The Mets sure seem to be evolving and becoming a thoroughly different team under the watch of Sandy Alderson.

An era of Mets baseball ended, when on late Sunday Jose Reyes decided to take his talents to South Beach and sign a lucrative deal with the Miami Marlins.

Then, late Tuesday night the Mets said goodbye to Angel Pagan, sending him to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for center fielder Andres Torres and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez. That night, they also secured the services of relief pitchers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch.

Since Alderson has taken over as Mets GM he has dealt Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Angel Pagan and decided to let Reyes walk. He also dumped Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez quicker than a New York minute.

So, while Alderson’s moves may not be that popular, he is clearly molding the team in his image.

Some Mets’ fans will not be happy with his philosophies, as this is a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of town. We all want immediate satisfaction. We don’t have the patience to let things work themselves out and have faith in the process.

You can be legitimately angry at what the Wilpon’s have turned the Mets into. Yes, the Mets are a three-ring circus because of some of the moves the Wilpon’s have made in the past. But, this is not Alderson’s first rodeo and to that extension the Mets’ ownership is more to blame-not him.

Of course, the loss of Reyes stings to the core. No one is going to argue this. There is only so much consoling you can do before you have to turn the page. You are going to have hard time replicating his production on the field.

However, where the loss of Reyes hurts most is his impact off the field. His presence on the club helped in selling tickets, drumming up casual fan interest and bringing an overall sense of excitement and energy to Citi Field.

Some Mets’ fans won’t forgive the franchise for not putting in a concerted effort to re-sign Reyes. That much I can understand, but what I think Alderson did here was cut off his nose to spite his face.

Alderson has a plan. You may not like it, and odds are you don’t since the plan didn’t involve keeping Reyes. The plan is clearly to save money, restock the farm system, and trade for younger, cheaper prospects while instilling a new sense of culture.

The arrivals of Torres, Ramirez, Francisco and Rauch will not put butts in seats next year. Mets’ brass will concede that much. 2012 will definitely be a year of transition. The moves being made now are to make this club a young, competitive and up-and-coming team by 2013. By then, the Mets could be on the verge of counting on the young talented arms they have in the minors in Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia.

By that time, we should also know where players like Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada fit in the long-term plans of the Mets. Not to mention where other minor league players fit in like Jordany Valdespin, Brandon Nimmo, Cesar Puello and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

The wild-card here is what the Mets will do with David Wright.

He is still a marquee name and a cornerstone player the Mets were built on along with Reyes. Wright’s name continues to be involved in trade talks, but nothing has come to fruition yet. However, it seems inevitable that Wright is in his final years with the Mets.

The theme for the 2012 Mets should be reshape, restock and reorganize. That, of course, will not sit well with the fans, but for the Mets to go to the level they eventually want to get to they have to take it on the chin this year.

By 2013, the team will likely be on a path that Alderson will be comfortable with. By then, he can add potential difference makers off the free agent market and make this team what it should be: a team centralized on home-grown talent who will be able to sustain success based on savvy talent evaluators and strong-willed leaders.

There should be no more talk of collapses, player discontent and general upheaval. Talk should now be centered on new possibilities and a fresh new attitude.

So, while the 2012 Mets’ will likely disappoint the masses, the moves being made now have far more reaching ramifications that will impact the long-term future of the Mets.

It may not be fun times at Citi Field this year, but down the line the pieces should be in place for a bright future.

15 comments on “For Mets, winds of change won’t calm the masses

  • AJ

    I agree with what this article has to say, but I think this part must not have come out exactly right:

    “Some Mets’ fans won’t forgive the franchise for not putting in a concerted effort to re-sign Reyes. That much I can understand, but what I think Alderson did here was cut off his nose to spite his face.”

    The phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” means to do something ultimately self-damaging as a form of retribution against someone else. While the lose of Reyes may well damage the Mets in the short run, I don’t think it was done for any kind of retribution. So perhaps the more applicable phrase would be something like “bite the bullet”, as in: “Some Mets’ fans won’t forgive the franchise for not putting in a concerted effort to re-sign Reyes, but what Alderson did here was bite the bullet to achieve his long range objective.”

    Or maybe that’s not what you meant at all. I’m just saying…

    • AJ

      …While the LOSS of Reyes may well…

      • Dan Stack


        Yes, that’s pretty much meant what I was saying.

        I was trying to say that Alderson did what he thought was best the franchise despite everyone basically thinking the opposite with no re-signing Reyes.

        • AJ

          Understood and agreed. These are not the best of times for Met fans, but hey, there have been much worse! Sandy Alderson seems to have good sense and a plan, so let’s see what he can do.

  • Brandon Lee

    The thing is the Mets have a combination of two things; financial troubles and not winning. That means bad news for the high-priced All-Stars on the team. If the Mets were winning but were still dealing with the money problems, they would have found a way to keep Reyes. But they are not winning, and they don’t have money.
    You’re right when you say that this is a transition year because after this year I don’t think Wright or Bay will be on the team anymore. And if any team is crazy enough to take Johan’s contract, he probably won’t be either. The Mets are starting a new, which you really can’t blame them for doing. It’s not like Reyes and Wright were leading the Mets to the playoffs every year.

    • Bus

      If the Mets start winning again, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the financial crisis. This is New York, you put a good product on the field and revenue will come in.

  • Bus

    It’s a shame that the NY masses are so opposed to the ‘R’ word in baseball that Alderson can’t just rip off the band-aid and do what he has to. The Wilpons being around doesn’t make it any easier, but I for one am intrigued to see if he can do what no executive has done since Cashen – have sustained success under Wilpon.

