Alderson: What Will Happen with Reyes, Payroll, Dimensions?

Taking a page from the 1985 classic movie The Breakfast Club, Sandy Alderson continued his “Don’t You Forget About Me” media tour yesterday, this time appearing with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

Essentially, Alderson rehashed his SNY talking points from the previous day regarding the Citi Field walls, the young arms and the 2012 closer, but he also added tidbits about Jose Reyes and next year’s payroll.

Alderson called Reyes his top priority and expressed optimism that the Mets will keep their shortstop. He did however expect that Reyes will at least test the market by filing for free agency. “If he’s come this far, he will file,” Alderson said.

He also told Francesa that he has already been given the parameters for the 2012 payroll and they are “in line with what’s been discussed.” Francesa probed a bit on this one and gained agreement from Sandy that the payroll is more in the $110 million range than in the $70 million range. “That’s good news,” was Francesa’s reply, as he then gave an updated Yankees score.

Dan’s Take: I remain confident that the Mets have the right man in Alderson to lead them back to contention. I agree that those ridiculous dimensions at Citi Field must be changed, that the Mets need a better closer and that they must keep Reyes. I’d like to hear more on finding a left handed platoon for Jason Bay and getting a defensively skilled catcher, but it does sound like they have their priorities in the proper order as the offseason looms.

Joe’s Take:: As you might guess, I’m skeptical. To me this is Alderson acting as the talking head of the organization with the job of smoothing things over with the fan base, and to set the stage for the offseason stories. For example, he’s setting no expectations re: Reyes, but, he’s offering the possibility of changing the dimensions — it’s like a bargain.

YOUR take?
Put it in the comments.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. NormE September 22, 2011 at 11:02 am
    It seems that most of us are: disgruntled, disappointed or
    trying to look for a silver lining.

    My own view is that Alderson is not to blame for the current mess. Budgetary restrictions will continue to hamper this front office. The real villains are the Wilpons who either actively or passively allowed this franchise to crumble.

    If Reyes chooses to leave, I think we should look for the best value and trade Wright and Pelfrey (please). Both need a new beginning. Wright, because he looks mentally and physically worn out. Hopefully he could resurrect his career in a more supportive setting. Pelfrey,
    because …. well, just because.

    If Reyes stays I think you are simply buying time while you rebuild through the draft and get lucky with undervalued free agents.

  2. MikeT September 22, 2011 at 11:23 am
    Wright has virtually no value to a trade partner. The Mets have him for two more seasons, and he can opt out if he is traded (thus only has one year). One year of Wright for a King’s ransom does not seem attractive to a trade partner, and Alderson would almost certainly have to get a king’s ransom to justify trading Wright. It isn’t happening.

    Pelfrey won’t be moved unless someone offers way more than he is worth at the moment.

    The Mets hope for 2012 is that the offense plays above this year’s team because Davis is healthy, Bay comes back to career norms (or he and Murphy platoon into a better than average player in LF), and Wright plays all season. To maximize this Alderson knows they need to bring in the walls. While I wish players would just ignore it and hit line drives, I understand that Right Center field is ridiculous and Left Field is way too high, and negative feedback (i.e. long fly ball outs) take their toll.

    The Mets would be stupid not to push to resign Reyes. He represents an upgrade to just about every team in baseball at short stop and the Mets will not be able to replace his production for a long time. Plus, as of now, if spending is kept down, after the 2013 season the Mets will no longer have Johan Santana and Jason Bay under contract (buyouts are reasonable). Wright also would be do up after 2013. Point is there is money there in the future, and Alderson is clearly planning two season ahead at least. I think you could see the Mets sign Reyes and extend Wright this offseason with little other movement.

    Based on how the team projects to look in 2013 and beyond, the pitching staff is completely built around young controllable players. And no matter how bad things are in the front office the Mets can sustain a payroll that only has Wright and Reyes as the big money makers. And the Wilpons money woes settle after 2012 the payroll will begin its ASCENT starting 2013. But that is just my opinion. Alderson repeatedly has said that this year’s free agent class does not interest him, and the post 2012 class is much more interesting. I think he believes spending money this offseason on anyone but Reyes is foolish.

  3. Dan Capwell September 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm
    The comment about replacing Reyes’ production is salient. If you can remember after 1990 when Darryl Strawberry walked away, the Mets tried to replace his production, first with a combo of Hubie Brooks and Vince Coleman and then with Bobby Bonilla. As a result the Mets ended if with two “cures” (Coleman and Bonilla) that where worse than the ailment of losing the Straw That Stirred the Drink (and cost more than what he got from the Dodgers). The result was a dark age that lasted until 1998 and Piazza’s arrival. I see a similar problem with letting Reyes go–there is no suitable replacement on the near horizon for his 5.2 WAR. Call me a pessimist but eventually the team will more than likely be forced to overpay for past production on an aging slugger who ends up hating New York.
  4. Joe September 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm
    I agree with Norm but think Mike is correct as to the problems actually trading W/P. I think it might be possible to get a net benefit from trading P. I reckon there is some other inning eater out there that can be a new face. P. has long wore out his welcome.

