Sandy Alderson’s Mets not likely to tank

The Mets’ 2018 season has been up and down, with a graph of the wins and losses showing a sharp rise to start followed by the prolonged downturn we have been in. Inevitably, some of the fans are clamoring to see the Mets “tank,” a scenario in which the front office trades off some of the better players, knowing that will result in a worse record hence higher draft picks down the road. This also reduces salary and may provide more money for signing key free agents in the future as the team gets ready to contend.

This strategy has worked, and worked well for several teams in recent years, including the Cubs and the Astros. Both endured 100 plus loss seasons, and were rewarded with high draft picks. The Astros landed Carlos Correa as the first overall pick in 2012. The Cubs grabbed Kris Bryant as the second overall pick in 2013, and both, of course, are elite caliber players. There many other excellent players on both rosters due to the high picks after the bad years.

The results have been favorable for both teams. The Cubs broke their historic World Series drought with their championship 2016 season, and the Astros won the World Series last year. Numerous other clubs have gone the tanking route, with both the Phillies and Braves starting to show some results this year. It appears the Marlins may be in the process of tanking, during the offseason they traded their entire starting outfield, the team’s strong suit.

The Mets do have some highly desirable pieces to trade off, should they choose to do that. Pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard would be at the top of the list. Infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes would be highly coveted, if no-trade clauses could be overcome.

But the Mets are probably not going to take that drastic tanking route this season. They do still have a winning record, at least as of this writing. If they were good enough to go 11-1 to start the year, they might find their groove again. But the main reason they probably won’t tank is the front office situation. Sandy Alderson is the man who makes the personnel decisions, (with input from others, especially the Wilpons), and he has been the teams’ GM since 2010. He’s no longer pushing 70, he’s pulling it. Even though he did get his contract extended before the season, the end of his tenure as GM can’t be all that far away.

Much of the time the tanking process with other teams has been kicked off by new GMs. Think Theo Epstein with the Cubs and Derek Jeter with the Marlins. Does Alderson really want to tear down this team and see it sink, and leave him with a legacy of losing as his career winds down? It is most likely any super star players would be playing for a new GM by the time they reach the majors with the Mets, considering Aldersons’ age.

9 comments for “Sandy Alderson’s Mets not likely to tank

  1. Mike Walczak
    May 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Well at least we got a new catcher. I had written earlier about getting Barnhart, but at least we got something for Harvey.

    At least Mesoraco will be better than Lobaton. (I hope)

  2. Chris F
    May 8, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    not intentionally anyway!

    Hey, when Harvey was DFAd I proposed Cincy!!!
    Mesoraco is a bad contract for a bad contract deal. Expect zero…

  3. Eraff
    May 8, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Seaver to the Reds…Harvey to the Reds…. interesting to think about the similarities and differences. Harvey leaves, and not a tear is shed .

    • Chris F
      May 9, 2018 at 12:51 am

      Seaver a Red!
      Harvey a Red!
      Amazin similarities and a huge difference
      Harvey leaves, but not a tear is shed

      Just had to write that as a poem Eraff!

  4. Eraff
    May 9, 2018 at 6:25 am

    Seaver Red we cry
    Harvey Red we do not cry
    Do they Pitch for Love?

  5. MattyMets
    May 9, 2018 at 7:28 am

    John –

    Given the talent and remaining control of deGrom, Syndergaard, Conforto and Cespedes, plus the pressure of being in NY, I don’t see this team tanking now or in the near future. If things go south in a hurry, there are certainly pieces they could sell off in July to try to shuffle the deck for next year, but I don’t foresee a full rebuild, at least not on Sandy’s watch.

    Let’s keep it on topic, guys. Save the Harvey comments for the catch all thread.

    • John Fox
      May 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Yep, Matty, you summed up the situation very well

  6. Eraff
    May 9, 2018 at 7:39 am

    ain’t nobody don’t like no haiku!!!!

  7. TJ
    May 9, 2018 at 10:18 am

    All methods and paths should be considered but high quality management teams. Tanking as a method has produced some championships, but it also is far from a guarantee. Real tanking requires multiple seasons of complete failure and a terrible product, very risky to the brand. For whatever we consider the 2015 Met run, they did get to a World Series while the Nationals, with multiple top draft picks, have not. And, the Yankees may be the most stacked team in all of baseball, and they rebuilt without tanking and without the biggest payroll. There is a fortune component hear, some of it controllable by management and some of it out of their hands. And, ultimately it boils down to producing a few high quality major leaguers from a body of prospects, far from an exact science. The Mets have had their share of high picks and international signings, and so far in 2018 these have been very disappointing. If they were getting even slightly above average contributions from the combination of Matz, Conforto, Rosario, Plawecki, Dom Smith, Nimmo, and Cecchini, the outlook on both 2018 and the future would be much brighter. If these guys don’t step up in the near future it may be a very dark time over the next 5 years.

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