Mets Fan: What Would YOU Do as GM?

From longtime, loyal MetsToday visitor and commenter “argonbunnies“:

Hey Joe Janish, how about a post where you ask readers this:

If you could take 3 actions as Mets GM, which no one would ever reverse, but after which you would return control to the current group, what would you do?

OK, Mets fans, it’s your chance to play Sandy Alderson. Give thanks for the opportunity as you defrost that turkey. Fire away in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Oy vayizmeer November 27, 2013 at 7:37 am
    Bobby Parnell, Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, and $85 for Carlos Gonzalez
  2. Dave norton November 27, 2013 at 8:31 am
    I would stop the endless spin and be straight up as to plan.
  3. Joe Bourgeois November 27, 2013 at 8:53 am

    It appears the Wilpons/Katz have been lying to him.

  4. NormE November 27, 2013 at 8:56 am
    Love the question. But, it would be hard to answer because I would want to go into the trade market and without knowing what other teams are offering or are willing to accept I can’t advocate any particular trade. Who wants Ike or Duda or Murph Niese or Gee? What are they offering in return?

    If I go the FA route and can spend whatever it would be easy to say Drew, Ellsbury and Soo, but that could be very costly and when present ownership returns they would probably dump them for cheap options. That also makes it harder to continue to build through the draft.

    On the other hand, if you burden the Mets with three very expensive contracts maybe it would place such a financial hardship on the Wilpons that they would have to consider getting out of the business.

  5. Sully November 27, 2013 at 9:17 am
    1 Sign Granderson, Cruz, Colon, Halladay
    2 play Ike and Tejada
    3 trade Duda,

    1 Tejada SS
    2 Murphy 2b
    3 Wright 3b
    4 Granderson RF
    5 Cruz. LF
    6 Davis. 1b
    7 Young CF
    8 dArnaud C

    1 Colon
    2 Wheeler
    3 Neise
    4 Gee
    5 Halladay

  6. Chums41 November 27, 2013 at 9:25 am
    1. Sign Choo. If we’re willing to pay David Wright, 7 yrs/$127mm than we should be willing to pay Choo, 7 yrs at $105-115.
    2. If we’re not willing to pay up for Choo than trade for Michael Cuddyer, using Ike Davis as the centerpiece.
    3. Sign James Loney
    4. Sign A. J. Pierzynski and play him in a 60/40 split, game wise, with d”Arnaud
  7. blastingzone November 27, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Sign Granderson, Drew, and Ayroro!
  8. Quinn November 27, 2013 at 10:39 am
    Since I dont know what players would get in return in a trade I will stay away from those moves.
    1) Sign a platoon type LH corner outfielder that will compliment Chris Young. Someone similar to Duda at the plate against RHP but better in the field.
    2) Shift focus to pitching and strong defense rather than sacrificing defense for hits. Solid defense = shorter innings = less injuries to pitchers hypothetical. (this change would open the door to Den Dekker playing everyday in RF)
    3) Sign Stephen Drew. Yes he will be over paid for what he is worth, but you have to have improvement up the middle, especially with the new defensive focus (see change 2)
    The two signings would shore up the line up keeping the team under the desired spending limit while relying on young arms to anchor the pitching staff, its time to give some of the players in the minors a shot.

    Also if I could make an organizational change I would stop delaying better players getting to their chance to keep their super 2 status. It is like punting the season just field the best team the organization can offer.
    Oh and stop signing anyone linked to PEDs but that’s just me on my high horse.

  9. Metstheory22 November 27, 2013 at 11:03 am
    Sign Granderson for RF, trade for Kemp (before C. Young was signed) and have signed Dice-K as 4th or 5th starter with Mejia.
    Ike- 1B, Young-2b, Tejada/Tovar-SS Wright -3B, Kemp-LF, Lagares-CF, Granderson-RF, TDA- C.
    Lagares/ Tejada.
  10. DanB November 27, 2013 at 11:32 am
    I wouldn’t bother with any trade or FA signing. The Mets could trade Davies for Trout and Tejada for Kershaw and it won’t mean a thing unless there are fundimental changes to their organization.
    1) Convince Fred Wilpon to fire Jeff Wilpon. Not a traditional role for a GM, however it needs to be done. It has been reported he is one of the least respected baseball official in the league. He could not get into a college (and his father is a billionaire!) yet he is the COO and continues to have influence on moves and policy making. Simply put, the Mets will never have continuing success with him as the top official.
    2) Empathisize player development. Stop firing minor league officials and scouts and closing down teams. Create a system to teach proper fundimentals. Fill the minors with good baseball players, even if they don’t have a chance to make it, so every level values playing the right way. And stop pissing off minor league team owners so you don’t have to send your top prospects to Las Vegas.
    3) Create a more balance approach to team building. It has been proven that “pitching wins championships” is a not true. Pitching, hitting, and defense wins championships. You need all three. Also, don’t ask your 3-4-5 hitters to take the same approach as your 1-2, 7-8 hitters. While OBP is important to the top of the order or when you trying to get on base so the pitcher doesn’t lead off the next inning, when you have runners in scoring position, I’d rather have someone with a high batting average then a high OBP because I want that runner to score on a hit or at least move over on a good out.
  11. devant November 27, 2013 at 11:38 am
    Too Many holes need more than 3

