Playing the role of Sandy Alderson

There have been all kinds of happenings in the Mets organization of late.

Ike Davis – who was supposed to be one of the big bats in the Mets’ line-up – was sent down to Triple-A along with Mike Baxter and Robert Carson.

Davis has struggled immensely this season with a batting line of .161/.242/.258 and has been on a downward plane since injuring his left ankle in a collision with David Wright in May of 2011.

Baxter had sub-par numbers hitting .212/.333/.282 in 102 plate appearances for the team and Carson had an ugly ERA of 8.50 in 13 games out of the bullpen.

All three moves had to be made and hopefully all of the aforementioned players can fix what needs to be fixed, regain some confidence and make their way back to the big leagues to help the Mets in the future.

The team also designated outfielder Rick Ankiel for assignment.

Ankiel hit a mere .194/.254/.387 for the Mets after they signed him to a contract after his release from Houston and despite his reputation for being a good clubhouse guy, his play on the field did not save him from losing his roster spot to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

The Mets also selected first baseman Dominic Smith from Junipero Serra high school with the number 11 pick in the MLB entry draft and a deal between the two parties could be completed as early as this weekend, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

GM Sandy Alderson has obviously been busy of late in an attempt to improve his ball club in the present as well as the future.

The role of GM is one that every baseball enthusiast wishes they could play. We’ve all played the role of armchair GM and have been convinced that if we could be the ones pulling the strings, we’d have a championship calibre team every year for the rest of the franchise’s history.

Well, let’s do that today.

If you were Sandy Alderson, what would you do to fix the current state of the Mets?

What move or moves would you pull off to make this team a winner right now or in the foreseeable future?

Let’s be realistic and keep payroll in mind here. Saying that you would grab the best and most expensive players via trade without having the money to actually pay them doesn’t make sense, so let’s not even go there.
Here’s what I would do.

Promote Zack Wheeler, which Alderson is already going to do. Wheeler will hopefully give the Mets rotation a boost when he is promoted in less then a week. If he pitches to his potential, the Mets rotation won’t be half bad. Matt Harvey is still dominate, Wheeler could be great, Jonathon Niese is still effective, Shaun Marcum could still turn it around and Dillon Gee’s last three starts have been impressive.

Trade Marlon Byrd, Brandon Lyon and LaTroy Hawkins. All of these guys are having decent enough seasons that you would get a return on them from a contender.

These are the type of ball players contenders love to acquire at the trade deadline and the Mets could sell high on Byrd and Lyon and perhaps acquire some low level prospects. Although Hawkins isn’t having an outstanding year, his veteran arm and the knowledge transfer he provides to team-mates is useful to a contender for their playoff push, so the Mets could acquire something for him.

Moving these three players would allow them to give more playing time in the outfield to Collin Cowgill and make room on the big league roster for Collin McHugh and Gonzalez Germen and give them all a taste of what it’s like to play more frequently at the highest level.

Long story short, the best way for the Mets to move forward is to give these young guys the playing time that is necessary for them to learn.

Think of how effective the Oakland Athletics have been throwing their young players into the fire. Their young arms have been atop the American League in rotation ERA over the past few seasons and players such as Josh Donaldson (this season) and Josh Reddick (last season) have succeeded with more playing time.

Also, according to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Alderson estimates that the Mets will have $35-45 million in payroll flexibility come the winter, so money will be there for the team. Invest it in the future and let’s shoot for the stars in the years coming.

Trade your veterans when they have value and stockpile prospects, build your farm system and spend your money on signing your young talent long-term. The now isn’t working, but the years coming are beginning to look promising.

Winning now doesn’t seem like an option; winning later sounds more realistic. The key to it all is that the Mets win at some point. If they can do that, the franchise should be in good shape.

6 comments for “Playing the role of Sandy Alderson

  1. June 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

    And Ankiel has gone from DFA’ed to released and is now a free agent.

  2. Jerry Grote
    June 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    MHO, Hawkins, Lyon and Byrd aren’t enough to get you a pretty good “AA” prospect … if that. If the only reason you have to move them is to give your young talent a shot, then point to me where the relief pitchers and RFers are in the MiL.

    Those are precisely the parts I’d keep around. I want Travis T to get a shot. I’d like to see Leathersich get a shot. Why isn’t Satin playing 1B? Or Andrew Brown in LF? Haven’t we seen enough of Kirk in CF? Montero and Wheeler both in the rotation, sooner than later.

    And for chrissakes, will the Mets get some guys who’s names I can spell?

    • za
      June 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Brown was hurt until a couple of days ago but we would have seen him instead of Cowgill had he been healthy. He’s on a tear now and I don’t think it will be long until we replace Satin/Cowgill with Flores/Brown.

  3. za
    June 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Short-term (trade deadline):
    -Move Marcum, Byrd, and any other part-time player with some immediate value but limited long-term use for the team. Lyon, Atchison, and Hawkins fall into this category. The haul won’t be great and some of these guys could be bundled.
    -Leverage minor league pitching depth to get at least 1 solid bat who can play the OF. I suggest Alex Gordon and Chase Headley as guys to consider. Guys to consider moving are pretty much any pitcher but Harvey. Obviously we would expect more for Wheeler and Niese, but we could get one hell of a haul for Niese if he is strong from now until the trade deadline.

    Medium-term (off-season)
    -Sign Choo if the contract obligations aren’t too crazy. If not, see possible platoon options. Maybe try to get Beltrán to sign if the Cardinals don’t resign him.
    -Bolster bullpen
    -Replace coaching staff and bring in new blood (manager, hitting coach, pitching coach)

    Long-term (2014+2015)
    -Get Harvery extended
    -fix shortstop
    -make sure OF is a strength
    -In short, get a frigging winning team out there

  4. June 15, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Problem is this is New York not Oakland. The fan base has an expectation that the team at the very least should be competitive day in and day out. Everyone knew the outfield was going to be a weak link yet SA placed his hopes on aging players and unproven kids. So here we are 3 months into the season and the outfield is still a mess. The bull pen is inconsistent and the line up struggles for offense. Thank God for the Marlins.
    To Za. Beltran would cost 10 million or more. Better to apply that money on Choo or Austin Jackson(via trade of Parnell and Tejada). Instead of bolstering the pen, how about removing those ineffective lefties that TC swears that we need? Use your pitchers that can actually get batters out. Who cares if the pen only has right handed pitchers? No one is going to complain if they get the job done.

  5. Metsense
    June 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Being a GM you have to make tough decisions and live with it and move on.
    Davis or Duda?
    Marcum or Gee/Hefner?
    Murphy or Flores? (A possible future decision)
    Bourne and an undervalued contract or Dominic Smith (or maybe not)?
    The point is that there comes a time that a GM has to make a decision, and these decisions are how he is graded.
    Not making a decision and trying to put square pegs in round holes just doesn’t work.
    If I were GM I would make these decisions and move on rather than be stagnant.
    I don’t think anyone in the past year has criticized Sandy on the Pagan trade because quite frankly at the time most agreed with it and some trades don’t work out. You move on. Right now the stagnant team is beginning to have a stench.

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