Has the Sandy Alderson plan worked?

At the end of the 2010 season, the New York Mets were in shambles. They had multiple massive contracts for bad players, they were in the middle of a downward spiral of losing seasons and had a farm system that was a disaster. Due to the Bernie Madoff scandal, finances were abysmal and the organization under Omar Minaya’s direction had become the butt of every joke and the laughing stock of baseball.

Sandy AldersonThe team was in desperate need of a change, not just any change, however. The team needed the type of change that would be long term financially responsible and replenishing of talent. That was a very large task. Enter Sandy Alderson. His experience with small budget, small market teams such as San Diego and Oakland made him a perfect fit to work with a strained budget in New York.

Upon his hiring, Alderson set forth a clear plan to accomplish three things: get the team under a manageable team salary of $100 M or less, put out a competitive product on the field and rebuild the farm system. The question that begs to be answered is whether or not Sandy Alderson’s plan has worked.

Fast forward to 2014. Phase one of that plan is the team salary. The Mets are ranked 23rd in team salary with a modest $82.2 M. At the time of his hiring, there was an outcry of disbelief that the team would be able to be successful and remain under $100 M in team salary.

They have consistently remained around and even under that mark throughout his tenure. In addition, they are no longer considered a joke, but have been taken very seriously as young and upcoming contenders across the league.

The next phase is have they been competitive? That may be harder to answer. Currently the team sits in 3rd place after winning their last eight of ten to close out the first half of the season, but that hardly means they’ve been competitive under Alderson’s guidance. In the past three seasons prior to this year, they’ve finished 77-85, 74-88 and 74-88. Even now, they are 45-50.

In other words, they have not finished above .500 in any season under Alderson and they still aren’t. Does that necessarily mean they haven’t been competitive? Not actually. Each of those seasons has had a long term losing streak that knocked them out of contention.

Despite these, the team overall played .500 or better the rest of the way. Barring injuries, slow starts and bad managerial decisions, the Mets have not performed too bad in the past few seasons. To some degree, they have performed admirably with what they have had.

Finally, phase three of building the farm system. There was a time long before Alderson where the team had a dreadful farm system. No one wanted what the Mets were selling. After several controversial trades and solid drafts, the team has replenished the farm system immensely.

The Mets have come to see that youth perform to fruition. Just last season they successfully hosted the All Star Game and had their own homegrown talent starting it.

At this point if any team comes calling, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and a myriad of others would be brought up in conversation. The team has a semi-successful veteran starter in Bartolo Colon that can be traded without the the rotation taking a major hit.

This year’s future stars game was started and closed out by Mets up and comers. The team has a plethora of talent that are starting to create log jams in the organization. That all spells success.

That success is directly contributed to Sandy Alderson. Has the plan taken a longer time than expected? Absolutely. Is that really Alderson’s fault? Not at all. Overall, his plan is working and will continue to work. The next eventual step to that plan is long term success and a possible championship.

That is the goal of every franchise. The Mets are a lot closer to it now than they were in 2010. Thanks entirely to Sandy Alderson.

80 comments for “Has the Sandy Alderson plan worked?

  1. July 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Is .500 mediocracy?

  2. Name
    July 17, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Much closer? Have people forgot that Sandy squandered multiple chances to compete?

    The Mets were 55-53 on July 31st in 2011 and 46-40 on July 8th in 2012, and in both years, it was clearly evident by mid April that they needed bullpen pieces. Bullpen pieces are cheap! However, he chose to do nothing and as a result the team fell apart in the 2nd half both years.

    Farm?
    Rebuilding a farm system and competing at the Major league level are not mutually exclusive. It’s even debatable that he had a “bad farm system”.

    5/8 starting position players plus Campbell, Kirk, Flores and
    3/5 SP plus Harvey, Mejia, Familia, Germen, Montero, Parnell were all here before him.

    That’s 50-60% of the roster and probably 75% of the production that he inherited.
    Not to mention his biggest additions, Wheeler, Thor, and TDA were also a result of guys he inherited.

    There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Sandy has done a “better” job than any other GM would have done. I don’t know why people are buying his crap.

    • July 17, 2014 at 9:10 am

      I don’t think Minaya and the Mets were the butt of any jokes. Came within one win of a World Series. Madoff made an ass out of the Wilpons not the Mets. Shrewd investors that they were. I seem to recall the Mets drawing 4 million under the Minaya regime. I agree with Name here. You give way too much “credit” to Alderson. As for being taken seriously. How is it that attendance has steadily dropped since Citifield opened? Sorry but this team has yet to prove itself in 4 years under SA guidance.

      • Name
        July 17, 2014 at 9:42 am

        Right. And another major flaw i forgot to mention is his goddamn stubbornness and arrogance. He takes forever to cut struggling players in hopes that they can turn it around, and has it even happened once yet?

        DJ Carrasco (oh my god, does anyone remember this disaster?), Jason Bay, Jordany Valdespin, Frank Francisco, Robert Carson, Scott Rice, Jose Valverde, Chris Young… and the worst offender, Terry Collins.

        Meanwhile, look at the Red Sox. They realized they shouldn’t have given Crawford, Gonzalez, Beckett all that money and when they got a way out, they traded him and it resulted in a World Series win the very next year. They were willing to admit they screwed up on AJ Pierzynski and cut him. Sandy’s inability to recognize a mistake and correct it is a major issue on this current squad.

        “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”
        -Dwight D. Eisenhower.

        In other words, you need to have a general idea of what you are doing and plan for it, but you also need to be able to react at whims notice.

        • July 17, 2014 at 10:06 am

          All of us believe that Alderson has more clout in regards to ownership than most GMs.

          However, I still don’t feel he has Carte Blanche to cut people with lots of money left on their contracts. In a lot of these situations, there’s blame to be divided among three sources — manager, GM and ownership. Maybe some cases only two of those come into play but I think it’s rare where one of the three gets all of the blame.

          In a lot of ways, Joe Torre is overrated as a manager but one thing he did quite well as a manager with the Yankees is that if the GM gave him a player he didn’t think was good — he wouldn’t use him.

          I know full well this will bring us back to the “But Collins is just a puppet of Alderson!” argument of some. Until Collins or Alderson writes a book — we’ll never know for sure. But when the manager keeps making the call to bring Carson into the game or if he ever writes CY’s name in the lineup, even as the team carries an extra outfielder — I know who I’m blaming.

        • July 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

          You forgot Rick Ankiel who couldn’t even stay on the Astros major league roster! Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel!

      • Frank
        July 18, 2014 at 12:12 am

        Not the butt of any jokes? Does Adam Rubin ring any bells?

  3. Pete
    July 17, 2014 at 9:05 am

    You sir, are delusional. We are no closer than we were in 2010. Sandy and the Mets have consistently lied to us. They have never claimed to be handcuffed by Madoff. They like this garbage team. I personally liked Omar and Los New Mets. We were in it every year and the fans went to the ballpark and supported their team. Omar was the convenient scapegoat when the money stopped. This is NY and we expect money to be spent to bring in talent. This idea that all the prospects we have will even become major leaguers is ridiculous! The fact is that most prospects don’t amount to anything at all. We need to demand that Mets stop operating like poor folks who just depend on winning the lotto to get ahead in life.