    1) determine if Texas is willing to trade one of their many SS prospects. They are currently loaded at the position. their # 2 prospect Luis Sardinas may be available for Montero and leatherstich.

    2) Outfield free agent class is weak. Not many difference makers. Granderson would be an upgrade, but with the addition of Chris Young, we can not add Grandy to our lineup. We can not have (4-5 players on our team who strike out at such a high rate and hit below .250). Please remember that we were tied for league lead for strikeouts last season. With Young , we are a lock to lead the league this season. Choo would be a nice addition but the price is too high.
    I really like the Ike for Aoki trade but not sure if brewers would do it.
    3) Move Flores to first base. (has had a knack for getting RBI’s)
    4) Keep Murphy (clutch and doesn’t strike out much)
    5) I would sign Arroyo or Halladay

    These moves keep in the line of not spending and still moving forward.
    Sign Guys with a big possible upside to trade for prospects at trade deadline. ie Hughes, Arroyo, Halladay. Contenders always need more pitching at the trade deadline. When you accumulate prospects it opens the door to packaging prospects to get a Mike Stanton.
    I don’t think Mets fans would be happy with the plan. But the key to my team would be Pitching and high OBP with clutch hitting.

    Patience is a hard keep. But I would much rather see a perennial contender. The Marlins and Blue Jays both tried to improve in a single offseason and we all know how well that worked out.

  12. metsdoc November 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    Dear Sandy,
    By now you have realized that in your drunken stupor you mistakenly signed Chis Young. I know management probably told you keep the roster Young. You thought it would be funny to sign players with the corresponding last name. METS FANS ARE NOT AMUSED. Nor will we be if you are able to get Anthony Young out of retirement to be our fifth starter.
    I know that you have created this post in an attempt to determine how to get your self out of this mess. I unfortunately will not be helping you today.
    I will give you a plan of action for your own well being:
    1) Sober Up
    2) do NOT attend the winter meetings (because you wont do anything there anyway)
    3) buy yourself an all expense paid ticket to fuji (25 mil should cover it)
    4) lay on the beach, DRINK ALOT !!!!!!!
    5) repeat step 1
    6) see you in the Spring with the same Crap Team.
    7) Start drinking again.As a Doc It is very rare that I tell people to drink but in your case, I believe it is the key to your survival. Its going to be a long season!!

    All the Best,
    I wont be seeing you at the ballpark this summer. I am really into Knitting and watching grass grow.

  13. Angelo November 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    Sign Granderson
    Trade Rafael Montero for Chris Owings, SS Arizona
    Trade Ike Davis for Jeremy Helickison, SP Tampa Bay

    1- Owings, SS
    2- Murphy, 2B
    3- Wright, 3B
    4- Granderson, RF
    5- Young, LF
    6- Duda, 1B
    7- D’Arnaud, C
    8- Lagares, CF

    Mejia until (Syndergard gets called up in July)

    • Robert November 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm
      Exactly the trade I was advocating. I would rather send Gee instead of Montero, but I won’t quibble.

      Those trades are totally do-able and make sense for both teams. Sign Phil Hughes for 2 years , 12 million and Harang 1 year 6 million, in addition.

      I would not sign Granderson and instead trade Neise or Wheeler for the Dodger’s Pederson. and sign Looney instead of Granderson. Now we have two additional left handed bats instead of one and both a lot younger and who make more contact.

