Sandy Alderson Should Want Focus On Payroll Instead Of His Record

In what has already been a frustrating offseason for Mets fans, Sandy Alderson has already uttered a statement that may prove to go down in “Panic Citi” history.  While speaking with reporters, Alderson suggested people “spend a little less time focusing on our payroll.”

If Alderson wants everyone to spend less time focusing on payroll, maybe it is time to focus on Alderson’s tenure as the Mets General Manager to see how it was the team has gotten to this position.


During Alderson’s entire tenure, there have only been eight players who have played over 140 games in a season – Asdrubal Cabrera (2016), Ike Davis (2012) Lucas Duda (2014), Curtis Granderson (2014 – 2016), Juan Lagares (2015), Daniel Murphy (2012 – 2014), Jose Reyes (2017), and David Wright (2012).

This is because of a long list of injuries that have occurred to their position players.  This ranges from the ordinary (Yoenis Cespedes‘ hamstring issues) to the bizarre (Davis’ Valley Fever) to the tragic (Wright).

As poorly as things have gone for the position players, the pitching situation is even worse.  Johan Santana, Tim Byrdak, and Scott Rice suffered injuries that effectively ended their careers.  Same could be said for Bobby Parnell, Jeremy Hefner, and Jim Henderson.  The list goes on and on..

That list includes a starting pitching staff upon which this franchise was supposedly built.  Each of the treasured purported five aces have undergone surgeries that have cost them multiple months.  Matt Harvey may never be the same, and the same can be said for Zack Wheeler.

The irony is Alderson implemented the famed “Prevention & Recovery” mantra, and arguably things have gotten worse under his control.

Evaluating Own Talent

Now, there are varying reasons why teams choose to extend some players while not extending others, or why they choose not to re-sign other players.  Still, Alderson’s record is not exactly sterling on this front.

The main players discussed on this front are Murphy and Justin Turner.  However, there are some other less discussed players that have slipped through the Mets fingers.

The Mets traded Collin McHugh for Eric Young only to watch McHugh thrive elsewhere.  Chris Young was given a large one year deal, was released, and has been an effective player for the Yankees and Red Sox.  They released Dario Alvarez to see the Braves claim him and trade him to the Rangers for a former first round draft pick.  Finally, there was the Angel Pagan trade for a couple of players who amounted to nothing with the Mets.

The troubles evaluating their own players go beyond who they willingly let go.  It goes to those players the Mets opted to extend – Lagares, Jon Niese, and Wright.  None of these three ever amounted to the promise they had at the time the contracts were extended.  There are differing reasons for this, but in the end, the Mets proved wrong in those decisions.

The Draft

The glass half-full is that every first round draft pick made prior to 2015 has made the Majors.  Additionally, two of those players have made All Star teams.  The glass half-empty is the players the Mets have drafted have not lived up to their potential.

At a time the Mets need a starting center fielder, Brandon Nimmo isn’t even being considered.  This is not surprising as many see him as a fourth outfielder.

Coincidentally, the Mets also need a second baseman, and they are not even considering Gavin Cecchini for so much as a utility role let alone an opportunity to compete for a job in Spring Training.

The team was not at all enamored with Dominic Smith‘s rookie campaign, and they have publicly talked about bringing in insurance for him not being on the Opening Day roster.

The Mets had no 2015 draft pick because the team lost it signing Michael Cuddyer.  Effectively speaking, this decision cost the Mets two first rounders as the team’s lack of offense and health caused them to trade Michael Fulmer for Cespedes.  We have all seen Fulmer win a Rookie of the Year Award and make an All Star team in Detroit while the Mets have been desperate for pitching.

Justin Dunn has done little to quell the concerns he is a reliever and not a starter while Anthony Kay, the compensation for the reigning NLCS MVP, has yet to throw a professional pitch because of his Tommy John surgery.

This leaves Conforto, who should be a burgeoning superstar, but sadly we wait with baited breath looking to see if he is going to be the same player he was before separating his shoulder on a swing.

Free Agency

Alderson’s ventures into free agency have not been all that fruitful.  Of all the players who have signed multi-year deals, only Granderson has posted multiple seasons over a 2.0 WAR.  In fact, Granderson is the only player who has posted a cumulative WAR of over 4.0.

For those that would bring up Colon or Cespedes, their exploits are not attributable to their multi-year deals.  Colon accumulated 4.9 WAR with the Mets with 3.4 of that coming during his one year contract.  Cespedes has accumulated 7.2 WAR with the Mets with just 2.1 WAR coming last year in an injury plagued first year of a large four year deal.

It should be noted Alderson may not have much success on this front because the team has not gone crazy in free agency signing just a few players a year to Major League deals.


