Sandy Alderson

What Just Happened?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Bartolo Colon is done. His 2.1 innings six earned run game is unacceptable. He pitches in a pitcher’s park, and his ERA is now 4.96. If MLB wants to improve scoring just make sure he pitches every five games. 

The Mets entered today one game back (two in the loss column), and Colon gave them no chance to make up ground or keep pace. In fact, the Mets lost ground. He even had his super secret weapon, Anthony Recker, and his .130 batting average. 

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Mets don’t tell Wilmer Flores or Terry Collins about the Carlos Gomez trade. However because this isn’t 1925, he heard about the trade anyway (probably from someone in the clubhouse). Better yet, no one told Terry Collins. So he sends Flores out there crying at SS. Flores did get one last AB and a standing ovation. Collins finally pulled him off the field. After a big loss, Collins had a testy press conference. 

Wouldn’t you?  The man is facing the brunt of the blame for putting Flores in a tough spot. However, Collins had no idea about the trade. It’s insanity. 

Speaking of insanity – THERE WAS NO TRADE!   Let me say that again to let that sink in, THERE WAS NO TRADE!  Unbelievable. Only the Mets. There’s no one to blame, at least not now. I’m sure we’ll soon find out what happened. At the moment, we all feel like Collins watching his SS crying in the field: baffled, upset, out of the loop, and . . .


In other news, Lucas Duda is objectively awesome, and Collins is still using the platoon system. Colon is terrible and is possibly costing the Mets a playoff spot. Today was Flores’ last game for the Mets until it wasn’t. A lot of people, including me, wasted time with an analysis of a non-trade. 

It’s late. I’m confused. I’m going to bed. Maybe there will be some sanity tomorrow. 

Rumor Has It No More Trade Talk

I’m done with analyzing potential trades and players.  I don’t think the Mets are making any more moves.  I don’t think Sandy Alderson had the money to spend.  He was bluffing at that press conference because that’s his job.  He cannot announce to the world the Mets don’t have the money to add a contract.  That’s foolhardy.  It reduces your leverage in trade discussions, and it could keep fans away from the ballpark.  Both are bad for business, and if anything, Sandy is a good businessman.

Therefore, I’m not going to address how well I think Gerardo Parra will fit on this team, especially given Juan Lagares’ questionable health and offense.  I’m not going to address how a Jose Reyes deal will benefit the Mets on the field and in attendance.  I won’t go into how Justin Upton has been lousy since April and will only drag the Mets offense further down.  I’ve already wasted my breath on Jay Bruce.  We all know Yoenis Cespedes and Carlos Gonzalez are not going to be moved by their teams.

Any other players the Mets get besides the aforementioned players are just background noise.  They are bench parts that don’t have the day to day impact the Mets need on the field.  If the Mets acquire someone, I’ll do a write up on the trade.  If the Mets get one of the above, I’ll concede how very wrong I was.

I’m not being pessimistic.  I’m being realistic.  I do think the team on the field can compete for the postseason and the World Series.  When Travis d’Arnaud returns, the team is that much better.  If David Wright returns, and is at least a shadow of himself, watch out.  If Steven Matz returns, we’re really cooking.

Instead of focusing on what could be, I’m going to focus on what is and enjoy that.  I don’t think people do that enough nowadays.  I’m going to sit down tonight and watch the Mets game with my son until he falls asleep.  I’m going to watch the team on the field, and I’m going to enjoy the game (hopefully).  I’m just not going to sit here anymore and fret over what could be.  I’m going to enjoy what is.

Mets Need to Stomp Out Mejia

How stupid can you possibly be?  Jenrry Mejia became the first person in Major League history to be suspended twice in one season under MLB’s stiffer policy for PED use. You would’ve thought after the first suspension, he would’ve tried to conceal his usage. 

I used to really like Mejia. I was angry at Jerry Manuel for setting his career back. I didn’t think the Mets gave him a fair shake in the rotation last year. However, I became impressed how he adapted to the bullpen. He finished last year with 28 saves. He looked poised to become the closer for years to come. Ideally, Jeurys Familia and Bobby Parnell would be be his setup men for a terrific 7-8-9 tandem. 