  14. jceeeee November 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    the best way for the Mets to rebuild is for the Wilpons to sell to someone who is going to do it. not a lot of um um um we might do thisbut we are suffering from sticker shock from FA prices
  15. Dave Hancy November 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Sign Beltran trade Duda,Montero,Niese,Puello and Plawecki to Colorado for Cargo. Sign Kazmir.
  16. izzy November 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    So many opportunities but only three wishes!!!!!! Well, I gotta take back New York and add some buzz to the Mets name. One guy sitting out there. Robinson, come to Queens. Dagger in the Yankee empire, Met fans can thump their chests after all those years of hiding. Number 2, the entire coaching and managerial staff is fired and replaced by guys who may or may not have a philosophy about walking but understand you have to operate to each guy’s strenghts and weaknesses. They ain’t robots. One size doesn’t fit all. Then I fire the guys who think that all minor leaguers develop at the same speed and replace them with talent evaluators who can see when a guy is ready and use him at the big league level when he’s ready, not when some damn chart says he’s gonna be ready. And I’ve hardly changed the roster. Oh well, the new guys will do a much better job.
  17. Bill November 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm
    three moves, eh . . tough one

    the two biggest needs are right field and shortstop – both need to be addressed. Peralta’s signing with St. Louis really put the Mets in more of a box – I was hoping they could sign him as the shortstop upgrade, but with the contract he got, I’m glad they didn’t. There is nobody left on the Free Agent list that I like much at the prices they are quoting. I guess my three moves would be (1) sign Shin Soo Choo for right field, (2) trade for 1 of 3 or 4 shortstops – Lowrie from Oak, Gregorius or Owings from Ari, or Reyes from Toronto. (3) Sign some pitching depth, preferably Kazmir, as they have a huge hole of left-handers. Phil Hughes, although righty might be another good low risk/high reward – probably Citi Field would be more to his liking than Yankee Stadium.

    With that said, I like Andre Ethier better than Choo because of the $$$ – Ethier and Choo are basically the same player, but Ethier would be $40 M cheaper. BUT, the trade bait from the Mets is pretty thin as a shortstop has to come via trade – it would make no sense to even think about Stephen Drew – Jason Bay money with probably the same result and a loss of draft pick. I don’t really like Granderson for this team – too many strikeouts and i’m afraid the ballpark would negate his power too much. The only advantage would be he could probably be signed for less years and less dollars than Choo.

    The trade issue is that the only real major-league pitcher that is tradeable is Niese, their only left hander. If they could get a shortstop with some combination of one of Duda/Davis, Gee, Montero, deGrom, or other lesser minor leaguers, fine, but i think Niese should be close to off-limits. Do not trade Harvey, Wheeler, or Syndergaard for anyone.

    That was an interesting trade proposal for Cargo a bit ago. Still trying to digest that.

    Two last things, a backup catcher, preferably a lefty hitter should be investigated.
    And: A minor league deal? a flyer on Grady Sizemore?? certainly not as a stater in place of Choo or Granderson but why not – when he was healthy, he was a great hitter.

    So yea, three moves is not enough and I’ve overstepped my bounds here . . but .

  18. Rob November 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm
    I would do EXACTLY what Sandy is doing now:

    1. Make public statements that the Met’s are interested in many players, then exhibit shock when they find out what they cost.
    2. Lie to Met’s fans by telling them that they are going to start spending money.
    3. In the end, DO NOTHING that makes the team better.

  19. john November 28, 2013 at 3:51 am
    This isn’t hard even if Alderson makes it seem this way! on the cheap here sign Kazmiar take back the mistake made long ago, sign Halladay. Trade Parnell, Puello, Montero and Valdespian for Cargo. Tajeda and Duda for Lawrie. Now we can play and the payroll is still under 110 million.


    P- Syndergard

    Relief- use the rookies need the velocity and change of pace in the bullpen. This is do-able and cost effective.

  20. micalpalin November 28, 2013 at 4:48 am
    20 posts NONE are the same. That means the Mets ARE bogus. There is NOTHING here or in print that the mets have to build on…at least by concensus. The best player we have is out for a year. what does that mean realistically..

    Start trade your one best, most marketable player..DAVID WRIGHT.
    -Why? He is NOT the face of the Franchise anymore. Matt Harvey is. Zach Wheeler, Noah Syn, and Montero are not going anywhere.
    -Flores gets 3rd base (ala ) Miggy Cabrera, Murph can stick to 2nd. Furcal or Drew gets SS, and I want Morneau at IB (who replaces DW ‘s production).
    -Outfield, Room for Nellie Cruz(?), Lagares (CF) and Young rotating (RF-CF).
    C- Team seems to be dangling TDA…I have said Centeno is the better prospect. Mets apparently want a senior Catcher….Pierzynski? Pena?

  21. Quinn November 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
    Where do some of these trade proposals come from?
    Who wants tons of mediocrity in return for an all star? Seriously lets trade all of our failed projects for the clean up hitter we need so desperately because another GM would accept that trade. I hate Alderson and how he is pompous and hasn’t done anything to improve the club but if it were as easy as trading people who didn’t produce for all stars I am fairly certain not only would he have tried but so would every other team. Seriously if you were another teams GM would you accept these offers?
  22. Glenn Hanna November 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    Trade Montero, Murphy, D’arnaud, and Matz for Carlos Gonzales. Yeah, that hurts but you have to give to get. The Mets get an All-star OF and Colorado gets a catcher, a 2B and two good pitching prospects. I know Colorado has a C but they can spin off D’ardnuad if they want. I have Eric Young play 2B.