  4. Frank
    July 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Post deleted for violating our Comment Policy

    • July 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

      I think Caps are forbidden on Mets 360

  5. Pete
    July 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Just in case these comments gets confusing…there are 3-petes so far:
    Peter Hyatt
    lowercase pete
    and myself, regular Pete

  6. July 17, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I’ll remember when I want the abuse to go in your direction to Cap my P

  7. Steve L
    July 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Hard to understand the hate for Alderson. The team Minaya left him was a mess, from the major league roster through the farm system. In year 4 they now have a top 10 farm system, and while they’re only 45-50 they’ve outscored opponents by 19 runs, good for an expectedW-L of 50-45 (and they’ve done it without young star Matt Harvey).

    To me there’s been real, tangible progress. It was unrealistic to expect this team to be competitive before 2014, and a 2015 target was more likely than a 2014 one. He should get *at least* one more year, and I’d like to see him stay through 2016. If the strong farm system hasn’t resulted in a MLB contender by then, then sure, it’s time to move on. But firing him now (or after the season) would be like giving a guy a 5 years contract, then firing him in year 4 b/c he’s “only” accomplished 80% of what he was supposed to do…

    Also, it’s not fair to compare him to Minaya, who was supported by an ownership group throwing gobs of money to compete immediately. Once things started to go south Minaya made worse and worse decisions to try to keep his job, which both failed and set back the organization several years. He got fired for good reason (unlike poor Willie Randolph, who truly was a scapegoat).

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Runners on first and second no outs ninth inning. Trailing by one run.Does that ring a bell:? Sorry but Randolph had his moment and he laid an egg.
      Larry I believe there is a team option for next year and it was Alderson who said the Mets would be competitive this year.

      • Steve L
        July 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        It does ring a bell. What exactly did Randolph do wrong? He put in our best lefty bat off the bench against Wainwright, and Floyd promptly struck out. Reyes then lined out to CF, and after Lo Duca walked Beltran struck out to end the game and the series. Should Randolph have pinch hit for Reyes or Beltran? Gone up to bat himself? Punched Wainwright in the groin so he’d have to be pulled from the game?

        It’s silly to say Randolph should be fired for a single inning, and even sillier to when he didn’t, you know, doing anything wrong during that inning.

    • Name
      July 17, 2014 at 11:15 am

      “It was unrealistic to expect this team to be competitive before 2014″

      In year 1, they were 55-53 and had an expected record of 56-52. All this while having no bullpen.
      In year 2, they were 46-41 and had an expected record of 45-42, and was just half! a game out of a wild card spot. All this while having no bullpen.

      Editor’s Note – This post has been truncated to eliminate a personal attack. As stated in our Comment Policy, criticize ideas, not people.

      • Steve L
        July 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        In Year 1 they finsihed 77-85 and got outscored by 24 runs. Of course, they traded Beltran that year, and at the time of the trade they were 53-51. But they were way back from the Phillies and then-WC leader Braves, with little hope of catching either. Trading a for a few relievers, and sacrificing the future to do so, wasn’t going change that and therefore Alderson likely made the right decision.

        In Year 2 they finished 74-88 and outscored by 58 runs. They simply weren’t as good as their 46-41 record or their RD at that time, and Alderson likely knew that. If they had traded away prospects to finish at 80 wins instead would it have been worth it? Obviously not.

        Editor’s Note – This post has been truncated to eliminate a personal attack. As stated in our Comment Policy, criticize ideas, not people.

        • Name
          July 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

          2 of the first 3 years where the Mets were able to play better than .500 ball for over 100 games and with plus differentials in both years. In other words, not “lucky”. If that’s not competitive, then i don’t know what is. Year 1 was a stretch to make the playoffs, but the ingredients were there. They showed the same thing in year 2 and were just a half game out of a wild card at the All-start break.
          One
          Half
          Game
          Out.
          Nah, but because our almighty GM wanted a strong farm system and didn’t care about winning, he let the team slip out so he could play minor league fantasy baseball and build the farm system of his dreams.

          There are plenty of relievers who aren’t going to break the bank in terms of prospects or salary. In fact, in May of 2012, the Angels traded for Ernesto Frieri, who became their closer for nearly 2 years, and the price was a utility infielder and a mediocre pitching prospect. Getting a reliever in each of the years could have increased their win totals by 2-3 games mid-season, and could have made them buyers instead of sellers.

          Proactive > reactive.

          Go back to fantasy baseball Sandy.

          • Steve L
            July 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

            162 games > 100 games, and over 162 games the Mets weren’t good in any of his first 3 years. Year 1 they got worse when they traded Beltran, but they were well out of (realistic) contention so he made the right move by trading Beltran (which is paying off right now).

            In year 2 they were lucky through the first 90-100 games, and this was proven by the end of the season. It would have been impulsive, and incorrect, to throw away future assets to chase an unlikely playoff berth. And trading for a few relievers, even really good ones, wouldn’t have taken the Mets from 74 wins to playoff contention (or even a
            winning record) in 2012. They finished 14 games out of the WC in 2012. To repeat:

            14
            games
            back
            of
            the
            wild
            card

            They were never going to be buyers in 2012 as the Wilpons were still in dire straights and trying to shed payroll. There was probably room to improve on the margins, and guys like Frank Francisco and Ramon Ramirez didn’t pan out, but replacing those two with Rivera and Kimbrel wouldn’t have got them to the playoffs. And guys like Rivera and Kimbrel weren’t exactly available.

            Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

            • Name
              July 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm

              If you want to be credible, you have to back up your statements. All you’re basing it off is your own personal judgements, such as “In year 2 they were lucky through the first 90-100 games”. Are you claiming to be a magician and able to tell when someone or something is lucky/unlucky?
              , and false statements such as “to throw away future assets to chase an unlikely playoff berth”. You don’t “throw away” future assets, you exchange them for assets that can produce now. In order to get something of value, you have to give something of value. When you’re 1/2 game out, unlikely is not the word to describe playoff odds. If that were the case, anyone who isn’t in a playoff berth now should just give up.

              I don’t know why you’re trying to diminish what the 2011 and 2012 teams accomplished in the first half; they were both far more impressive than what this current team has done so far.

              • Steve L
                July 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm

                I backed up my statements just fine. It’s a fact that 162 games is a larger sample size than 95 games. In 2012, the Mets were somewhat above average after 95 games, and well below average after 162 games. So it’s not conjecture or opinion to say they weren’t as good as their record/RD when they were 45-40, because this was proven over the rest of the season (unless I’m forgetting a series of calamitous events to team health).

                Sure, I would have needed magic to know this when they were 45-40. But what you’re failing to grasp is I don’t need it now, because the season has already played out.

                If you trade away a future asset to chase an unlikely playoff berth, then the asset has been wasted. It’s obviously defensible to do so if you’re .5 games out of playoff spot, but the Mets ended up 14 out. So the pieces they could have added wouldn’t have made up the difference, so anything valuable given up would have been “thrown away.” And yes, I’m using hindsight to make this determination, but time and hindsight is the only real way to ever determine whether a decision was correct, no?

                I’m not trying to diminish the 2011 or 2012 Mets, but I didn’t think either team was going to be competitive going into the season, and I don’t recall ever thinking they were real playoff contenders at any point during those seasons. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to scrap a rebuilding process after a surprise 45-40 start.

                • July 19, 2014 at 1:46 am

                  I find your choice of words interesting. You say a “surprise” start. So if the team plays well then it’s a surprise. When the team starts to fade it’s to be expected because the team wasn’t very good over 162 games.The FO simply refused to address their weaknesses You say the team just wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs. How do you know? When other teams bolster their chances of making the playoffs with upgrades in their line ups the Mets FO choose not to do anything.

