The Sandy Alderson offseason moves are paying off

The Mets have been playing like gangbusters in this early part of the season, and a good part of the credit must go to the moves made by GM Sandy Alderson after the 2017 season. Following will be a ranking of the offseason moves, David Letterman style.

5. Jay Bruce was signed by the Mets as a free agent in January. The right fielder had been a solid contributor to the Mets for much of 2017 before being shipped to the Indians on August 9 for their playoff run. Bruce then chose to return to New York after the season and signed for 39 million dollars over three years. The 31 year old steady veteran has a slash line of .239/.352/.413 going in to the series with the Nats. He might have ranked higher except for the fact he is holding up playing time from Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares.

4. Adrian Gonzalez had an eventful offseason, being part of a trade from the Dodgers to the Braves in essentially a salary reduction move, helping the Dodgers stay under the luxury tax threshold. The Mets are paying him only the MLB minimum, with the Braves picking up the rest of his contract. The first baseman was plagued by back woes and had a bad 2017 for the Dodgers, he was not even on the roster for the playoffs last year. The Met fanbase was not exactly thrilled to see the signing, but Gonzalez has shown he still has something left in the tank in this, his age 36 season. His slash line is .242/.333/.364, not all that impressive, but some of those hits have been timely, including his grand slam in Washington.

3. Todd Frazier was signed as a free agent after a 2017 season split between the White Sox and the Yankees. The 32 year old Frazier has given the Mets fine defense at third base, solidifying a position that had been a team weakness for the past few years. He has been a force at the plate, slashing .295/.450/.523 so far. He’s had his share of key hits, including two homers that propelled the Mets to a win over the Brewers in that squeaker of a game kicking off the recent home stand.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera was on the Mets roster in 2016 and 2017. The Mets had an option on him for 2018 for 8.5 million, and Alderson wisely chose to exercise it. Cabrera has flourished at second base this year, and has been playing at near MVP caliber so far in this early season. His slash line is .315/.362/.556, and he has yet to make an error in his 14 games this season.

1 Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland were signed as manager and pitching coach, respectively. Callaway has the team playing hard and aggressively. They are winning the close games. He seems to communicate well with the players. Callaway and Eiland were friends and teammates during their playing days with Tampa, and they have worked well together this year. The starting staff has gotten the job done, and the bullpen has gone from one of the worst in the game last year to one of the best so far this year.

If the team continues to play well, Alderson will no doubt be in the mix for the 2018 baseball executive of the year award.

7 comments for “The Sandy Alderson offseason moves are paying off

  1. April 17, 2018 at 9:24 am

    There are 30 1B who have at least 30 PA so far this year in the majors – Gonzalez has 39. Here are Gonzalez’ ranks:

    wOBA – 24th
    ISO – T 28th
    OPS – 26th

    His AVG and SLG are nearly identical to what they were in 2017. The surprise is his BB%, the second-best mark of his career and more than double what it was last year.

    The grand slam was a great moment and he’s the best defensive option on the club right now, even if that is “tallest dwarf” territory. But it’s seriously time for Jay Bruce to take grounders at 1B.

    • John Fox
      April 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      According to Metsblog, he did take grounders before one of the Marlins games. But yes, he should do it more often, both Nimmo and Lagares deserve more playing time.

    • Mike Walczak
      April 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      Jay gets paid a lot of money. He can go get his first basemans mitt and play first. That is where we need him.

      Wouldn’t it be great to pry away Realmuto from the Marlins.

  2. Bob P
    April 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I would rank Frazier ahead of Cabrera and possibly even ahead of Callaway/Eiland. They’ve both played great, but Frazier has definitely brought some serious intangibles to the team. The grit, spirit and professionalism seems to have run through the team and there’s a different feel (although last night had a 2017 feel…).

    Seem like the same kid I remember watching in the LLWS in 1998.

    • John Fox
      April 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      They’re very close, Bob, both Frazier and Cabrera are having extraordinary seasons

    • April 17, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      Frazier is absolutely 2nd. We have wanted D Wright at third, but this is our first third baseman in three years.

  3. TJ
    April 17, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    The sample size is limited, and the weather has been brutal, but most likely the Gonzalez experiment will fail. I was fine with the gamble, as it is very low risk. I am also fine with Wilmer and Dom Smith holding down the fort, but only if the catching situation does not end up in a hole in the lineup. Rosario is proving to be a weak link at this stage of his career, and they cannot afford any more weak links.

    The Bruce acquisition is still very iffy. Nothing against Jay, who is a solid and dependable pro. I think his performance is somewhat underappreciated by numbers alone, my eye test shows a better player than just the numbers. If he can play 1B for some of the time, I would see this acquisition more favorably.

    Alderson did a solid job this offseason, but he will need to find a way of improving the catching, 1B, and perhaps another backend arm in the pen, if the Mets are expected to be in the divisional race for the full season.

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