then provide opinion, not have one while gathering the details.
Clearly, Alderson is simply stating that the Mets were not sellers because the offers sucked. Had they not sucked
he might well have made some moves.
The Mets blogosphere seems to be getting itself caught up in subplots and imaged duplicity from Alderson. I, for one, see Alderson just doing what he was hired to do. Play it as straight as he can with the press and try to put together a decent baseball team.
You’re not going to totally trash this year & maybe finish last in the division instead of third for marginal minor league talent. Rubin’s question implied sort of a knee-jerk all-or-nothing mindset on his part.
Why not? It makes sense for the Phillies and Marlins but not the Mets? Aren’t the Mets in their current perpetual cycle of mediocrity because they never fully commit to rebuilding?
It’s a mess right now, but it’s getting better, slowly.
Boldib – agreed, this is a business and the Wilpons have to put fannies in the seats. Part of that marketing push is “making changes for the sake of change,” which Alderson insisted he would NOT do. Why not, Sandy? Making a move — even a small one — helps create interest in the team, and helps prevent people from moving their attention to the Jets and Giants. If it’s really true that every trade offer “sucked,” then at the very least, they could have swallowed the rest of Jason Bay’s contract and released him outright. Doing absolutely nothing gives the appearance that you’re, well, doing absolutely nothing.
2009 we sold two draft choices in the Wagner deal for Chris Carter and 2010 we sold the supplemental pick that Rod Barajas would have left behind to the Dodgers for cash.
Those three picks combined would have been substantially more than anything the Tigers have in their top 30 but not a word about that.
We know now that those sales were made because of the Madoff situation and the Mets going broke. What is the excuse now?
BTW where is this Tigers #30 prospect talk coming from? I haven’t seen it anywhere.
Double plays not turned, fly balls that drop in, passed balls, missed cutoffs, fly balls that hit people in the legs and that’s not even counting the charged errors. It’s a complete joke.
The bullpen adds a full run to their ERA just by signing or remaining here.
This is a bit repetitive, but cutting through the Ivy League vocab I think Boldib said it best – they weren’t sellers (or buyers) because the offers sucked. That is tough to take as Met fans coming off years of Jeff Wilpon nonsense and another 2nd half swoon, but it is most likely accurate regarding the current trade deadline.
The Mets have not yet moved to Kansas City or Des Moines. As long as they are in New York, they have to at least give the appearance of forward movement if they wish to keep the fan base interested. They’ve been selling this “plan for the future” PR campaign for nearly two years, and every once in a while it’s necessary to do SOMETHING to give fans a reason to keep the faith. Holding on to aging never-wases such as Bay, Torres, Hairston, Byrdak, etc. is not the way to communicate it.
Hairston might have brought a small piece.
I’m sure he did whatever he could. Everything fell into place last year, didn’t this one. Move on.
But I wasn’t necessarily insinuating that the Mets trade those players. For example, if they released Bay outright, it would have sent a message to Mets fans that the team is committed to making forward progress. An “addition by subtraction” is better than doing nothing at all.
Decisions have to made around here for purely baseball reasons period.
The only sending of messages that should be done is to the National League through whipping their ***es. Anything else is just more of the same.
Why yes, Izzy, that IS funny. I don’t remember that happening myself.
Therefore, I think that Andy was correct in advocating for packaging Hairston with other players for some possibLe future values.
Really? Well I’m going to anyway. Alderson could not have gotten anyone’s top 10 through 15 for Hairston. Also, even if he did, what exactly is a 10-15 prospect? For the Mets (as reference) we’re talking (according to fangraphs) Reese Havens, Phillip Evans, Jack Leathersich, Akeel Morris, and Darrel Ceciliani. So an often injured 25 year old stuck in AA (and been awful this year), an A- (Savanna) ball SS busted for steroids, a relief pitcher who walks 4 per 9 at A+ ball, a raw pitcher at Rookie level, and toolsy but underwhelming CFer in A+.
Before you damn the Mets system and say they need more pieces there, while true, these are all just prospects and none of them, in any system, is likely to be an impact big leaguer any time soon. Guys who were ranking 10-15 in most systems that have been good, are likely reranked much higher by now. There’s nothing worth moving a productive big leaguer for, nothing.
Hey, if you want to watch Hairston hit mistakes over the fence for a third-place club in August and September, that’s your prerogative. Me, I don’t need those cheap thrills and am looking toward the long-term plan, which is what I thought Alderson’s PR strategy was focused on. Hairston doesn’t fit into a long-term plan, and he’s at the highest value he’ll ever be right now, and that’s why it makes sense to trade him for anything, even if it’s a top 15 or top 20 prospect. Thole, Duda, Gee, and several other players who have been on the MLB roster the past two years were in that category — along with the Havens and Cecilianis.
Hairston’s future can be fairly accurately predicted, while the kids cannot.
And in any case, you certainly generated more comments on this subject than anything since Santana’s no hitter, so hats off.
we have wright going into a contract yr which is always good for motivation and we will sign him to an ext….additoins of wheeler and harvey in rotation…young guys playing this yr will benefit nxt yr….im sure bay gets realeased and they wont go into the 13 season with him…
considering the mess sandy took over….i will give him until end of next season..if there are no major improvements by next yr then somethign has to give…either the wilpons being cheap, or sandy isnt a good gm…and considering sandy at least has a track record of being a good gm hopefully it works…we all know wilpons track record blows
do people forget when we got wheeler for beltran everyone couldnt believe we got that good a prospect? hairston doesnt = beltran…