              • Name
                July 17, 2014 at 8:59 pm

                You are forgetting a serious calamitous event, which was when Reed Johnson stepped on Johan’s ankle and then they foolishly let him finish the outing plus 4 more when he was just absolutely shelled. They were never the same team after that.

                I just cited an example of trading for a reliever that didn’t cost the team any decent prospect. I don’t understand why people associate “buying” solely with trading prospects to get guys who will be free agents at the end of the year. In this day in age, teams often trade guys who have multiple years left on their contract, so even if you don’t make the playoffs that particular year, you still get them for a bit longer.

                What you call “wasting an asset” is basically just saying that you never want to take risks. No risk, however, means no reward.

                Just because you don’t remember that the Mets were playing well in 2011 and 2012 doesn’t mean they didn’t play well and weren’t competitive. You’re in denial if you think that 46-40 and half game out at the break isn’t competitive.

  8. HarryDoyle
    July 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Alderson has made a few good trades, but he wasted $35M on Francisco, Young, Marcum, Rauch, Torres, Ramirez and Carrasco. That’s $35M spent and absolutely nothing to show for it. He could have done a much better job of signing free agents to short term deals and flipping them for players to help in the future. He had three off seasons to do it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Byrd is the only player he has signed and then traded for future pieces during his tenure. And he was extremely lucky the Reds didn’t block that trade.

  9. Eraff
    July 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    The Plan has been to slash payroll and serve as a human shield for ownership—Mission Accomplished!

    Look no further than the Squandered 2014 Season–3 First Basemen to start…. retread bullpen to start…6 of now!—to Justify Chris Young? To max CY trade value? The Yanks cut Soriano!—The Sox cut their losses with the Catcher–the Mets hold their bad cards.

    The “weak farm system” he inherited is a Myth!—evry farm system is uneaven—and they had traded several AA/AAA prospects for guys like santana….. The Youth on this club was Inherited!!!

    Bacjk to 2014—Enough good pitching to compete!!! enough 40 man roster talent that they could have started with a better bullpen…and without 3 1bman!…. and without 6 OF now. They call themselves Unlucky?….I agree,,,,somehwat….but you get unlucky because the baseball finds you doing what you cannot do—and they have never addressed their on fiel;d needs over those of ownership.

    No..I don’t blame Alderson—he works for Drek… but I cannot praise his One Legged, slow bake of a Build Up. To compare this run to almost any other run in Mets history And call it a success is Dillusional or Propaganda…Nonsense!!!

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

      The Alderson deflection screen working to perfection. Unfortunately not everyone takes the time to look behind the curtain like Harry and Eraff. Sorry Steve but if you have a limited budget you can’t afford to keep throwing away money on players past their prime in the hopes of turning them into draft picks. Farnsworth and Valverde were this years high hopes. Can’t wait to see who SA “cherry,picks” next off season. If Manaya was so bad how come the Mets drew 4 million on his watch?

      • Steve L
        July 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        “If Manaya was so bad how come the Mets drew 4 million on his watch?”

        Payroll, son, payroll. Look at what Minaya was given to spend, and look at what Alderson was given. Ironically, your insistence on focusing on attendance shows why Minaya was given the boot. He kept spending after 2009 and attendance dropped from 4 million to 2.5 million on his watch. And he left behind a 151 million w/o the talent one would expect with that level of spending. It’s easy to build a winner and draw fans by throwing money at players early on, but the bills eventually come due and cripples most teams (it’s happening to the Phillies now).

        And look at the state of the Mets now. Just 4 players are signed for next season (Wright, Granderson, Niese, and Colon), with everyone else under team control. And the team is playing well right now, even if it has yet to show up in the W-L column.

        You can quibble with some of the small signings, but they’ve mostly been low risk/high reward deals, and those usually don’t pan out. He’s rebuilt the farm system (no rational person can dispute this claim), and the team has both talent and flexibility going forward. Seriously, what more do you people want?

        • July 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

          Go look at the roster and look up who Minaya signed on this current roster. i think you’d be surprised as to how many he signed as opposed to SA draftees. Under the circumstances that were not of Alderson’s making It was he who said that 2014 would be the year the team would make the playoffs. Just a thought. He may not even be here next season! So it truly doesn’t matter. If you have a limited budget why go into the season with 3 first base men? Every mistake is magnified

          • Steve L
            July 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm

            Alright, I went back and looked at the Mets roster heading into 2011 and who was drafted when. It’s true that SA shouldn’t get credit for guys like Harvey (Minaya’s final #1 draft pick) or Murphy (a 13th round draft pick by Minaya). For some guys it’s more complicated than that. Minaya drafted Niese, but it was SA who signed him to a team-friendly contract. Minaya signed Beltran, but SA flipped 2 months of Beltran for Zach Wheeler. Minaya signed Dickey, but SA flipped 1 year of Dickey (he later signed an extension with Toronto) for d’Arnaud and Syndergaard.

            I shouldn’t suggest Minaya left the team with nothing. But the real problem was with the crippling contracts he handed over to SA. Johan, Ollie Perez, K-Rod, Bay, and (to a lesser extent) Castillo were all expensive and offered little on-field value heading into 2011. And he chased all of those players trying to win now, and the moves didn’t pay off in the end. I will also point out that Minaya hasn’t gotten a GM job since he was fired by the Mets.

            SA hasn’t helped with his comments about when the Mets will compete, particularly his 90 win prediction made right before this season. On the one hand you have to give fans some hope and project optimism, but on the other hand such comments can come back to bite you. I think he’s made progress so far this year, and as such should be given at least another year to see if he can keep things moving forward (particularly as they didn’t have Harvey this season). Then again, there’s 67 games left this season and I may not feel the same way once we get there.

            • July 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

              I’m sorry Larry. But Johan earned his contract when he went out on 3 days rest a pitched a 3 hit complete game against the Marlins. Not his fault Glavine laid an egg the next day. Oh, by the way he did it with an injury that required surgery. At the time of this trade no one complained about getting one of the best pitchers for what? The Mets didn’t give up any stars for him at the time.20/20 hindsight is usually perfect. How you can say with a straight face that you have to give the fans some hope yet you start the season with the rejects in the bull pen I mentioned before? If SA has so much confidence in the kids why not play them? Which would you rather see? Last I read Minaya was with the Padres.

              • Steve L
                July 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

                Minaya Sr. VP of baseball operations. I actually like him as a talent evaluator, but thought he was over-matched as a GM. He didn’t seem to ever consider the long-term costs of bringing in someone who could help right now.

                I was all for the Johan trade at the time, as none of the prospects given up were even that highly regarded. 2 ended up as busts, and Humber had an OK season or two (I was shocked to learn he was still in the league, apparently he’s pitching for Houston…poorly). Gomez has turned into a star, but it didn’t happen until 6 years after the trade (and he was long gone from the Twins).

                Johan was great in 2008, but the injuries piled up in 2009 and 2010. He was done by 2011, but the Mets still ad to give him $25M in both 2011 and 2012 anyways.

                So it wasn’t a bad trade by Minaya, but still an albatross inherited by SA.