    First time Met GMs are always unpopular with fans – for Cashen, there was a sizable backlash when Mazzilli got traded, but in the end the fruit of that trade helped us to a championship. I hope Alderson is kept around, even if by Selig, just because I remember when Wilpon got rid of McIlvaine because he cared too much about the future.

  • Dan Stack

    I agree. If the results leads to better success, I’m ok with rebuilding.

  • Chris F

    Hi Dan (and all),

    Overall I couldn’t agree more with the general direction of your story. While life in Mets town looks bleak for 2012, I think it looks less bleak than a few days ago. My take on Jose is this: Sandy most likely didnt have the cash to spend, or he did, and simply would go to 110M. I wouldn’t have either. Had he signed Jose, the bull pen for next year would have been just as bad as the stink-fest we saw this year, with the NL batting champion. The plain fact is, Reyes with the present team has no capacity to be more than .500 ball club and 20 games back come the end of September. Is that what we want? Living near Atlanta, I dont get to see the Mets play in Citi much, but when I do get to NYC its plain to see a lot of empty seats with Jose on the field. Watching most games on the SNY feed pretty much convinces me thats the general case. Lets not pretend Citi is Fenway in terms of attendance.

    As the young guys began accruing big league chances and PAs, I saw a team in August and September that showed stretches of pretty solid play (along with some real crap). I think once a guy like Tejada is the man at short, we are gonna see him own it (and when he’s 24, I think we will all be wowed!). As it stands, his glove equals Reyes and his bat was really picking up. Duda has a lot to go on defense, but he’s got legit MLB power. With Ike and Murph back, and hopefully picking up where they left off, run production is not troubling me. Add in some resurgence of Wright (and I’ll say it…Bay) and offense is not horrific. Sandy’s acquisitions are good for the Mets is how I feel today. I cant say we now have a pen thats magical, but its a long way better, and much deeper, and we will need it giving the starting rotation. Im certain thats next. With Jose signed and the budget crisis that was not Sandy’s (or more importantly Terry’s) making, the Mets would be no better off. Sure the wind of change wont calm the masses, but it ought to, to some degree. Indeed the Mets are rebuilding, and from my eyes, we need it. I cant help but wonder: Minaya signed some huge and disastrous contracts that we pay for every second of every day, and we fans complain. Sandy goes the other way, dumping impossible commitments to keep (look at Beltran’s present position!), developing youth, and shoring up major holes and we fans complain. It cant be both ways. Bus, I agree with you about the big “R”. Lets get over it, we are rebuilding, and things a couple years ahead look pretty good. Rebuilding doens’t give an excuse to play like crap, it means our developing talent needs consistent big league reps to really grow.

    After Jose signed I was really depressed. The look on Sandy’s face in the interviews was truly a downer. Things are worse than we imagine with ownership, lets all accept that. My feeling was pretty lousy about being a Met fan. No purchasing of Mets gear, no going to any Met games, nothing to support the terribly troubling Wilpon’s. As I wrote to a friend the other day, this does nothing to solve the problem. Terry still has to put a team on the field. And the team he does put out there deserves our support. Because Reyes is not at short is not his fault or Tejada’s fault. The Mets (coaches and players) are my team regardless of ownership and I plan to support them through whats going on.

    And hey, at least we aren’t the Cards today!


  • cpins

    This certainly reflects where the club is but I find it very difficult to construct a scenario where:

    “By 2013, the team will likely be on a path that Alderson will be comfortable with. By then, he can add potential difference makers off the free agent market”

    I can see that happening after the 2013 season but certainly not for 2013 given the finances of the club. Unless the 2012 club is a miracle contender, attendance/revenue is most likely to decline. There is no added payroll flexibility next off-season unless you trade Wright now at the nadir of this value. Bay-Wright-Santana cost $2.5m more next season than this year. Niese, Murph & Parnell will have 3+ years of service time which should mean significant arbitration raises. Plus – it’s entirely possible that the Madoff trial is still going on/being appealed a year from. Until that is resolved definitively, it’s hard to imagine a meaningful increase in payroll.

    You’ve nailed “PlanSandy” but it’s hard to see that aggressive a timeline.

    • Mike Koehler

      Considering the plan was to suffer through 2011 and 2012, with promises of hope coming soon, I’m getting a bit disgusted with Sandy. It’s starting to feel like he wants to be in a perpetual state of rebuilding since it’s something he’s good at. Will it be 2013 after he’s traded Davis and Niese or 2014 when he trades away Harvey, Mejia, Familia and Wheeler for more prospects?

      This is New York. One of the benefits is teams in this city are supposed to have more money to play with.

      • Bus

        I think you’re getting worked up taking cpins comment as fact…he’s never traded anyone that looked to comprise even a small part of this teams future, so don’t draw conclusions from tea leaves and the MSM rumor mill. The plan is never to suffer through years, and how can you say he’s in a perpetual rebuilding state? Looking at what Omar left on the major league level, you have no right to expect instant results, nor can you seriously say that you will be suffering through 2013.

        You can’t blame him for not spending money that he isn’t provided with, New York or elsewhere. He never promised you anything, so don’t make mountains out of molehills. Lets go Mets

  • Bus

    They don’t even need to be a serious contender for attendance to increase, all they have to do is post a winning record. Either way, they are rebuilding and whether the plan is complete in 2013 or 2014 is yet to be seen.

  • Metsense

    I wanted the Mets to sign Reyes and I am the minority that think Reyes will earn his Marlin contract. I hated to see him go but plain and simple, they couldn’t afford him and the Wilpon’s are the ones to blame. Sandy showcased why he is considered a premier GM with the 2 free agent relievers and the Pagan trade. I can’t embrace the R word for this reason and I don’t think Sandy does either. The present roster should always come first and trades like the Pagan trade improves the roster. A few more prudent trades and the Mets may even be competitive.

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