Everyone in Metsland seems upset that David Wright was the victim of voter fraud in San Francisco and that R.A. Dickey was the victim of Tony LaRussa arrogance/stupidity. Me, I do not care too much about either of those things. Rather what has me upset is the opening line of a column published by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman Monday night. Here’s what Heyman wrote:

”Some Mets officials may suspect their team may have overachieved to go 46-40 in the first half.

Ugly sentence aside, if some Mets officials think that, I want to know who they are. I want to know who is on the payroll, seemingly watched a bunch of games and thinks this team is not as good as its record. And once I know who they are, I want to start a petition to have them fired.

The Mets are a flawed team with some excellent parts. The flaws are their weakness against LHP and the bullpen. The excellent parts are the starting rotation and a lineup that punishes RHP. Since there are more RHP than LHP and starters pitch more innings than relievers – this is a good team.

Let’s list some things this year’s team has overcome.

Starting center fielder injured on Opening Day
Season-ending injury to their fourth starter after three games
Starting left fielder has missed 64 games
Starting shortstop has missed 45 games
Starting catcher out 24 days
Played fourth-string shortstop due to injuries to both backups while starter out.
Have used 22 different pitchers by the All-Star break
Opening Day cleanup hitter had a .501 OPS after the club’s 55th game
Had a negative run differential through June 12th
Closer out 18 days and counting

This is not a team that has had everything go right. It’s a team with talent – perhaps not distributed as evenly as we’d prefer – and some depth but one that needs some tweaking. After 86 games, anyone who thinks this team is succeeding with smoke and mirrors is, for lack of a better word, uninformed.

Sandy Alderson is in a tough spot. This is not a team likely to win its division, much less the World Series. But with two Wild Card spots available, this is definitely a squad that can make the playoffs. And the cold reality is that making the playoffs would be a financial boon to the owners. And while it’s been months since anyone’s said the words “Bernie Madoff” the Mets are still carrying a bunch of debt. So, it would be very nice from a bottom line perspective to make the playoffs and have some unexpected home games in October.

But he cannot trade his top prospects and the second-tier ones may not be enough to get anyone worthwhile. Can Alderson pick up salary (and pick up the *right* salary) to add the necessary pieces?

Alderson has enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon in New York but now it is time for him to step up and produce a key piece for the team’s playoff push. With his offseason bullpen acquisitions being at best mixed, Alderson could use a nice acquisition nearly as much as the Mets if he wants to stay in the good graces of the fans.

The 2012 Mets have exceeded expectations but they have not overachieved as some may believe. You need to look no further than their Pythagorean Record, which is just one game off their actual mark, for proof of that statement. Healthy seasons from their top players and better than expected depth have been key reasons for the team’s success.

With slightly more than half of the season in the books, it is obvious what the team needs to improve going forward. And now it’s up to Alderson to address those needs. It’s your move, Sandy.

4 comments on “It’s time for Sandy Alderson to address Mets’ needs

  • 7train

    The contortions that Collins has to go through just to field a coherent lineup against LHP should be all the answer anyone needs to know about whether this team is a piece or two away. Forget about the defense. Anyone dying to see Duda kick the ball around RF in October? Bay coming up in a big spot? A lefty coming in to face Ike with two out and the bases loaded? Don’t forget that come the playoffs we’ll get LH starters MORE often and they’ll be 2 or 3 more in the pen and Kirk, Davis and Duda simply don’t hit them like corner OFers and first basemen should. so your looking at Tejada, Cedeno, Wright, Hairston, Bay, Turner (or Satin) Torres, Nickeas (or Thole) and the pitcher. With an extra LHP in the pen that will compress our LH hitters to just one inning in pinch hitting roles. Is that a lineup worth blowing a Fulmer on to sit Bay down?

    Baseball being baseball anything can happen and while it would be fun to be in a pennant/wild Card hunt and isn’t unreasonable to think that we could win it the chances of actually making the World Series aren’t enough to divert course from what should be the only goal this Organization should ever have. Competing for a World Championship every year, year after year. Not building up just to break it down and put all the marbles on a long shot.