                Quick note, Glavine didn’t get the start in the final game of 2008, it was Ollie Perez. Perez was OK, giving up 2 ER in 5.1 IP, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

                You’re thinking of 2007, when Glavine pitched the last game and gave up like 6 runs before getting pulled. He had also given up 10 runs in 10 IP in his two previous starts, and his struggles were a big part of “the collapse.” He did give them 3 good years form 2004-2006, but he was 41 by 2007 and I think he just didn’t much left in the tank (he lasted 63 IP in 2008 before calling it a career).

                While we’re picking at old scars, I’ll point out I think we would have beat the Cards in 2006 NLCS if Pedro and El Duque hadn’t gotten hurt. Had the Mets won the WS, who knows how things might have changed for both Minaya and team in general…

  10. July 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    He let his bench manager talk him out of bunting the runners over which would of forced the Cardinals to load the bases for a force play with one out. It would put the pressure on the pitcher to throw more fastballs for strikes.You play for a tie at home. I was there. I saw one of the greatest catches ever made and still the Mets came up short. If as you say Randolph was the scapegoat why hasn’t any major league team picked him up?

    • Steve L
      July 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Saying things like “you play to tie at home” are sportscaster tropes, I care more about actual data:

      Based on data from 1993-2010, with runners on 1st & 2nd and 0 outs you have a 64.3% chance of scoring at least one run with an expected value of 1.57 runs scored that inning. With runners on 2nd & 3rd and 1 out you have a 69.8% chance of scoring at least one run and an expected value of 1.44 runs scored per inning.

      It’s basically a toss up, do you slight increase your chance of scoring one run that inning and slightly decrease the total number or runs you can expect to score, or vice versa? Sometimes you just get unlucky, he didn’t do anything wrong, his players just didn’t come through (in all fairness, it was a situation where either decision was fine).

      I recognize anyone can make up stats, so here are my sources:

      http://www.blessyouboys.com/2011/8/17/2365806/a-sabermetric-view-of-bunting

      http://www.tangotiger.net/re24.html

      Randolph never got another job b/c he was scape-goated when the Mets were under-performing during 2008, and started winning after Manuel took over. Probably random variation and not really fair, but it’s a hard stigma to shake.

  11. Patrick Albanesius
    July 17, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    IMO, this article wasn’t making Alderson out to be the savior of the franchise. Instead, it’s saying that over the course of several years, he has slowly been making this team much more competitive. Too slow for some folks? Sure. But the farm system has improved to the point where we can now trade away young guys for All-Star caliber players if we wanted. We could not have done that three or four years ago. Some bad signings? Of course, all GMs do it. Steve’s point about there being only four players signed to deals after this season is critical, and Colon might even be gone through trades. This team has young talent coming up this year and next year, and it has very little money tied up in large contracts. Those two things alone make the team better, and more prepared for long-term success.

    • Pete
      July 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      The flaw in your statement is that it doesn’t take into account that players don’t and will no longer want to play for a team like the Mets. Go back to when Beltran came over to what he called the “New” Mets. That caused Pedro to want to sign, then Johan, etc, etc. It took giant leap to get players to believe that we wanted to field a contender. Now we are back to the same old Mets. Corporate, plain stiffs with no fire in their belly. Alderson had to overpay just to get borderline players to sign. Even Steven Drew didn’t want to play here! Colon and Chris Young had to be overpaid to sign with a team fielding AAA players. I’m sure their hope was to take the money, prove themselves and get traded mid season. Alderson gets all my rage because he has always insisted that he has had no restrictions and he kind of likes this team. Lawyer douche!

      • July 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

        Hey Pete! I always thought Pedro signed with the Mets because they offered him 4 years instead of 3 from Boston. Just the fact that the FO was willing to overpay spoke volumes and needed to be done to show other potential FA’s that Queens was a viable option with the intent of winning a WS.

  12. July 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Your stats are fine. Whatever. I’m not questioning your numbers. But that was an intense pressure pack game. A winner take all game 7. Not just a regular season game.

  13. Jerry Grote
    July 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    The author correctly states that Alderson had three goals. Let’s review them:

    *First, get the payroll down to a manageable under $100M payroll. Immediately, this makes the comps to Boston irrelevant btw – because they are already back to $120MM.

    The immediate reaction is that a monkey could do this. In my book, he gets some credit insofar as the team never “touched bottom”. They didn’t fall to 69 wins, or 54 wins.

    * Second, a “competitive team on the field”. The Mets were 46-40 at one point. JK. I think, given the first commandment the second was always problematic.

    Other teams *have had more success* with the same amount of payroll as the Mets. But the team maintained its relative competitiveness while it was cutting payroll. Somehow as fans we need to remember that this team averaged 75 wins the two years prior to SA, and 75 the three after he got here.

    * Third, rebuild the farm system. This is a mixed bag. His brain trust has not proven to be as effective as the Braves, Marlins or Cubs in picking out amateurs. OTOH, they have been incredibly astute in evaluating people that have earned a paycheck in the minor leagues. I’m not a fan of trading ML WAR for magic beans, but if you try to deny that we don’t have a measurably better farm system than in 2010, you simply are nuts. More than that, you are avoiding what most analysts say: we have one of the top ten systems in baseball.

    Here are two things rarely mentioned: Wally Backman, and especially, Frank Viola. Frankie’s probably the singular reason Alderson is still around.

    Obviously I’m not a SA fan. Based on his goals though, he has been a moderately successful GM.

  14. July 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Everything has to fall into place just to get into a WS. That being said Minaya had instructions to build a winner now not in 5 years and yet you have on this current roster players that he drafted. Alderson’s reputation was built on his ability to uncover hidden gems. Players who no thinks has anything left in their tank.With the limited budget he has he simply cannot afford to have a Chris Young type player on that payroll. Mind you he accounts for almost 10% of this years payroll!

  15. Chris F
    July 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    So far it’s a failure. Keep in mind if the plan was rebuilding the farm, then the Astros and Twins have far lapped Aldersons dealings. Let’s keep in mind he has not placed a single draftee into the Bigs after 4 years. He has failed to deliver any wins in Queens with his moneyball voodoo that billy Beane is 1000x better at doing. He has acted paralyzed in decisions that are so clear any casual fan was enraged. While building the farm does matter, how many ever make an impact at the mlb level remains to be seen. Expect it to be less than you might imagine. Meanwhile acquiring genuine proven mlb talent in key positions has been unfulfilled, Granny aside. The notion that we are closer to a World Series right now is simply wishful thinking, wrapped in unicorns and fairy dust, and deep fried in calorie free oil. By the way, when this group of kids is ready, we will need a third baseman as well. Don’t expect the Mets to be a playoff threat with a budget on par with Cleveland, San Diego, and Minnesota…also, don’t go all TB on me, Alderson is not Friedman and Collins is not Maddon, not by a long shot.

    • July 17, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      Problem here is that people write about the Mets and think they play in a vacuum. You’re right Chris. This team is no closer to a WS. The division will be just as difficult next season. The Marlins (w/Fernandez) will be better. The Nat’s and Braves will be fighting for the division lead. The Central is deep with 4 good teams and the west has the Dodgers and Giants. So unless this FO finds a another quality thumper I don’t even see a wildcard in the future.

    • Steve L
      July 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Hard to reasonably call SA’s tenure a failure. They went from nothing to a top-10 farm system, just b/c there are better farm systems doesn’t mean the Mets haven’t succeeded in this regard (also, it’s easy for Houston to add talent when they pick #1 every year, the Mets never sunk that low). I also don’t see the problem with none of the draft picks reaching the majors, as until this year they’ve focused on talented guys that were several years away from hitting the majors (Nimmo, Cecchini, Dom Smith, etc.).

