In Praise of Sandy Alderson, to a Point

It is not often that I praise Sandy Alderson; after all, up until this point, there was not much to praise. But that praise can only go so far.

sandy alderson
Sandy Alderson signed Curtis Granderson, but Mets still operating like small market club.

Alderson should be commending for finally spending big money to bring in quality players. You could argue whether committing two years and $20 million to a soon-to-be 41-year-old pitcher with a PED suspension under his rather large belt is a good idea (and I do not think it is), but at least Alderson saw a need and filled it with someone with a track record of success. In the past, Alderson would go bottom feeding, and that rarely worked.

So Sandy Alderson made good on his promise to spend all of his available money, and that is a good thing. Many people think this will finally end the talk of the Mets alleged “cheapness.” It will not and should not, and this is where the praise ends.

As much as the new players cost the Mets, the team will still have a payroll next season of less than $90 million, their lowest payroll in 14 years. That is Seattle Mariners territory, the same Mariners team that somehow came up with the money to sign Robinson Cano for $240 million.

The end result is that the Mets are still operating as a small market club, and that is simply unacceptable for a franchise based in the most important city in the world. Most of that falls on the Wilpons, but Alderson has to take some of the blame for that as well.

The Wilpons continue to say that they are giving Sandy Alderson the money he says he needs to field a quality team. Perhaps that is just for public consumption, or perhaps Alderson has convinced the Wilpons that the Mets can indeed compete at a smaller budget. If you are an owner and you are told by someone you are supposed to trust that you do not have to spend big money to win, why would you?

This is not to diminish Sandy Alderson’s work this week. But until the Mets start acting like a major market baseball team and raise the payroll to at least the $120 million range, the “cheap” talk and probably the losing will not end.

7 thoughts on “In Praise of Sandy Alderson, to a Point

  • December 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    Permalink

    i agree with a lot of this, but i don’t think sandy intended to bring payroll up 70 mil to 120 in one offseason. i think the last few years they were unclear when they said this was the year; it was more like this is the year things start to get rolling again. like our 2005 season or 1984-1985 season

  • December 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    Permalink

    I didn’t mean to imply that he said the payroll would be $120 million. He never said that, and I don’t think it will ever get that high until either the Mets start to win and revenues rise, or until the Wilpons financial crunch is truly settled.

  • December 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm
    Permalink

    Mark, I would rather the Mets spend their money wisely on quality rather than take a scatter gun approach. What’s wrong with taking a small market approach? I’d rather the Mets mirror the small market smart and opportunistic – A’s and CARDINALS, who are set to win for a number of years rather than the big market messes – Angels and Dodgers.

    In my opinion the two franchises that the Mets should emulate are the Cardinals and Braves. Both organizations have money but they spend wisely, preffering to build from within and strengthening through free agent opportunity.

    Besides the Mets are going to need any extra cash to pay off the sky high Obamacare premiums that will now be added to the contracts of Brett Saberhagen, Bobby Bonilla and now Bartolo Colon.

  • December 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm
    Permalink

    The problem, JJ, is that the Cardinals and Braves have been drafting well for decades now, so when they do spend wisely on a free agent, they are complementing their home grown talent. The Mets, on the other hand, have been drafting poorly for decades, so they need to spend just to acquire any talent. It will take a very long time to catch up to the Braves and Cardinals.

  • December 13, 2013 at 9:16 am
    Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    Have to start somewhere. Part of the problem has been – Ownership – no surprise there. You start by hiring talented scouts, etc.. For years the Mets have not hired good people nor enough. And I know that for a fact. It actually points right at “Jeffy” who is universally despised throughout major league baseball. Talented people refuse to be associated with him. He is “President” of baseball operations – fancy term for saying my rich Dad gave me a job. It is his main responsibility to put together the scouting operations, etc..

    Don’t forget MLB stepped in and said in fact – YOU WILL HIRE SANDY ALDERSON. Sandy’s job is/was to fix the mess. (It doesn’t look good for MLB to have a joke of a franchise in its biggest market.)

    Going deep into Mets history – Whitey Herzog was their director of scouting and minor league baseball for a number of years. After the death of Gil Hodges, it was assumed that Whitey would take over as manager. He resigned after he was passed over for Yogi Berra. The Mets GM at the time was…….. M. Donald Grant. Just think about how differently Mets history may have played out had Whitey been the manager.

    Omar Minya for all his faults was the first GM to put an emphasis on scouting, etc.. He hoped to corner the market on Hispanic talent. We will never know how that would have worked out.

    My point is that baseball/sports are so fluid YOU CAN CATCH up quickly. You have to have a plan with talented and motivated people in place that can carry the plan to success. Remember baseball is a business. Frank Cashen was given the support from ownership that he needed and he rebuilt the Mets from the morass of the 70’s into Champions. He didn’t do it overnight.

    It frustrates me to no end watching the A’s year after year compete as well as they do while the Mets flounder. Taking money and resources out of the equation it comes down to ownership….

  • December 13, 2013 at 10:19 am
    Permalink

    It appears that, according to mlb.com, the Mets once again used their Rule 5 pick as a way of swelling the coffers rather than building the team. Bleh.

  • December 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    Met Fan – I don’t understand?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Why ask?