    One just has to think back to how did we get so one dimensional at almost every position? We have two everyday players that hit both LHP, RHP, play defense and run the bases. Everyone else is some weird combination of guys who can do one, one and a half or two of those things. Compensate for one, get beat by the other. Pays off one night, costs you the next.

    Accelerating the time frame has repeatedly cost this team because you simply cannot make up for the lack of work done 5-10 years beforehand in one off season or at the trading deadline. One of the saddest things that ever happened to this Franchise was not surrounding Reyes and Wright with younger and near equal talent and then going on to dominate the NL for years to come relying instead on an ever revolving cast of patches to (hopefully) provide a short term solution and what has that gotten us? 3 post seasons in 23 years fueled for the most part by a Division rival selling us their best players.

    This team has both over and under achieved. Timely hitting, games given away by wretched defense, blown leads, exciting comebacks, good fortune and bad luck. 50/50.

    Now a good case can be made for being both buyers AND sellers, and at the same time pairing down one of our numerous position players that need a platoon mate as well as a defensive replacement. Trading a Michael Fulmer for a half season of Carlos Quentin just winds up setting the team back and while Fulmer is no guarantee either is Quentin.

    Arizona has a monster rotation coming through the farm right now and no position players down there to form a real contender. Most of their current position players won’t be around when their young pitching gets here. They’ve dangled Upton before and it seems pretty clear they would like to get out from under the 38 million owed to him. Upton doesn’t come without risk. Not sure what his deal is but 2-3 of our position playing prospects like Havens, Marte, Vaughn, Ceciliani, Lagares and Puello along with Wilmer Flores combined with us taking on the 40 million owed would be worthwhile to shore up RF against LHP, defensively and base running wise till 2015 where presumably we’d be able recoup 2 prospects when Upton becomes a FA.

    That combined with being sellers. Duda for a big time RF prospect or catcher (I love Mahtook and Tampa could use Duda in the worst way) who will also not need a platoon mate or defensive replacement would help us now and help us later.

    The names I’ve heard being bandied about for us to trade are insane. Tovar 20 years old in AA is already a ML SS defensively and he’s hitting RHP there to the tune of .300/.364/.350. He would allow Tejada to move to 2B and form a great middle infield and we’d be protected from the disastrous Mike Bordick type trade if one of them got hurt. We could also field a an outstanding troika of Tovar and Tejada along with either Murphy, Valdespin or Havens which would give Collins options up the arse. Something he clearly doesn’t have now.

    den Dekker is a LH hitting CFer who also already plays Major League caliber defense. He also features neutral platoon splits and combines doubles, HR’s with SB’s. The question is will he hit for average and lower the K’s. Hard to say but if he does that’s an extremely valuable player to have. Even if he doesn’t he can save a season for you if the CFer goes down because his D is that good. Beats Gary Mathews Jr hands down. He also wouldn’t count against the 40 man roster this off season and yet next year could be added if an injury occurs.

    Edgin could be that deadline deal you have to over pay for or that off season acquisition that gets 2-3 years and is putrid anywhere from 2013-2020. He’ll have 3 option years and can be sent up or down at will as needed. Same goes for Leathersich. Tapia and Fulmer that starting pitcher you would love to add but costs too much beginning in 2016 or that AAA pitcher who comes up when you lose a starter to injury.

    In short I would let teams pick up to five of Flores, Marte, Lutz, Duda, Ceciliani, Havens, and Puello, include one of Vaughn, Gorski or Lagares if I had to. Turner and Quintanilla if need be as well but only if I got something completely well rounded for the next few years in RF and something else completely well rounded for the future in either RF or catcher and both pieces being right handed.

    • Brian Joura

      I would be willing to trade any of the 12 players you mentioned in the last paragraph, with the only qualification being that if they deal Duda they need to have a RF to replace him.

  • Metsense

    Brian, excellent posts like this one, that are well thought out and realistic, are the reason I read 360. The availability in the market should allow Sandy to upgrade the bullpen and RH hitting catching by the deadline without significantly disrupting the farm system. Anything less would be a disappointment.

  • eddie86

    Sandy alderson has NOT done a good job since becoming GM…..Any Gm with common sense would have got the Mets a real closer at the break .. and they wouldnt be losing games in 8th or 9th inning!

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