With the trade deadline looming and an almost impossible encore to last year’s performance, Sandy Alderson is lowering expectations of an impact acquisition for the Mets.
“Realistically, it’s unlikely we end up with another starting pitcher, I think it’s unrealistic that we will end up with a significant position player,” Alderson said on Monday. “If we’re gonna be successful the rest of the season, the roster we have is gonna have to produce. With maybe one or two exceptions, there’s no obvious place for a major upgrade.”
Alderson said one place where an upgrade is indeed possible is the bullpen, “where we can probably get someone who can make a difference at a relatively low cost in terms of prospects.”
On another issue, without mentioning the player’s name, Alderson shot down reports the Mets were talking to the Brewers about All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
“I understand that there have been some rumors regarding a couple of players, and if I’m thinking of the same rumors that you’re thinking of, that rumor was dead on arrival.”
Alderson said he understands the fans’ desire for a big splash. He said he likes it, too.
“Look, this is the entertainment business. We talk about steak and sizzle, and I enjoy sizzle as much as anybody. Those are the fun aspects of the job. But at the same time, you do have to be realistic about where one can improve and what makes sense, both short-term and long-term.”
Wasn’t Alderson saying the same thing before he acquired Yoenis Cespedes last year at this time? Not that another trade like that is likely, but Alderson certainly will not tip his hand now.
Sandy Alderson is right when he says “we’ve got a fairly deep roster,” but still, there is some room for improvement. First and third base are places where another slugger would fit in fairly nicely. James Loney has done a fine job at first, but he is not a difference-maker. Nor is Lucas Duda, if he ever comes back this season. The same goes for Jose Reyes, who was a smart acquisition, but who will not carry the Mets to a pennant the way Cespedes did.
I wonder if Todd Frazier could become available. If the White Sox are willing to trade their best uniform-slashing pitcher, perhaps they would part with Frazier as well. He already has 29 home runs (we won’t mention the .211 batting average). He can play both first and third and has two more years of control before free agency. He would look good hitting behind Cespedes in Flushing.
But I don’t expect anything major to happen. Then again, Sandy Alderson has surprised us before; maybe he’s got something else up his sleeve.