While warming up in the bullpen on Opening Day, he felt pain in his elbow. As he was being placed on the DL, he was getting suspended for 80 games. Between that suspension and his latest suspension, it appears I was wrong about him. 

I don’t want him on the Mets. I don’t want to raise someone who roots for cheaters. I don’t want to say to my son we shouldn’t root for Mejia because he cheats, but I’m cheering right now because he helped the Mets. I’m not a fan of moral equivalence, and I don’t like being put in that situation. 

I applaud The 7 Line for donating the Mejia t-shirts rather than profit from their sale. I only wish Sandy Alderson had this type of moral courage. 

You see Sandy LOVES his steroid guys. He built those great A’s teams with steroids guys. (for the record he denied knowing this even though Tony LaRussa said it was well known). He signed Bartolo Colon. Colon missed a steroids suspension while playing for the Mets on a technicality. He signed Marlon Byrd. There are others, but I’m not going to belabor the point. 

Sandy’s reaction?  He stated, “[t]here is a tremendous amount of disappointment, to some extent anger.”  The Mets’ front office is “ticked off” at Mejia’s suspension.  Given his history, he doesn’t have the right to this reaction. I think they’re only upset he got caught. 

Don’t believe me?  Then tell me why Mejia hadn’t been released yet?  He’s no longer an asset. He’s one suspension away from being gone from the game. If the Mets truly care about steroids enough to be “ticked off,” they should send a message and release him. 

I’m all for repentance and rehabilitation. I agreed Mejia had his suspension and his right to return to the Mets. If he was clean, he should be allowed to play. He’s shown no interest in playing clean. He needs to be booted off the team. 

Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid

In a vacuum, Tyler Clippard is a great addition to the Mets. As I stated earlier today, the addition of Clippard helps the team. However, when I saw this deal I was angry. 

The Mets lied to us once again. Remember when Sandy Alderson said he could add a major contract?  Remember how he said that no one believed him?  Guess what?  We now have our proof that he can’t be believed. You know other than the other times he lied about payroll.

First, the Mets had the Braves take on $500,000 of salary in the Uribe/Johnson trade. In the Clippard trade, the “big market” Athletics took on one-third of Clippard’s remaining salary. With these two trades, the Mets have added the whopping total of $4.5 million in payroll. To date, the Mets have saved $4.43 million in salary due to Wright’s injury. This doesn’t even take into account the savings from the Mejia suspension. Translation: the Mets still have not added payroll. 

If you think I’m wrong, keep in mind Billy Beane was dealing with the Mets because he knew the Mets would have to give up a better prospect because the Athletics would have to pick up money

When the trade went down, Keith Law questioned this trade (I’m putting this mildly). As he states, the Mets trade of Casey Meisner was trading him “[f]or ten cents on the dollar.”  As he states, the Mets traded Meisner, a prospect of whom he has a fairly high opinion. He’s not the only one as another outlet called Meisner a future ace. All of this for 20 innings of a reliever with an expiring contract. 

Other than losing a future ace, the Mets potentially lost out on Gerardo Parra. Keep in mind a starting OF is always more valuable than a relief pitcher. In fact, Marc Carig reported Meisner was considered a valuable trade chip. So the Mets turned a valuable trade chip into a set up man on an expiring deal?  Mike Vaccaro is right, this front office commits malpractice

Also, I don’t want to hear Meisner is the Mets’ 15th ranked prospect. I don’t care if he was their 100th. You do not judge trades according to the number prospect the player is in your system. You value it according to the value of the player as compared to the value of what you are getting back. The 2015 Mets may be better, but the Mets’ organization is weaker as:

  1. They traded a valuable trade chip for a reliever;
  2. They lost a potential future ace;
  3. They harmed their chances of getting a bat;
  4. They are now forced to trade higher end prospects if they make another deal; and
  5. They confirmed they cannot and will not add payroll. 

I know Mets’ fans opinion is this is a great deal. I couldn’t disagree more. Maybe I’ll forget about this if they make the playoffs without the OF and LOOGY they needed. 

Did Sandy Make the Wright Move?

Unfortunately, I think the Juan Uribe trade is a sign that David Wright is done for the year. If I’m right, this trade becomes even better than we original thought (like the Oliver Perez trade). 