      “He has acted paralyzed in decisions that are so clear any casual fan was enraged.”

      Like what? I’ll also note that casual fans tend to get enraged b/c the team won’t act to get help now and have almost zero concept of long-term team building (kinda like Minaya). That hasn’t been SA’s marching orders since he joined the Mets.

      We’re closer to the WS now than when he took over, as the 2014 Mets are flat out better than the 2011-2012 version (look at the RD, not the record). They’re still a long ways off, and the talent on the Nats, Braves, and Marlins is an obstacle, but it’s just not reasonable to say they’re not better off now than when SA took over.

      They weren’t really in a position to add players through FA until this past offseason, and I think SA’s efforts were a mixed bag. I liked the Grandy signing, but have no clue why they brought in Chris Young on a one year deal. Giving Colon 2 years only make sense if they can flip him this year for something useful, so I won’t know if that’s a good move until July 31. Overall I’d give him a B- (2014 FA signings only), but that can move to a B or C+ depending on what happens with Colon.

      If you think the Alderson era has been a disaster…I don’t know, I just don’t think you have had realistic expectations or truly appreciate the situation he came into.

      • Name
        July 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

        You wanna look at run differential?
        2011: 56-52
        2012: 45-42
        2014: 50-45

        Yea.. because 5 games over a period of 95 games is “flat out better” than 4 games over 107 and 3 games over 87. You’re in complete denial when it’s coming to the past. The 2011 and 2012 Mets were much better than what you want to remember.

        We get it. You like the farm and only care about the farm. Some of us actually care about something known as the New York Mets.

        • Steve L
          July 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm

          Post deleted for violating our Comment Policy.

        • Steve L
          July 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

          I covered most of the points from my deleted comment in my (long) one further down. I will point out that it’s just silly to claim I only care about the farm system. My love for the Mets is the only reason I care about the farm system, not vice versa.

          I remember the 2011 and 2012 Mets just fined. They were reasonably competitive in 2011, but not really a contender. Trading 2 months of Beltran (our best player at the time) for Wheeler was a great move under the circumstances. Keeping Beltran and trading future assets for immediate help would not likely have got them to the playoffs, and I doubt SA would have been allowed to add payroll anyways (Bay, Johan, and Ollie Perez were still all on the books).

          The 2012 Mets weren’t good, period. 74-88, outscored by 59 runs. I remember being pleasantly surprised by their first half success, but I never believed it would last, and it didn’t. It’s kinda cute that you believed they were good at the time, because it just wasn’t likely to last…and it didn’t. They fell out of contention by the end of July, and SA couldn’t have altered the team’s fate.

          I do believe the 2014 Mets are different. I don’t see anyone having a fluky year, and unlike in 2012 the young talent is starting to arrive in the majors. Maybe they’ll fall apart again, and if so I’ll be happy to offer a mea culpa. Of course, if the team finishes reasonably strong it would only be fair for you to do the same.

          • Name
            July 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm

            The fact that you think that the 2012 Mets”weren’t good, period.” shows that you don’t remember shit about that season.

            We were 46-40 over the first 86 games. Doesn’t matter if you thought they “overachieved” (they didn’t). They were well in the hunt for 3.5 months. Johan got injured (though he claimed he wasn’t) and the lack of the bullpen caught us to up after the break when we lost 13 out of our first 14 games. It’s kind of cute how little you remember. Easily a bullpen arm or two (which would not have cost us a top prospect) could have made a huge difference.

            I never stated that i thought that the 2014 Mets weren’t promising or didn’t have a shot. This is all about Sandy do absolutely shit during his first 3 years and not even taking an iota of risk. None. Zip. Zilch. He played it super conservative and didn’t take any chances when he had the opportunity.

            You can’t call someone who doesn’t take any risk and just plays it safe successful, because anyone Joe Shmoe can do that. The smart GM’s know how and do take risks.
            Look at the Giants. What you would probably call a “waste” trading Wheeler for Beltran, was a calculated risk by Brian Sabean. Sure, it didn’t work out that year, but look at 2010 and 2012.
            In 2010, they traded away 3 minor leaguers who still have yet to play in a single major league game for solid relief pitchers Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez. They took a shot on Jose Guillen and Cody Ross, and low and behold, one of them became their hero in the postseason.
            In 2012, the Giants traded for Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence for probably what you thought were “wasted assets” and you know the rest.

            Ok. So Alderson’s “plan” has worked per se, but i’ll take Sabaen (and most other GMs) and his risk taking over Sandy “slow and safe” Alderson all day everyday.

            I don’t think i’ll be seeing you in the casinos anytime soon.

            • July 20, 2014 at 8:22 pm

              I wonder if in a dark and empty room Fred Wilpon told SA not to worry about the fans. Just save “My franchise” and buy me some time. No need to address their concerns with the truth. We’ll just tell them we’re going on a 4 year plan. That should do the trick. But what attendance? Asks Alderson? You just take care of payroll and I’ll take care of the fans

            • Steve L
              July 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

              I’m running out of ways to say this, but once again:

              Over 162 games, the Mets went 74-88 and were outscored by 59 runs.

              That is not a good team, regardless of whether they had a winning record earlier in the season. Bullpen help could have made a difference, but it wasn’t turning a 74 win team into an 88 win team (which is what we would have needed just to tie the Cardinals for the 2nd WC spot). 14 wins is a huge number, and adding Mo freakin’ Rivera wouldn’t have been enough. Seriously, one can not objectively claim that the 2012 Mets were a few relievers away from being a good team.

              Also, bullpen arms can be had for cheap, but that’s not the same as free. It would have cost prospects to get any useful reliever off another team. Here’s Sickels’s list of the Mets top prospects heading into 2012:

              http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2012.shtml

              Sure, maybe we only would have given up someone like Valdespin or Evans, who both flamed out. But what if it was Lagares or deGrom, neither of whom were highly regarded then but are helping the major league club right now? It would have been an abject disaster to give away either guy for a bullpen arm. Those moves aren’t worth the risk for teams w/o a realistic shot of the playoffs, which describes the Mets in 2012 (even when they were 46-40 and .5 out of the WC spot).

              SA was smart not to take risks or chase after unlikely playoff berths. You seem to be upset that he didn’t gamble more…but smart men don’t gamble, it’s a low reward and high risk proposition. And I certainly don’t want a gambler running the Mets, I want a guy who consistently makes smart moves most likely to pay off. Minaya was a gambler, and look what that got us? We were contenders from 2006-2008, then the bills started to come due on all of his bad deals.

              SA was told to shed payroll and rebuild the team. He has shed payroll and rebuilt the team, which is now full of young talent. He’s done this, and ergo his tenure has been a success so far. I would have felt similar to you when I was 12, and only cared about immediate success with no concept of financial realities or long term plans.

              One can question the plan, though I’ll point out that a team can’t just keep throwing money around and remain competitive indefinitely, as eventually back-end loaded contracts on declining players and a lack of young talent catches up with you (look at the Yankees and Phillies). The Mets were right to rebuild, and SA’s done a good job of it. The worst you can really say about his tenure is that some of his attempts to find cost-effective talent didn’t pan out (like signing Francisco and Ramirez for bullpen help in 2012, or bringing in Chris Young this year). That hardly makes him a bad GM, and no, just anyone could not have done the job that he’s done.