    Sign Hughes. I know he wants 2 yrs. He’s 27, never been hurt. Even if the first year isn’t great we will have value either to keep or to trade away.

    Sign Beltran. I know he wants three yrs. Offer him a higher avg salary and give him two yrs plus an option. We have OF Young who can spell Beltran and play in CF if Lagares can’t hit. I only want Beltran to play 140 games. That will be enough.

    My team, not perfect but better and doesn’t kill be payroll wise and leaves me room for 2015 and beyond.

    2B Young
    LF Beltran
    3B Wright
    RF Gonzales
    1B Davis
    CF Lagares
    C Recker
    SS Tejada

    SP Niese
    SP Wheeler
    SP Gee
    SP Hughes
    SP Syndergaard (quit babying these guys. Let them learn in the majors. Glavine, Smoltz, Maddax did. Turned out ok, right?)

  23. argonbunnies November 29, 2013 at 1:11 am
    Huh. Lots of trades and signings. I don’t think any of those will help, because if nothing else changes, then (1) the money the Mets spend on those players will just come out of the payroll elsewhere, and (2) the league is currently low on idiot trade partners to take advantage of.

    So, here’s what I’d do:

    1) Bring MLB-caliber info gathering techniques to our minor leagues. The technology exists to pretty much have All The Data you could ever want on every player in your system. Get it. Not that mountains of data are useful in themselves, but this is to enable the other steps.

    2) Get all Freakonomics on player actions, rather than outcomes. Yeah, we know OBP is good, and everyone wants a guy who’s proven that skill. But how does a player do that? What skills need to be learned first? What physical talents are required? Take All The Data and ask some computers to find some patterns and correlations. Get out ahead of the curve for once.

    3) Act on the conclusions you’ve found, throwing conventional wisdom out the window if necessary. The first team to administer vision tests when drafting? Let it be the Mets. The first team to draft high school players and enroll them in Strike Zone Camp? Let it be the Mets. The first team to realize that injured players hurt the team no matter how good they are when healthy, and bench anyone who can’t pass a pre-game mini-physical? Let it be the Mets. The first team that matches arm position to foot strike with high-speed video in A ball? Let it be the Mets. The first team to convert failed AAA starters into 100-inning relievers in stead of 60-inning relievers? Let it be the Mets. The first team to teach whatever pitches other teams aren’t teaching, so opposing hitters get a different look? Let it be the Mets.

    Replacing the Wilpons with cash-spewing billionaires who buy the best player at every position would be quicker and more foolproof, but then the Mets would be the 2001+ Yankees, and what Mets fan wants that? I’d rather draft like the Cards, develop like the Braves, pitch to the shift like the Rays, and pioneer the Once Thru The Lineup pitcher usage technique or whatever the next big innovation is. That’s something Mets fans could be proud of.

    If all that babble was too abstract and I have to pick something more concrete, here:

    1) Bench guys who can’t pass a Game Health test.

    2) Put scientists in charge of pitcher health and mechanics from A ball to the majors.

    3) Work with said scientists to bring back 4-man rotations, maximized pitch counts, 100-inning relievers, and deeper benches.

    • Dan B November 29, 2013 at 8:55 am
      Argon, thank you for bringing your insights to the game. All these trade proposals reminds me of the saying, “give a man a fish and he eats today. Teach a man to fish and he eats forever. ” I want sustained success. This ownership is incapable of it.
      By the way, if you like Freakenomics, you’ll love “Sportscasting” by some of the same authors. They were the ones that proved pitching doesn’t win championships. They attack a lot of strategic stereotypes in sports.
      • argonbunnies November 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm
        Thanks! I’d never heard of “Scorecasting”, but that sounds really cool. I can never keep up with all the innovative baseball analysis going on at Baseball Think Factory, The Hardball Times, and Fangraphs, but I can probably get through a single book.

        As for ownership, simultaneously splurging on free agents while being stingy in the draft during Minaya’s time might reflect some stubborn, backwards attitudes. If anyone could get them to change, I figured it’d be a guy like Alderson, but we’ll probably never know whether (a) Sandy proposed anything interesting that the Wilpons shot down, or (b) Sandy never proposed anything interesting in the first place. Both are sadly plausible to me.

  24. FRED C December 6, 2013 at 11:43 am
    #2 SIGN CANO