Spinal stenosis is a fickle thing. Each case is different, and, as such, treatments vary. By the Mets own admission, Wright’s injury is taking longer to heal than they thought. This article was on May 23rd. I’m not being critical of the Mets here with Wright. The Mets have subjected themselves to criticism with their handlings of injuries, but not here. 
For what it’s worth, Wright has guaranteed he will return. Sandy Alderson just announced Wright resumed baseball activities. Sandy then traded for a third baseman. Remember, we initially were informed he would return after the All Star Break. I just find it odd as we hear Wright is on his way back, the Mets add a third baseman. 

I will say even if the Mets truly believe Wright is coming back, the Mets need an insurance policy (I don’t mean the one the Mets have right now) because repetition could exacerbate the spinal stenosis. Also, if he comes back, you want to give him more rest than you normally would during the stretch run. 

Overall, I really hope I’m wrong. Since 2005, he has been the Mets. He was part of the rise of the 2006 team. He showed why the original dimensions of Citi Field were a joke. With the redesign of Citi Field and the team, both he and the Mets were once again supposed to take off. 

For the first time, we can realistically ask, “Is the end of David Wright’s career near?”  It doesn’t seem right.”  He still has five years left on his contract. He’s only 32 years old. He was on pace for a Hall of Fame career. He may now be the Mets’ Don Mattingly. That would be a shame. 

I want my son to see David Wright and remember it. I want us to go to Citi Field when his number is retired. I want us to go to Cooperstown to see him inducted in the Hall of Fame. Mostly, I now just want to see him play again. 

Sandy Finally Able to Sift through the Trade Market

The Mets are finally getting the roster help they need. We all know about Michael Conforto being called up. Now, Sandy Alderdon has finally made a trade adding Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. 

For Mets fans rightfully bemoaning the loss of Justin Turner, the Mets have effectively replaced his career average of .288/.351/.422. My only qualm is this deal was probably available for a while, but they finally pulled the trigger after fans were apoplectic after the Kershaw game. I only hope this is not too little too late. 

Juan Uribe is likely to become the third baseman, which he has predominantly played since 2011. He’s hitting .272/.331/.409, which may not seem like much but it’s infinitely better than what they have. He’s known as a good clubhouse guy. I also like the tidbit from Josh Lewin that he plays in the World Series every five years, which would be this year. I know things like that aren’t determinative, but it’s the kind of thing that can give a team confidence (similar to the addition of Darryl Hamilton in 1999). 

Kelly Johnson is an unspectacular yet major league caliber player. He is a classic utility man, who has spent time predominantly in the OF but has also played 1B, 2B, and 3B. If he’s coming off the bench, which I assume he will, it’s a solid addition. 

The three questions resulting from this trade are: 1) what is the new infield alignment; 2) who goes off the roster; and 3) what did the Mets give up?

Personally, I would put Wilmer Flores and his .249/.282/.381 (135 AB without a HR) on the bench. However, the Mets seem to be forever infatuated with him, so I don’t think that will happen. I think the only thing that is for certain is Uribe is the everyday 3B. I think the Mets may try Flores at SS, where he was terrible, with Murphy back at 2B. 

The other option is to sit Murphy, which I’m not sure is prudent because even in a down year he’s better than Flores. They could muck the whole thing up and sit Duda and put Murphy at 1B. That’s the biggest mistake because you need Duda to snap out of it if you’re going anywhere. 

As to the second question, the only player who’s obvious to be sent down is Danny Muno. The other choice will probably be Eric Campbell, who is the only other bench player with options. Additionally, Campbell’s job is assumed by Johnson, a more capable player. UPDATE: Mets designated John Mayberry, Jr. for assignment (in my opinion that’s the right move). 

Lastly, I know nothing of these prospects, which is a good thing because it means they didn’t give up one of their better prospects. If you are interested in learning about them, here is a blurb on John Gant and another on Rob Whalen

The Mets still need a LOOGY and a SS. However, this trade added two major leaguers to a bench all under the Mendoza line. I think Uribe is a placeholder and not a solution. This trade makes more sense if Wright is indeed coming back this year. It was a solid but not great move.  

