Sandy Alderson’s Putrid Free Agency History

A couple of week ago we took a look at Sandy Alderson’s rather meager trade history (14 trades in nearly five years as Mets GM). Now let’s take a look at how he fared in free agency. Somehow it is far, far worse.

sandy alderson
Sandy Alderson’s free agency history is not a good one.

At least Alderson managed to make a few shrewd trades (Wheeler, d’Arnaud/Syndergaard, Black/Herrera). The same cannot be said for his forays into free agency, which are just as limited as his trade history. In his time as GM, Alderson has signed just seven major free agents. I defined “major” as being multi-million dollar expenditures. Anything over a couple of million is a big deal for the chintzy Mets.

Now, Alderson has signed a few dozen minor free agents over the years. They have basically been hit and miss — for every Marlon Byrd, Scott Hairston and Tim Byrdak he unearthed, there has been a Brad Eamus, Dale Thayer and Aaron Laffey. That is probably par for the course for most GMs, so it is not really fair to judge him on those moves. Although is can be argued that Alderson’s alleged skill was to find these unheralded and undervalued players, so maybe he should be judged for that. But for this exercise, let’s just look at the big signings.

And without further ado, here they are:

12/11 Jon Rauch: One year, $3.5 million
12/11 Frank Francisco: Two years, $12 million
1/13 Shaun Marcum: One year, $4 million
11/13 Chris Young: One year, $7.25 million
12/13 Curtis Granderson: Four years, $60 million
12/13 Bartolo Colon: Two years, $20 million
11/14 Michael Cuddyer: Two years, $21 million

The only signing that could be considered a success is Colon, and that is debatable because the Mets now have an unnecessary starter eating up 10% of their limited payroll. Still, Colon is 24-19 in his Mets career thus far, albeit with a high 4.24 ERA. But he is a lot of fun, so perhaps it was worth it.

Colon is even more of a success when you compare him to the rest of the motley list. Rauch wasn’t terrible; he had some good stretches as a Met. But he had some awful stretches as well, which rates him as mediocre. Francisco was a disaster, pitching poorly his first season (5.53 ERA) and hardly pitching the second (eight games). Marcum didn’t even last the season, pitching to a 1-10 record with a 5.29 ERA. Chris Young (the outfielder) was also cut loose during his season (.205 batting average). And Granderson and Cuddyer are looking like busts.

Of course, Alderson’s hands have been tied by the fiscal restraints put on by the Wilpons. But when he had money to spend, he clearly did not spend it wisely. Listen, every general manager has signings that go bad; there is no avoiding it. But when you have almost every signing go bad, you have to question the player evaluation skills of that GM.

Sandy Alderson has shown that his evaluation skills are questionable at best. This is why he is a poor general manager. He is just not a baseball man. He is probably a fine team executive, but he should leave player personnel decisions to people who actually know the game.

But that will never happen, By all accounts, Sandy Alderson thinks he is the smartest person in the room. Given this putrid list of signings, he has to be the only one who thinks that.

2 thoughts on “Sandy Alderson’s Putrid Free Agency History

  • July 10, 2015 at 9:44 am
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    Chris Capuano—who got only $1.5 million or so—was not a terrible signing. But, I agree, that Alderson has not done that well so far with his limited Wilponzi funds. The jury is still out on Granderson, however, who is having a decent year (or half-year), and seems to be on the right track now (or, as Terry Collins says, he has “got going”).

  • August 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm
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    The Grandy signing looks great at this point. 3 WAR outfielders don’t grow on trees. He’s been our best position player all season. The Colon signing has helped us as well, though it isn’t great. He also signed Marlon Byrd for absolutely nothing and turned a month of him and John Buck into Dilson Herrera and Vic Black. He isn’t perfect – no GM is – but he’s made a lot of moves to provide us with a promising future.

    Saying he is a poor GM just isn’t true. This is the guy that got Thor, d’Arnaud, Buck and Becerra for Dickey, Thole and Nickeas. He got Wheeler for a half season of Beltran. He’s drafted Conforto, Nimmo, Cecchini, Plawecki and many other high upside guys, and has signed Rosario and a few other big name international free agents this year. For all the shit you give him, he’s also made some solid decisions to NOT give out big deals. Mets fans would be killing him for the Reyes deal if it were actually consummated. Or remember when the entire fanbase was screaming for him to sign Michael Bourn? Yeah, you probably don’t. He’s been perfectly cromulent and some would even say he’s done a very good job. Step back from the ledge.

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