    The other Joe has already told me in effect that people are peeved at Alderson because he is the face of the Mets but that the Wilpons are the real problem. It’s too soon for me to say that he’s useless. If all he does is limits the damage, including $$$ wise, it’s something. The team won’t be in hock long term when at some point some change will finally come.

    I continue to wonder if only Mets’ hitters will benefit from changing dimensions. The hitters have low HRs away from Citifield too. With the Mets journeyman pitching staff, easy access will to my mind benefit other teams, some more so than they. I don’t find that too promising.

    If it will help for some reason, more power to them. The Mets won last season at home though. The walls can’t be the only reason they did so horrible there in ’11.

  5. gary s. September 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm
    i saw a stat that said the mets lost 19 games by blowing leads after the 7th inning this year.If they had any kind of a bullpen and cut that stat in half this year they would have 83 wins even with all the injuries.That should be Alderson’s number one priority this offseason.With 60 mill coming off the books there is no excuse not to fix the pen.The most i would offer reyes is 60 mill for 4 years.If he can get more so be it.The comparison to Strawberry is not accurate.Strawberry was not chronically injured. like Reyes.Nobody knows if reyes will play 60 games or 160 games the next few years.That was not the case with Darryl
    • Mike B September 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm
      Gary, First off all bad teams blow games after the 7th inning that why they are “bad” plus even good teams blow 5-10 games so the number wouldnt go as hign as 83. And i am sick of hearing about reyes being an injury risk. Every single team would like start reyes at SS next year and take there chances.
  6. gary s. September 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm
    Reyes will have a new contract in a few months.We disagree on him being a risk due to injuries.We will all have an answer the next year or 2.
  7. Tony F September 24, 2011 at 8:16 am
    Regarding the Reyes situation, nobody can really speculate whether he is signing with the Mets, or not, at this point. It’s going to boil down to 2 factors, in my opinion. One, is a team going to blow other teams (including the Mets) out of the water with an unmatchable offer. Not that the Werth signing last year is a reference, but in a similar vein. If some team offers him 6/$120mil, does anyone really think the Mets will match, given their current financial “cloud of uncertainty”? Sandy is saying all the right things now, because, really, can he say, “Well, we don’t have a lot of money to spend, so we hope Jose will agree to a 5 year/$80 million dollar contract, or else we can’t afford it”? No, he has to appease the fan base to make it look like they’re going to put an effort in. Understandably, any team that signs him will have to understand that he is an injury risk, and the chances of him playing a full season, given his past, and the type of game he plays, are remote, but still, when healthy, there are few players who are as dynamic, exciting, or potential game changers. I can see a team offering him a sizable contract, and the Mets taking the 2 draft choices and moving on with Tejada, telling us afterwards that, “We gave it our best effort. We really wanted to keep Jose, but in the end, we feel we have a good young shortstop in Ruben Tejada, and in the end, we felt the money could be better spent on improving our club in other areas, rather than one”.
    Secondly, consider the player. Baseball is a business, and while loyalties go so far, any player will want to know the team’s long-term plans for contending and building a championship-caliber ballclub. A “marquee” free agent will generally not consider a club unless they are condending, close to condending, or will throw exhorbitant amounts of $$$ at him, when no other team will do the same (see Jason Bay). Given the Wilpons tenuous financial status, the fact that the Mets look to be at least 3 years away from playing “meaningful games in September” and declining fan attendance in a town where this team is a distant #2 , if I’m a ballplayer, and I want to win in an exciting atmosphere, where it’s fun to come to the park every day…sorry…I’m not picking this team. Now, that could change if there were new owners committed to building a top quality club, spending the money necessary to do so, and having a concrete plan of attack. I liken what we’re going through now to the DeRoulet cost-cutting years of the late 70’s, before Doubleday/Wilpon bought the team, in that “Wilpon 2011” due to his own financial issues, is still attempting to operate a ballclub on a (for this town) shoestring budget. I say that tongue in cheek, given the $110 million dollar figure being thrown around, but when you are signing the likes of Capuano, Young, Harris, Carrasco, in the off season, you’re not kidding anyone regarding what you want your budget to be. If this is his plan, then there should (hopefully) be a plethora of young talent ready to come up (circa 1984) to guide this team for the next 4-5 years, but other than some decent pitchers who look to be a couple years away….there are no “studs” down on the farm to pick us up. I think Duda has done fairly well in the second half, but lets see how he does for a full year, next year, before I’m sold. Yankee fans will invoke the name “Kevin Maas” on this example.
    …my opinion, though, from Jose’s comments recently, I see a player preparing for his departure.
  8. NormE September 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm
    Tony F,
    I just got back from a short trip and read your comment. One of the best reasoned bits of writing I’ve come across.