Sandy Alderson’s offseason of opportunity

Jays Trade Dodgers Trade Free Agency Bit of Everything
Eric Young Jr., LF Eric Young Jr., LF Shin-Soo Choo, RF Eric Young Jr., 2B
Jose Reyes, SS Juan Lagares, CF Daniel Murphy, 2B David Wright, 3B
David Wright, 3B Andre Ethier, RF David Wright, 3B Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Jose Bautista, RF David Wright, 3B Ike Davis, 1B Nelson Cruz, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B Ike Davis, 1B Johnny Peralta, SS Daniel Murphy, 1B
Travis d’Arnaud, C Stephen Drew, SS Jason Kubel, LF Yunel Escobar, SS
Ike Davis, 1B Wilmer Flores, 2B Travis d’Arnaud, C Travis d’Arnaud, C
Juan Lagares, CF Travis d’Arnaud, C Juan Lagares, CF Juan Lagares, CF

At this point in the offseason, speculation has gone wild. Which… in many senses means that analysts and baseball pundits are making statements and speculations akin to an unaccompanied coed in Cabo San Lucas during Spring Break. They might have fun, but come the morning, they might also regret what they did, said and where they’ve woken up. I’ve heard every combination of suggestion for the Mets and it’s at the point where I’ve even begun speculating on the speculation.

Troy TulowitzkiWill the Dodgers trade from their massive depth? Will the Mets be able to afford Choo? Can Sandy Alderson work another spell on his friends North of the border? I’ve heard names like Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Beltran, Asdrubal Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Elvis Andrus. In the end… the Mets have options. Sandy Alderson can look at his team’s future and actually has the luxury of options.

Remember the 2009 offseason? The Mets needed to add an offensive outfielder and the options were: A VERY expensive Matt Holliday or a STILL expensive Jason Bay? We all know that Omar Minaya made the wrong choice, ending his tenure with the Mets and handcuffing the Mets prior to the Wilpon’s legal and financial woes.

Alderson has money to spend (between $30 and $40 Mil depending on your sources) and he has prospects to trade (Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Wilmer Flores, Jacob deGrom etc…). He has a bunch of needs (Outfield, Firstbase, Shortstop and Pitching) but he has the means to fix the ship on his terms. The caveat is that as the offseason drags on, these options begin to vanish. Alderson needs to make something happen by the end of the Winter Meetings (December 9th-12th) or the Mets will be looking at having that Devil’s choice once more. Who knows… maybe this time we wind up with Holliday and a couple championships and someone else gets the washed up Canadian outfielder.

If I’m looking at a 2014 team that has around a $100 Mil payroll, a 1-6 that is among the better ones in the division, and starting pitchers who weren’t total bargain basement deals I think I’ll call it a win. I’m hoping that if the Mets can reach the playoffs, they’ll be looking at a total payroll back above $100 Mil beginning in 2015. Just to start the speculation early: Billy Butler, Asdrubal Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Jed Lowrie, Chase Headley, Pablo Sandoval, Brett Gardner, Colby Rasmus and Nick Markakis look to be the offensive free agents to be had.

48 comments for “Sandy Alderson’s offseason of opportunity

  1. blastingzone
    November 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Sandy hates to get into bidding wars with FA’s and he likes to wait and see where the market goes so the bottom line is all the fans are screwed!! He will sign a few cheaper FA’s and I hope make a trade or two or this will be another 70 plus win season!!

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Agreed that Sandy will not get into a bidding war. Look for the Mets to pursue the least pursued of the Ellsbury, Choo, Cruz and Granderson quartet.

  2. Chris F
    November 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    This is not the strongest free agent class we’ve recently seen, and SA knows it. Furthermore it may come as a surprise, but the Mets are not the only team interested in the mid level FAs as opposed to the big stars. Consequently the prices for their services will be high too, higher than what we might think. Given how Alderson works, I’m expecting that we will get low-mid level pickups in FA. I can almost imagine a blockbuster half-dozen player trade lurking.

    In any event, I still feel like this is a 70-75 W team for next year.

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I think the Mets could be Wild Card contenders if Alderson makes the right moves (even by his rules)

  3. NormE
    November 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Methinks that blastingzone and Chris F are pretty realistic in their assessments. A big money FA is not in Sandy’s DNA especially with the quality available and the competition that will take place. Even a trade will take great imagination and gambling instincts to pull off anything significant.

  4. Rev.Al
    November 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    We may see some trades just to get trade chips, for a package bigger trade?

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

      I COULD see Alderson making moves for 2015 but I can’t see him lasting another season in New York if he does that.

  5. Jim OMalley
    November 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Uggg…please don’t trade that AAA/AA pitching….

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Alderson needs to make trades to improve the offense and I don’t see how you do that without giving up Syndergaard, Montero or deGrom.

  6. Sean Flattery
    November 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    You could throw the Angels into the mix too; to go along with Toronto, LA, and Colorado

    • David Groveman
      November 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Yes. Could only fit so many into the chart.

  7. Pres
    November 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    How about something like Murphy,Montero,Flores and Deggrom for Reyes and Bautista?