Even in 2015 and 2016, two years the Mets made the postseason, the Mets had depth issues.  This was why the team traded for Kelly Johnson in consecutive seasons.  It’s also a reason why in those consecutive years the Mets had to add to the bullpen.

Those seasons have taken a toll on the Mets prospect front.  They have sent away a number of assets and potential Major League contributors for a number of players who were attainable before the season began on reasonable deals.  Instead, the Mets thought they would be set with players like Eric Campbell


Much of what is attributed to Alderson being a good General Manager is predicated upon a stroke of genius in obtaining Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, and Wuilmer Becerra in exchange for R.A. Dickey.  Even with many fans wanting to give him plaudits for Cespedes, it should be noted the trade was made largely because of a series of missteps.  It should also be noted the Mets lost a pretty good pitcher.

Now, if you are going to defend Alderson by saying his hands have been largely tied due to the Mets payroll, remember, Alderson himself doesn’t want thinks we should spend a little less time focusing on that.

Sadly, we have to do that because the Alderson regime has had difficulties in evaluating their own talent and drafting high end talent.  If he had, the discussion would probably be the Mets fine tuning to make another postseason run instead of there being fan anger over how the payroll is restricting the Mets from building a World Series caliber roster.

0 Replies to “Sandy Alderson Should Want Focus On Payroll Instead Of His Record”

  1. Gothamist says:

    The per year money was very affordable for Neshak, he has results that SANDY ALDERSON dreams of (WHIP and HRs per nine) yet I heard that Neshak wanted to be on a team that had a higher chance of making the playoffs

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Neshek is a pitcher who has shown fairly pronounced platoon splits in his career. I never fault a GM for not going all-in on platoon guys.

      1. Gothamist says:

        MONDAY, 4:40pm: Nightengale has the details on Neshek’s contract (via Twitter): It’s worth $16.25MM and includes a $4MM signing bonus. He’ll make $5.75MM in both 2018 and 2019, and he’ll collect either $7MM or a $700K buyout in 2020.

      2. Five Tool Ownership says:

        There is a sharp GM in Philly.

        He resigned Nesak last year at a tradable contract, then he traded him in July for three prospects, then resigned him on Monday.

        News said Sandy called Neshak’s agent.

        last July, Colorado paid up as most GMs do, for results of less baserunners and almost no HRs.

        62 innings at a platoon, nice….

        22 innings w the Rockies, no HRs

        PHILLY HAD MONEY TO SIGN THE RIGHTY FOR $6.5 m, paid only $4 for 3.5 months, traded him for these exciting prospects and resigned him for less…

        Jose Gomez – 21 years old and already a utility man with baserunning skills who scores runs and bunts

        JD Hammer a low pick, like Lugo developing nicely w virtually no HRs.

        Alejandro Requena, very nice stats….


        This Philly GM is in this situation just like Cashman and then Add Gabe Kapler. Next, the Mets may not be able to manhandle Philly much longer.

          1. metsdaddy says:

            That deal fell aparr

          2. Five Tool Ownership says:

            The Mets and Marlins are purposely both shooting for the first pick in the 2019 amatuer draft.

          3. metsdaddy says:

            Mets aren’t. They’re doing just enough to ruin a good pick

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’m not defending the Mets spending habits, but I’m not sure how you can claim the Mets didn’t have money for Neshek when they have Swarzak more

          1. Five Tool Ownership says:

            The Mets are now purposely spending less for one or many of the following: Three years to go to pay back $350 m, Paying off Citifield debt that was junk two years ago, buying eGames franchise and having to build that team an arena and the partnership w Related Companies to build out Citifield w malls, amusement and hotels..

            The do not spend much on their hair either, the hair color is three shades too dark and the toupees are horrible.

        2. Gothamist says:

          They signed Neshak for $8,25m., mote not less.
          But after they fleeced the Rockies, would you care so much?

          1. metsdaddy says:

            Gotcha. Still would rather have Swarzak

  2. Gothamist says:

    Ozuna, did the Mets evaluate to have better prospects?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      There is no way the Mets could ever match what the Cardinals can trade without parting with MLB players.

  3. Gothamist says:

    Someone said that Machado to the Mets as long as he pre agreed to five years and $140m.

    What year did David Wright start earning $20M.

    $28 per is very reasonable?

    Getting $28m in 2023, is that expensive?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’d give Machado over $30 million. He’s that young and good.

  4. Gothamist says:

    Tigers unwilling to include cash in a deal with Mets for Kinsler.
    He goes to Anaheim for young, very young prospects

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Kinsler had the Mets on his no trade list

  5. Five Tool Ownership says:

    98% of the no trade lists have the Mets competing for #1, the very top of the lists.

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