Calling Up Conforto is a Bad Omen but I Love it Anyway

The Mets have finally put Michael Cuddyer on the DL and called-up Michael Conforto. It’s about time. Cuddyer has been injured for almost a month, and Conforto has done nothing but rake.

After last night’s debacle, the Mets front office probably felt like there was no other choice. I believe that Conforto will be the everyday star in the Mets lineup (albeit maybe not immediately) to match the five aces they will have in the rotation next year. I look forward to my son and I wearing Conforto jerseys in the next few years as the Mets make a push to win a World Series. Even with all that excitement I’m feeling right now, there is something pulling me back a bit.

I believe what is pulling me back is that this is a strong indication that the Mets can’t or won’t do anything on the trade market. In yesterday’s press conference, Sandy Alderson said the Mets have money to spend, but the media reports sing a different tune. Right now, the thing that sticks with me the most is that Sandy Alderson, the team’s GM, seemed to be against calling up Conforto. His quote at Thursday’s press conference was, “[o]ne of the considerations is that most young players who come up to the big leagues aren’t terribly successful in the short term . . . .” His words; not mine. Now, however, after almost getting no-hit and a fan mutiny seemingly coming to fruition, the Mets make a move they were reportedly against making. If the Mets didn’t want him to have the weight of being the savior, they chose an awful time to call him up. The Mets offer this move as an olive branch. However, I think this olive branch has a red herring on it.

Mets want us to run to the ballpark to see him. My Dad did that with me with Darryl Strawberry was called up. I did the same with my son when Steven Matz was called-up. However, I’m not so sure about running to the ballpark this time. The Mets have saved a lot of money this season with Wright’s unfortunate injury and Mejia’s suspension. They’re not putting that money back into this team that has a rotation that could win a World Series. How could I justify spending my money on a team that won’t spend the hard earned cash I give them?

Overall, I am ecstatic about Michael Conforto, and I cannot wait to see him put on his #30 tonight. I look forward to the first at-bat of what I hope is a long and prosperous Mets career. Welcome to the majors Michael Conforto.

Kershaw Must Be Embarassed

Look, Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet right now, and he could shut out the ’27 Yankees. Last night, the Mets trotted out a lineup that isn’t even as good as the  ’62 Mets. The Mets had three position players in the lineup below the Mendoza line. In all seriousness, Kershaw has to be kicking himself for not getting the perfect game. 

Sadly, after Thursday’s press conference, I don’t think anyone in the Mets front office is kicking themselves for letting the season slip away. Earlier this year, New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro stated the Mets were committing malpractice. He was being kind. This is either incompetence or indifference. Considering the skills of the front office people, I believe it’s the later.

I understand putting Michael Cuddyer out there when he wasn’t producing. You have to assume he will eventually revert back to form. Furthermore, the Mets roster is shallower than the Caddy Shack pool. Only this tIme, that’s not a Baby Ruth. Rather, it’s a bench complete with players under the Mendoza Line. 

Cuddyer has been hurt since June 30th. At the time, Cuddyer knew it was bad. It’s almost a full month later, and he’s still not in the DL. In St. Louis, he couldn’t play a full game. The Mets tell us they have money and are looking to make moves, but it simply just isn’t true. Also, we keep hearing Michael Conforto isn’t ready and Kyle Schwarber is an outlier. He might be. He might not be. Regardless, they have to try something. They’ve effectively been playing with a 24 man roster for a month!

This loss is strictly on Sandy Alderson. We criticize players who make a gaff and don’t make themselves available to reporters. Sandy hides behind Terry every game. That, like his roster, is embarrassing . . . almost as embarrassing as Kershaw letting up three hits tonight. 

Can We Trust Sandy?

Last month, The Sporting News ranked Sandy Alderson right in the middle of all GMs in Major League Baseball (15/30). That sounds about right, although I could quibble with the order. To me, when you give Sandy a rating of 15/30, you’re really giving that rating to the entire front office, which includes Paul DePodesta, JP Riccardi, and John Ricco.

Since Sandy Alderson has been the GM for the Mets, he has really been tasked with getting rid of salaries and selling at the trade deadline. To that end, he and his front office have done an admirable job. In my opinion (and most people’s really), his three best trades were to sell and not to buy:

  1. RA Dickey, Josh Thole, and Mike Nickeas for Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, John Buck, and Wullmer Becerra;
  2. Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler; and
  3. Marlon Byrd, John Buck & cash for Dilson Herrera and Vic Black.