    • NormE
      November 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Never happen.

      • November 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

        Toronto would not need Murphy or Flores… let alone both.

  8. Les Gomez
    November 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Send Gee, Montero, Duda, and Flores to the Rockies for Tulo and Cuddyer.

    Sign Carlos Beltran, Brian Wilson and Josh Johnson

    Re-sign Johan, Hawkins and Harang

    • Chris F
      November 2, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I mean really. We send a #4 starter and a solid pitching prospect along with a loser and an ok prospect for 2 for All Stars. If you want Tulo and Cuddyer, I think Wheeler would need to be involved, and Im certain they would inquire about Syndergaard as well.

      The Rockies are not burning down the house even though they had a crap finish.

      • Les Gomez
        November 2, 2013 at 10:11 pm

        It’s funny how Gee is a #4 starter when we shop him, but if we were trying to trade for him he’d be classified as a potential ace who is young and not making any money. What do you think the Angels are going to get for Trumbo? Now compare his lifetime OBP to our “loser”. The Rockies are looking to dump salary. I think Sandy could pull something off without giving up Wheeler or Syndergaard.

        • Chris F
          November 2, 2013 at 11:56 pm

          Gee isn’t even an ace on the 74 W Mets. I’m not sure who would have ever called him a front end guy. He may need to compete for #5 spot. I’ll take Trumbo all day every day over Duda.

          • Les Gomez
            November 3, 2013 at 2:18 am

            In no way am I calling Gee an ace, but a 27 year old coming off a 200 inning – 3.60 ERA and making no money certainly has value. How do you think a text book one-dimensional player like Trumbo would do at Citi Field? His career OBP is under .300. I’m no fan of Duda, but his career numbers hold up well when compared to Trumbo (who is also two years older).

            • Chris F
              November 3, 2013 at 8:59 am

              Both are power guys not OBP. The main differences being Trumbo has posted a 7.6 WAR since coming up, whereas Duda is -0.9 and that Trumbo has twice as many HR and RBIs as Duda. He also is playing 140 games per season and Duda is about 100. Trumbo is ten times the player of Duda.

              • Les Gomez
                November 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

                Trumbo’s career OPS is .768 and Duda’s is .766. Duda is two years younger and they are both horrible defenders.

                I don’t think Duda has the same value as Trumbo on the open market, but they shouldn’t be that far off.

                As far as Trumbo for the Mets, I would pass. How does a one-dimensional power hitter who doesn’t reach base 30% of the time and offers below average defense help us?

                • November 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

                  By that logic we should be thrilled to have Duda starting for us. Anyone thrilled to have Duda? Anyone? Anyone?… Bueller?

                • Les Gomez
                  November 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

                  No one at all should be thrilled to have Duda, just as no one at all should be thrilled to have Trumbo.

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:11 am

      Why re-sign Johan? The team has paid him 50 million for the past 2 seasons. Don’t you think it’s time to move on? Your trade with the Rockies is a fantasy. It’s stacked in favor of the Mets. Duda is a DH and a spare part on any team. Flores has yet to have a break out year and Montero may have potential. ll that for a proven all-star player? And Cuddyer. I’ve said it before any deal has to work for BOTH teams. If you make a trade and you feel sick to your stomach about making the trade that’s when it works for both teams.

  9. Jim OMalley
    November 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    How about we concentrate on a right fielder who can hit and play defense. Keep EY in left. Keep Murphy at second. Let d’Arnaud develop at catcher. Put Wilfredo Tovar at shortstop and put the rest of thel energy into figuring out first base. Move our pitching depth into bullpen roles. Oh and resign Hawkins.

  10. Julian McCarthy
    November 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I like most of the ideas of the article, but I’m just not sure Kubel would be a good idea. He hit pretty well in April and June but in the second half he completely fell of a cliff: hitting .145. He is also a pretty large injury risk and he just is not going return to form unless left field is short.

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Julian,

      Don’t give me credit. I’m just patching together rumors and trying to fit them within Alderson’s budget.

  11. Metsense
    November 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Why not put in my two cents on hypothetical off season of opportunity. The Mets have around $30.5M to spend.
    Trade for CarGo (with his $10.5M 2014 salary) for Murphy(est 5.8M), Gee (est$3.4), and Davis (est 3.5M). Mets have an extra $2.2M to spend.
    Attempt to sign Choo for up to $18M or settle for Granderson at $15M. Sign Peralta for up to $10M. Sign a pitcher to replace Gee for $5.5M ($8.5M if Granderson)
    Young(2b), Choo (RF), ,Wright (3b), CarGo (LF),Peralta (SS), Duda(1b), d’Arnaud(C), Lagares (CF)

    • TexasGusCC
      November 3, 2013 at 1:46 am

      Metsense, I’ll go for that plan in a heartbeat. However, if Colorado says no, would you trade that package for Braun? I have been yelled at by plenty of people, but give me a chance. Right now, Braun is a lowlife, which is why he’s gettable. He’s still good, and if there is some public relations work, like making amends ($) with that guy he accused but both admitting fault (so Braun can’t be sued) and other good works, Braun can be forgiven by public opinion. I was thinking of throwing in den Dekker or Montero to get Aoki, too, but that may stretch things too much.

