Sandy Alderson is anything but trigger shy this offseason

You can call him thrifty. You can call him a bargain hunter. You can call him every mean name under the sun, if you choose to do so. But one thing you absolutely can’t call Sandy Alderson is trigger shy. Several times this offseason, Alderson has pulled the trigger on several free agent signings. Were any of the signings with any of the major free agents? It depends on how you classify guys like Jay Bruce, who will undoubtedly have an impact this season. The two latest signings of Todd Frazier and Jason Vargas have showed that if Alderson has a deal on the table, he’ll take it.

Maybe it was his Marine Corps training that influenced this state of mind for Alderson. After all, they train some of the most fearsome warriors known to man. He has been active ever since he took on the general manager role with the Mets in 2010. His first big move, which now looks like a gamble that the team lost money on, was to sign David Wright to a 7 year contract worth $138 million. He convinced Wright to stay because of the stash of young pitchers in the pipeline. This stash has now become a reality, as the very pitchers he was talking about now make up most of the rotation for the Mets.

Alderson also was the one who acquired the most exciting Mets prospect that has come up in a long time. Coming off a Cy Young season, R.A. Dickey seamed to be in elite status for starting pitchers. This of course, made no sense for the Mets to carry a guy like this on their squad moving into 2013. So, they traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays, alongside Josh Thole, for blue chip prospect Travis d’Arnaud and a secondary piece named Noah Syndergaard.

Of course, we now know that Syndergaard was the main victory of that trade. Even when the Mets were on the verge of something special in 2015, Alderson pulled the trigger and acquired not only Yoenis Cespedes, but also Tyler Clippard for bullpen help. Of course for Cespedes they had to give up Michael Fulmer, but such is the price for elite talent.

In terms of free agency, Alderson has been one to go out and grab the superstar of the free agent class. Some of his signings include Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer, and Asdrubal Cabrera. Alderson has taken advantage of this year’s dilapidated free agent class however, and has found real bargains with some players who bring value to the table. He brought Bruce back, who hit 29 home runs in 103 games for the Mets last season. He also added Anthony Swarzak, who will bring solid depth to the bullpen. But perhaps his two most intriguing signings are Frazier and Vargas.

In terms of paying low price for players, he hit the nail on the head with these two signings. He brought Frasier in for $8.5 million a season, while he recently signed Vargas for $8 million. Both of these players are interesting to look at. They both had seasons where they were strong in one half, and weak in the other. But they were each signed for one individual reason. Vargas, who lead the American league in wins, was signed for the amount of innings he’ll pitch, and Frazier was signed for his home runs and defense.

Whether or not you agree or like Alderson’s moves is completely up to your personal opinion. You can’t possibly argue however, especially this offseason, that Alderson is trigger shy.

10 comments for “Sandy Alderson is anything but trigger shy this offseason

  1. Hunter
    February 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

    It’s been a good offseason. Sandy A has done a good job. They are solid playoff contenders. Let’s Go Mets!

  2. Eraff
    February 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Did Sandy Wait Out the Market, or did the Market just Wait for Sandy?

    My biggest off-season question was whether this Management Team had The Stuff to address the many baseball needs of this team…I gave them an A before the Vargas move.

    They now have the Head Count and Quality, if healthy, to righfully claim an interest in pursuing the playoffs and beyond. If they are on the right track after 50-70 games, the next Management Test will be the addition of Finishing pieces.

    They are tremendously flexible for Buying into a Pennant Chase, or Selling into a Rebuild. Even with the prospects of this Season being exactly so Black and White, I now give them an A+ for their Hot Stove Work.

    • b
      February 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      yes summer rentals or addons

  3. MattyMets
    February 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I’m pleasantly surprised at the team’s spending. Sandy set the expectations low with his early off-season talk of lowered payroll. He plugged every obvious hole in the conventional way and didn’t overpay for anybody. On paper, we now have a balanced and deep team with average or better players at every spot. Bravo!

    That said, I’d have liked the look of this team a bit better with Gordon, Kipnis or Harrison at second and atop the lineup. As I pointed out in a post back in October, Sandy needed to think outside the box and he hasn’t. He relied solely on free agency to methodically fill holes rather than swing creative trades to add speed and defense.

  4. TJ
    February 17, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    IMHO the bottom line is all that really matters. Whether they planned to spend to last year’s payroll level or not, whether they changed their minds to some degree based on heat in the press and on the blogs, and whether Sandy waited out the market or it came to him to some degree we will never know.

    Nonetheless, Alderson has done his job. Based upon the financial flexiblity provided by ownership, he has assembled a quality 40 man roster, and at the same time he has preserved organizational prospect depth. This latter point should not be underestimated, as while the system is not regarded highly across baseball, like many clubs there are sleepers, and with a couple of big years the system can again be upper level.

    Each individual move has its pros and cons, for instance while I like Bruce and find him undervalued, I wasn’t thrilled with the impact on the OF if all are healthy. However, collectively looking at the acquisitions, while perhaps not the most talented 40-man, it is the deepest I can remember in some time. If we toss out last year due to injuries, the team was in the WS and WC the two previous years. I have to say I am very satisfied with the results, especially after the early preseason debacles of brand-killing comments from the front office. Alderson gets a good grade, and ownership gets kudos for fielding a solid team within its means and with a spending level that should not offend most fans and/or paying customers.

  5. Chris B
    February 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Under-promise, over-deliver.

    • TJ
      February 17, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      True, but also not a good marketing plan. I’d be curious to see how their advance tickets sales compare with recent prior years. I tend to think they cost themselves a bunch of paying customers by raising ticket prices off a train wreck season while conducting some wishy-washy public behavior in regards to the financial commitment to winning in 2018. In any event, I am on board, but I’m only worth a handful of tickets, not a pricey plan that generates bigger revenues.

  6. Pete from NJ
    February 17, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Chris B: that’s what the front office did. Played it cool, adjusted to the market and then bought the product at the right price. Everything worked out on the high side.
    Sounds like business 101.

  7. Mike Walczak
    February 17, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    As a fan, I have very little patience for general managers and Alderson in particular. However, I feel that he did add good parts for a reasonable budget. Not the optimum, but this year the optimum was mediocre. So, good job Alderson. I need to be more patient.

  8. TexasGusCC
    February 17, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    The superstars of the free agent class? Alderson? Oh no, no, no… But, props for this winter. Hope we aren’t jinxing the results…

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