Looking over the rest of the trades, there really is not much to get worked up about, except the two trades Sandy Alderson made to help the team on the field (and not the team down the road):

  1. Angel Pagan for Andres Torres and Ramon S. Ramirez; and
  2. Collin McHugh for Eric Young, Jr.

There has been so much written about the first trade. Rather than regurgitate all that has been written, I’m going to make a couple of quick points. First, this was part of a quick hitting series of moves to try to rebuild the bullpen and TRY to take attention away from Jose Reyes leaving. Second, it seems like every year this team is trying to build a bullpen because the prior season’s acquisitions  were terrible or everyone got hurt again. Lastly, this trade violated the old adage of “the team that gets the best player wins the trade.”  We knew then Pagan was the best player in that deal.

I want to focus on the EY deal because with the Mets rotation, it has largely been ignored. In full disclosure, I didn’t see it with McHugh. I thought he was an AAAA starter or a 12th man in the pen. I didn’t see him finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting last year or having another solid year for the Astros, especially when he pitches half his games is Minute Maid Park.

Just because I didn’t see it, it doesn’t excuse the current front office for this mistake. EY was acquired because Paul DePodesta loves him. In EY’s two seasons with the Mets, he was a 0.9 WAR player, who won a stolen base crown. The Mets were under .500 and had no shot at the postseason.

In the same time, McHugh has combined for accumulated WAR of 5.2, i.e. he has been the best player in the deal. I shutter to think what the careers Cory Mazzoni or Brad Wieck will be.

Now after all of this, how can I be expected to trust Sandy’s regime to properly rate their own prospects?  Sure when he has someone of value, he does a good job maximizing the return. However, when he is making a deal to improve his club, he has been shown to undervalue his assets.

This brings me to an extremely important point: Sandy effectively traded a first round pick for Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer hasn’t been himself at the plate or the field (even preinjury), which further exacerbated this “trade.”  All in all, I’m not sure we can trust this front office to go out and get a player. With that said, I’m sure I’m just wasting my breath because there is no way the Mets would take on money to improve this team.

Ben Zobrist?

Ben Zobrist has a well earned reputation as a versitale high OBP player. He’s a player that both statisticians and traditionalist love. If he was added to the Mets right now, he’d have the 5th highest WAR (as per Baseball Reference) on the team behind Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Juan Lagares, and Wilmer Flores (in that order). 

Zobrist’s 0.5 WAR puts him ahead of the players he could potentially replace: Daniel Murphy (0.1 WAR), Ruben Tejada (0.2 WAR), and Michael Cuddyer (0.2 WAR). In a vacuum, you could say he’s better go get him. However, I’m not interested. He’s not THAT much better than the aforementioned players, and he’ll cost something in terms of prospects. 

With respect to SS, the Mets rightfully believed Zobrist wasn’t an everyday SS. Over the last five years, he’s only played the position in 99 games with none of those games coming this year. The Mets need a SS upgrade, but it’s not Zobrist. 

With respect to 3B, I would rather have Murphy. I may be biased, but as the BABIP has indicated, Murphy has had some tough luck on top of injury problems that are in the rear view mirror. He’s been hitting much better of late. I also keep in mind Murphy has the ability to play in NY. Remember the unnecessary paternity leave controversy early last season?  It lead to Murphy’s first All Star selection. On top of that, Murphy has shown the ability to hit in a pennant race when the Mets were collapsing yet again (2008). 

As for Cuddyer, he hadn’t produced anywhere where he’s capable, and he has a balky knee. We all know it, but I highly doubt the Mets are interested in putting their prize offseason acquisition to the bench. Zobrist would be an upgrade, but that brings me to my next point:

We have to give up prospects to get him. If the Mets were the only team going after him, Zobrist may be available for a reasonable price. Right now, the Mets, Nationals, Giants, and Yankees are in on Zobrist. That means it’ll cost you, especially when the Mets are competing with the Nationals and Giants for a playoff spot. Sandy would be wise to drive up the price and move on to more affordable players having better years.