      Now that you have Braun and Wright, get Granderson and Peralta. That’s adding Braun ($9), Granderson ($15), Peralta ($10), but losing Murphy ($4.5), Davis ($3.5), and Gee ($2), for a net +$24. So, we have money to spend on pitching. How’s that?

      • Metsense
        November 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

        Ringling Brothers comes to town once a year, there is no reason to make it a full year engagement.

        • November 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

          I’d be up for adding Braun. He has the ability to rehab his image in three years.

  12. November 3, 2013 at 5:44 am

    TexasGus. I don’t see Braun as a good fit here in New York. Milwaukee is not going to trade when his value is at it’s lowest point. I’ve been posting my request for the same trade Metsense offers that a trade with Colorado makes sense for BOTH teams. Colorado needs a first base man and even if they ask for Duda instead of Davis you make the trade, I think your guesstimate for Peralta is a little high and by waiting you will bring down his market cost to 5-6 million dollar range. Sign Choo (batting 2nd?) to play right and Lagares can bat eighth playing center. Solves your outfield issues and gives the Mets a vastly improved defensive outfield. Young can lead off If he’s still here. Bat David Wright third and CarGo clean-up. Wright will have a monster year with a decent bat protecting him in the line up. It still leaves the team with money to spend on shortstop and the bull pen.

    • Metsense
      November 3, 2013 at 7:53 am

      Many teams need a SS improvement . Most quality SS are averaging $10M a year. 3 @24-33M should be Peralta’s market.
      if you snooze you may lose and there are few alternative options ( if you already used the trade chips for CarGo).

      • November 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Dierkes puts Peralta at 3 years $30 and drew and 4 years $40

    • NormE
      November 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      If Colorado looks to deal with the Mets, I’d bet the names being put forth are Fowler and Cuddyer, not CarGo or Tulo. As for Choo, he’s one of the more attractive FA outfielders available. Thus, I’d expect his price to rise above where Sandy thinks he’s getting good value for Wilpon’s bucks.

  13. Name
    November 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Seems like a lot of Met fans would be happy with this roster.
    Cruz-RF, Braun-LF, Byrd/Melky-CF, Peralta-SS, Montero-C, A-Roid-3b, JV-Util

    The Mets should just called themselves the PEDs.

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

      I continue not to care about PEDs. I wouldn’t “WANT” someone because of them. I also wouldn’t avoid someone because of them.

  14. November 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Any thoughts on Starlin Castro as the Mets shortstop? Castro’s career bWAR is 7.4 compared to Tejada’s 2.8 so he would be an upgrade.

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:01 am

      Castro was upset with Cub management because he wanted to play for a winning team. Not the way to go and endear yourself to a new GM.

      • November 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

        Castro makes some sense and I believe the Mets will be involved if the Cubs move to market.

  15. November 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Oh, sorry to double post but Beltran is pretty much going to the AL. He has said he would like to be able to DH for a break once or twice a week.

  16. November 4, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Adding Peralta would definitely be an upgrade and if trading for CarGo includes Murphy then you can use Tejada at your utility infielder.

  17. November 4, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Hey NormE. That’s Sandy getting good value for Wilpons pennies!

    • NormE
      November 5, 2013 at 12:23 am

      Good point, pete!

  18. Metstheory 22
    November 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I am not sure who you traded to get the above players, so it would not be fair to judge the outcome of trades. Was it all our pitching coming up or what we have up here? Not clear at all.

    • November 4, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Sorry Metstheory,

      No definitive trade ideas here. More big concept. There are lots of rumors about trades etc… so I tried to build lineups based on who might be around.


      With the Dodger trade: Murphy is gone

      With Yunel Escobar: Davis is gone

      Real purpose was to say there seem to be a plethora of options open to Sandy Alderson.

  19. Dan Kolton
    November 5, 2013 at 8:43 am

    You make some good and interesting points, but you are leaving out the idea of injury/PED history. On the top, you posted four different line-ups, but on each of them, there are either players with a large injury history, or players who have been on, or are speculated to be on, PEDs. Personally, I do not know if I want the reputation for the Mets to be a team that seems to have taken advantage of the PED users and use them to their advantage. I also do not want to see a remake of the 2009 season, as I want the team to stay healthy, and not have our superstars on the DL or not hitting Home Runs.

  20. November 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Unless the Wilpons have a change of heart and decide to reconfigure Citifield again you have to get used to the idea that the outfield dimensions were set up without a thought or consideration for the current Met players.The adjustments that were made to the outfield will have to suffice. Need to find and bring in line drive hitters who can hit from gap to gap. The team signed Byrd knowing of his past history so I think Met management and SA will do their due diligence. The question here is teams don’t know how long these players have been using and what happens when you’re under a spotlight and can’t use PED’s anymore. I wonder about the side affects players have after using for an extended period. A-Rod’s hip surgeries come to mind.

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