              • Name
                July 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

                If all you look at is final record, you’ll miss many of the important details. In business, you wouldn’t just look at the final Profit/Loss of a business and judge them solely based off of that. There’s a story behind the numbers, and you are totally ignoring it.

                “I would have felt similar to you when I was 12, and only cared about immediate success with no concept of financial realities or long term plans

                Actually, your thinking is like the young 12 year old kid who is Only thinking about the future and completely missing what’s going on around him in the present.
                The smart adults know how to balance the present with the future.

                “That hardly makes him a bad GM, and no, just anyone could not have done the job that he’s done”

                Hoard prospects and not take any risks? Anyone can do it and you’re not giving yourself enough credit if you think you can’t.

                • Steve L
                  July 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

                  “In business, you wouldn’t just look at the final Profit/Loss of a business and judge them solely based off of that.”

                  You know what you really wouldn’t do in business? Determine that a company that lost money in 2013 was actually successful because they made money from January – June.

                  I’ve explained pretty clearly why the 2012 Mets were not good, why bullpen help wouldn’t have turned the 2012 team into a playoff contender, why it would have been foolish to give up even middling prospects for bullpen help, why its a good thing that SA doesn’t gamble, and why the team is in better shape now than when he took over. Your most recent post counters none of my points, and instead you exclaim “I’m not acting like a 12 year old you but you are!” and follow up with “he should take risks!” without really even defining what this means or giving any tangible example of what could have been done to make the 2012 Mets good (once again, noting that a few bullpen arms would not have been enough).

                  As far as I’m concerned you’ve basically admitted defeat, and the argument is over. If you have something interesting to say, please feel free to respond, otherwise I think it’s time for you to move on.

                • Name
                  July 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm

                  I guess unless I can take your state of mind back in time to mid-2012 and until you can get over your irrational fear of getting burned by a potential prospect traded away turning out to be a future major league player, there’s no swaying you.

      • Chris F
        July 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm

        “He has acted paralyzed in decisions that are so clear any casual fan was enraged.”

        Like what? I’ll also note that casual fans tend to get enraged b/c the team won’t act to get help now and have almost zero concept of long-term team building (kinda like Minaya).

        First off, Im not a casual fan. Lets investigate his paralyzed response to the mess at 1B, essentially one he created and perpetuated to the detriment of the team. For quite a while it was clear that trying to maintain Ike and Duda, essentially the same person on the 25 man team was essentially throwing away a key roster spot. He long let Ike squander through months of terrible at bats, and put Duda in a complete hole by making TC play him in the outfield. Yes, even the casual fan could tell what a sham his ultra conservative personnel decision making is.

        Lets go to example 2. Alderson dumped 7.25M$ on Chris Young, a serial loser in order to stabilize his misguided belief that Lagares was not up to the job. Well, Lagares posted the 2nd or 3rd highest WAR last year and while most people could see he had the chops to be a every day CF, Alderson leaped at refuse on the junk pile, paralyzed by the thought of putting out another trio that he himself would call “what outfield?” Remember Sandy, that was your outfield.

        Anyways, I completely disagree that the Alderson plan is showing any real progress. No team flies flags that say “Top 10 Farm Team”. Sure Alderson might want to hand out participation trophies to everyone, but under this regime little tangible evidence has come forward that what he has does is or will pay off, and his detached practically delusional back-talking double-speak has alienated a vast swath of the fan base. Just look at the morgue called citi field. At a time when the Yankees are weak, we had the chance to take over the city with a balanced, smart, personnel decision showing that there was an actual plan to win as opposed to a plan to build the farm team, which is not a plan at all. There is very little evidence he has planned when all this talent will come to fruition and make us competitive. If its the farm, then we likely will need to wait til 17 and beyond, at about the time Wright and Grandy will have no value to the team. What is lacking is the plan to see the “fierce urgency of now.” In selecting all far down the road decisions, all he has done is kick the can right into the office of the next GM, who will have lay out some real bucks to get post season scale talent in. His imbalanced kids only approach, like Name recognizes, fails completely to realize that genuine deep and proven MLB talent needs to be part of a team, and it is essential to win, and win in Sept…and Oct.

        I will say this again. I believe Aldersons tenure has been a success overall…to the owners. He was tasked with saving the team by slashing payroll to the bottom of the MLB, which he did easily. Not a win for the fans though.

  16. Metsense
    July 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Alderson has created a strong farm system at the cost of the major league team the last 3 1/2 years. He is very good at trading very good players for prospects.He has achieved that goal at the cost of losing the fan base and reducing revenue.
    The goal to reduce payroll was done so that the Wilpon’s could keep the team. It was done at the cost of the major league team. A loyal fan base feels cheated when the team in the largest market refuses to take the television money and apply it to payroll like many other teams did. The goal should be to get the most value out of your budget and have a realistic budget that will still produce a competitive team. Alderson did cut his budget but by August of every year they were not competitive. It is a poor business plan.
    In Alderson’s tenure, the team has not been competitive and refused to attempt to be competitive( as Name has pointed out) when the opportunity existed. The second half will bear witness if the Mets are any closer than 2010, but after 4 years, shouldn’t they be if the GM is doing his job?
    It is ridiculous that a loyal fan base has to suffer through 4 years of non winning baseball when a proper business plan and infusion of capital could generate so much money and profits in the largest media market. I am not impressed with Alderson’s tenure and believe he was “forced” there by Selig so that the Wilpon’s could maintain ownership control. Alderson has succeeded for the Wilpon’s at the expense of the loyal Met fans.

  17. July 18, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Here,here! Metsense I think you covered all the bases! No if only the FO could do the same!

  18. July 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I would rather have a World Series Championship than have a top 10 farm system. I understand trying to balance the two. If the Cardinals and Braves can do it, Why can’t the Mets?

    • Chris F
      July 18, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Ownership and failed FO pete.

    • Jerry Grote
      July 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Harder than you think.

      The Braves and Cards are literally the best in baseball at developing talent. Its a core competency for them.

      Its like looking at the As and saying why can’t we be like Billy Beane? Well, acquiring outside, undervalued talent has been a core competency for that team since 2004. Honestly, do a sort on BBref for them based on source of talent. Then run the same one on the Braves/Cards.

      The team to look at is the Giants. They acquire a fair amount of talent, develop most of it, try to retain a lot of it, trade a very little bit. Problem is, they have a bigger budget than us.

      The Mets have a core competency that goes back decades. Developing pitching talent. Its what we do. Sometimes we trade it away (Ryan, Kazmir) , sometimes we misuse it and have it get destroyed by injury (generation K), but other than some dark times generally produce pitching.

      And today, its the coin of the realm. We’ll see if Sandy can flip that competency into currency.

    • Steve L
      July 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      So would everyone else. Though I’ll point out the Braves haven’t won the WS since 1995.

      But building a strong farm system is a good first step towards a WS winner, and in no way, shape, or form could anyone realistically claim a different GM would have gotten one for the Mets at any time during 2011-2013. If you think they should be spending 200 Million plus trying to chase the WS, blame the Wilpons, not SA. SA’s done a good job considering the realities of the team he inherited. There are no more crippling contracts on the roster and we have young talent in the majors and every level of the minors. The next two years will ultimately determine whether SA’s approach worked, but at the moment things look promising.

  19. July 19, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Interesting note is that from 2003-2013 the Braves payroll average was 93 million. They used their additional 25 million from the new television contract this year and added about 20 million to this years payroll. While the Mets stagger along at about 80 million. Brings back a slogan I remember from years past.Simply Amazing!

  20. July 19, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    The Dodgers draw 45,000+ every home game. They have veterans, players in their prime and youth in their line up. Drawing close to 4 million fans a year! I’ll bet the Wilpons would take that in a heartbeat. The Dodgers have a television contract valued In the billions while the Mets have SNY. Why do you keep throwing in disclaimers? You say a fluke roster. So you find a way to put down your beloved Mets and yet you root for them. If your team has a chance to win then you as a fan would want your GM to try and do something anything within reason to give the team its best chances to be successful. So realize this then. SA is going to do nothing at this years trading deadline to improve this team’s chances of making it to the playoffs. If Colon gets traded for more prospects what then larry? Hindsight is 20/20. Oh, by the way. Try to find another way to emphasize your point since Cap’s on words are not allowed here and no one would want to see your vtake on the Mets edited.

    • Steve L
      July 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      The comment policy is a bit draconian, I think my last post was deleted for putting 2-3 words in caps.

      I’m also starting to realize I’m the only person here who actually looks stuff up:

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/attend.shtml

      They drew 45k plus/game last year, when they were good. They did not in the 4 previous years, when they weren’t good. They also didn’t get anywhere near 4 million fans in those seasons. Like every other team in baseball, attendance goes up and down with the performance on the field.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/2014.shtml

      Look at the ages of their starters. Gordon counts as young, cheap talent. Puig doesn’t, because while young he was an expensive FA from Cuba. Neither does Kershaw after his big contract extension. Everyone else is 29 and up. They literally have one key contributor who is both young and cheap, which is why they have the highest payroll in baseball. It’s just not true to depict them as a team that relies on a mix of young talent and veterans, they’ve spent their way into contention. And the Mets just aren’t going to throw 200+ million at the team, and that’s not SA’s fault.

      I’m not sure what “fluke roster” means, or where I said that. I think you’re referring to my comments about the Mets not being as good as their record in mid-2012, and I stand by that statement. If you think SA should have added help at the end of June, when they were 43-36, then fine. But you’re just flat-out wrong if you think there was a realistic chance he could have added enough help to be competitive by the end of the year. For the umpteenth time, they ended up 74-88, which is way, way, way, way, way out of a playoff spot.

      I’ll also point out that heading into July 31 they had already slid to 50-53, and it would have been objectively incorrect to try to chase a playoff berth by that point. They spent the month of the trade deadline sliding out of contention, and SA was correct to not do anything.

      You seem to think the SA should have taken a Phillies-style approach, spending money and trading away young talent instead of accepting that it’s time to rebuild (continue to rebuild, in the case of the 2012 Mets). If you just look at how that team has performed the last 3 years you’ll see why you’re wrong. They finished 81-81 in 2012, had a losing record in 2013, and are currently last in the NL East. You apparently think SA was wrong not to chase that .500 record in 2012, and seem to have no concept of the impact doing so would have had on future seasons.

      Believe it or not, one can be passionate but also realistic and patient at the same time. You just don’t seem to have any concept of the state of the Mets in 2012, or how unlikely it was for a few trades to turn that team into a winner. Hindsight is 20/20, but it’s silly to claim we shouldn’t use it to judge whether SA was correct to stand pat. Because the way the season played out definitively proved he was correct to stick with the rebuilding process and not trade for immediate help.

      As for 2014, absent a winning streak over the next week or so, they probably should’t trade for immediate help. Or at least they shouldn’t trade for anyone who won’t help beyond 2014 (like Asdrubal Cabrera, who is a FA next year). Why?

      http://www.fangraphs.com/coolstandings.aspx

      They have a 1% chance of making the playoffs right now, with an expected final record of 76-86. Should they sacrifice anything that can help in 2015 and beyond in exchange for, say, a 10% chance of making the playoffs/expected record of 81-81?

      At some point the MLB team has to succeed, and the bill is coming due for SA in the near future. But if you think he did a bad job b/c he didn’t turn the 2012 team into a winner…I mean, I really don’t know what to tell you. No one could have done so, it’s just not a realistic or rational position.

  21. July 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Bad is such a relative word, As you say attendance is based on performance on the field. How do you know not making any moves in the pen would of made a difference? I’m not interested in the team achieving .500 ball. Making the playoffs where anything can happen is what matters to me. Your last paragraph is what makes me scratch my head. At some point the MLB team will succeed? Really? Why? Because you say so? As you pointed out to me Atlanta has not won a WS since 1995. If you know you have a limited budget how can you go and sign Chris Young at 7.25 million so early in the off season. I thought SA was a shrewd negotiator. It’s not like teams were banging on CY’s front door. CY accounts for nearly 10% of this years payroll. It just goes to show you how little SA trusts the kids to perform at the ML level. That money could of been applied to more immediate needs. As a GM how can you come out of spring training with 3 first base men knowing that you have a limited budget? Anyway can’t change the past. Let’s just hope the team has no major injuries in 2015. If I were to give SA a grade it would be an A for clearing out contracts and C for FA signings.

    • Steve L
      July 21, 2014 at 10:56 am

      I meant the Mets have to start succeeding on the field soon for SA’s tenure to be considered a success, not that all MLB teams have to succeed at some point.

      The Mets didn’t have any quality corner outfielders heading into the year, as neither Puello or Nimmo are ready yet. So LF and RF were immediate needs. I think SA believed Chris Young was being undervalued and was due for a rebound. I didn’t get it then, as CY’s value came from plus defensive in CF, where his power was enough to make him an above average hitter for the position despite his low OBP. Putting him at either corner makes his defense less valuable and makes his bat woefully inadequate. The deal looks even worse now, and the best I can say is he only signed him for one year so we can easily move on.

      I liked the Granderson signing. The Colon signing only makes sense if we can flip him for something useful by the deadline, otherwise he’ll go into next year clogging up the rotation (they’d pretty much have to start him, leaving one less post for the talented young pitchers). And we only went into the year with two known quantities at 1B (Davis and Duda), and it didn’t take long to find a suitor for Davis. And Duda can only hit righties, so as long as he’s the primary starter there always needs to be a right handed 1B too to play against lefties (and I have no problem with this plan for the next few years while we wait for Dominic Smith to reach the majors).

      Not every FA signing has worked, but he’s made a few good ones. He found Carlos Torres, who’s been strong out of the pen and can make a spot start when needed. He signed Byrd, whom he was then able to flip for a quality reliever (Black) and an IF prospect. It’s not like none of his signings panned out, and it’s worth noting he was limited to the bargain bin until this past offseason. Bargain bin guys tend not to pan out, which is why they’re in the bargain bin to begin with.

      If one wants to give SA a B for his tenure, that’s fine (it’s not like I’m arguing he gets an A, but to me B = successful, just not outstanding). I just don’t get the people on here who think it’s been a disaster, or that the 2011 – 2013 Mets were a few relievers away from being a contender.

      • Metsense
        July 22, 2014 at 2:01 am

        If you woke up on June 3, 2012 you would have found the Mets in first place, 8 games above .500. This was being done without a bullpen. They needed help, any help, nothing done, opportunity lost.
        As late as July 7th, 2012 the Mets were still a wild card team. No bullpen, they needed help, any help, nothing done, opportunity lost.
        July 21, 2012, with no reinforcements coming, the Mets fell to .500 ball and by the standard rule of thumb, being 5,5 games out of the wildcard could be considered sellers. A self fulfilling prophecy for Sandy. If you don’t do anything then the team fails like they were “supposed to”.
        Today, we are 8 games out of a wild card, 7 games under .500 and I am supposed to believe that Sandy deserves a “B” and the major league team is better. Two years later the team’s record is worse, and the Mets have been stagnant. They are still an impact bat and SS upgrade from being a bonafide contender. In the summer of 2012, they were bullpen pieces away.

        • Name
          July 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

          I’ve been investigating the 2012 season some more as even i cannot remember all the day-to-day stuff, and we lost 2 of our SP in two consecutive days, which in hindsight ended up being the crushing blow to the season.
          On July 6th, Reed Johnson stepped on Johan’s ankle, effectively ending his season. He would go on to try to finish that game and make 4 other starts, but it was an utter disaster. I have no idea why they allowed him to keep pitching that game as i thought he was DL bound for sure when i saw that play.
          Then the very next day, Dillon Gee made his very last start of the 2012 season, as soon after that a blood clot issue was discovered with him.
          We were eventually able to replace one spot with Matt Harvey, but by then the failed disasters by Johan and Batista were too much to overcome.

          Baseball when played in real-time analysis is very different from hindsight analysis. Take these last few days. Imagine how a win on Sunday would have changed the perspective. Instead of losing a series to the Padres, we would have won it. We would be starting the 2nd half on a good note and would squelch questions (for the moment) of whether the Mets are headed to their annual 2nd half collapse. Instead, we’re looking nervously ahead as we face a wild card contender and a division leading team and wonder how a collapse won’t happen. It may only seem like 1 game lost at the end of the season from now and will probably be forgotten, but in real-time, it changes everyone’s outlook. And even if we lost the very next game against Seattle, we would still be 2-2 and feeling OK. But now we are losers of 3 straight and 9 back.

          • Steve L
            July 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

            Let me put it this way. Trading prospects for immediate help makes sense when you’re close to contention…but you better be right. I wouldn’t have really objected to trading away a few mid- to low-tier prospects for relief help in 2012 (at least not at the end of June when they were still in it), even if I didn’t believe the Mets were as good as their record.

            But we can judge whether such a decision was correct using hindsight, and I think it’s clear now that SA was correct to stand pat in 2012. Best case, he would have traded prospects that ended up never amounting to anything for a few extra wins (though even that would have left the Mets with a lower draft pick). Worst case, same result for the major league team and Lagares is playing CF on another major league team.

            I just think it’s hard to blame SA for not doing anything in 2012 when it wouldn’t have significantly helped the major league team and may have cost us a valuable piece in 2014 and/or future seasons.

            • Steve S.
              July 24, 2014 at 6:04 pm

              True, but you can blame the Wilponzis and Bud Selig for putting the Mets in such a crumby position then and now.

            • Name
              July 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

              “But we can judge whether such a decision was correct using hindsight”

              In everyday life, most people tend to judge decisions based on how they turn out. Sadly, that is not the correct approach. No one has perfect information, and decisions should be made that offer the best payoff using the limited information that we have.
              Whether or not a decision was correct has to be determined at the time of the transaction. After the transaction, there are usually multiple variables (mostly luck) that can affect the final outcome.

              For example, paying $500 for a 1% shot at $1000 is a stupid decision. If you happened to play and win, even in hindsight analysis, it’s still a stupid decision because everyone knows on average, the payoff is negative. While the result was good, the decision was not smart.

              On the other spectrum, if you pay $1 for a 50% shot at $1000, it’s a smart statistical play. Even if you don’t win, it’s still a smart play because the odds are in your favor. While the result was not good, the decision was smart.

              Also, due to the butterfly effect and chaos theory, it’s very possible that one person can change the entire season. Ever seen the movies and shows when a character goes back into the past and changes one tiny thing, and then when they go back into the future and their whole reality and entirely different? Chaos theory.

              • July 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

                Just a thought. Wouldn’t the benefits of making it even to 1 playoff game be worth it? Wouldn’t that re-ignite the fan base ? (not to mention the financial windfall). Or is the 4 year plan just a smoke screen to load up on draft picks and stave off bankruptcy?

                • Name
                  July 25, 2014 at 9:06 am

                  I would even argue that just being in a playoff race deep into September would be enough to reignite the fanbase.

                  I don’t mind stockpiling on prospects, but the way Alderson has done it is too extreme.
                  I’m always very skeptical of trade rumors, but if the Rays really offered Matt Joyce for Ike Davis, I would have done it over all the known pitching prospects that Sandy was asking for.

  22. July 22, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Just a follow up thought to what Name is chatting with Larry. The Giants traded away Wheeler for Beltran. They must have felt that giving up on one of their top prospects was worth the risk to have a chance at getting to a WS. Turn the tables around. Would SA risk a top prospect if the Mets were tied for the division going into the final week before the trading deadline and were starting to falter?

  23. July 22, 2014 at 2:18 am

    But Metsense we have a top 10 farm system thank’s to SA! What’s the problem?

    • Chris F
      July 22, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Put that on a flag and fly it high over citi field!

  24. July 22, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Chris the problem is no one will notice because there will not be any one left in Citi to appreciate it.

  25. July 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    SA over played his hand and it blew up in his face going into spring training with 3 first base men. Instead of selling high he miscalculated the market and took what was left out there from the Pirates. And at that time the Mets really didn’t need any additional pitching prospects. Every GM with a need at first base knew the Mets were looking to move Ike. In hindsight I’ll bet SA wish he could have a mulligan there.

  26. Chris F
    July 25, 2014 at 9:56 am

    This situation is now quite cemented in place in my eyes. In reading about the Mets interest in Tulo and CarGo, and what it would cost in HR and treasure I have to wonder. As I see it, the stockpiling of arms is about “pitching wins” and Im finding it hard to imagine we would now unload up to 3 of them and Plawecki or Herrera to land Tulo, and the 115M$ he’s due. Im all in favor of bringing in MLB proven talent, but what weve been sold on makes me think we need to hit the FA market for a SS, like a JJ Hardy or HanRam. Id hate to end up paying a fortune and losing all the talent weve suffered through to acquire. Also, with Conforto the most advanced bat of last years draft, its reasonable to expect him in Queens next year after the ASG. I feel like we are in the FA market now as the best way to improve the gaps we have, with targeted but limited trades to get good pieces in trade (meaning dont unload the farm for 1 player unless its Mike Trout!)

    • July 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

      I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Conforto to be in the majors next year.

      The highest-drafted collegiate player before Conforto was Plawecki – a supplemental first-round pick. They started him off in Lo-A the year after he was drafted. Personally, I’d like to see Conforto start in Binghamton next year but I’m expecting he’ll be in St. Lucie. Either way, I wouldn’t bet money on him playing in the majors in 2015.

      Edit: The highest-drafted collegiate player by Sandy Alderson

  27. July 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Didn’t the Mets have their chance to draft Trout?

    • July 25, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Trout was drafted in 2009 with pick #25. We did not pick that year until pick #72, when we took Steven Matz. We had pick #24 but lost it to the Angels when we signed K-Rod. However, there’s no guarantee that we would have picked Trout if we had the chance.

      • July 25, 2014 at 11:53 am

        24 other teams passed on him?! You just never know.

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