I only ask the headline question because I am seeing a disturbing pattern from Sandy Alderson repeating from his early days with the Mets that tells me the answer is no.
Alderson inherited a mess when he took over the Mets following the disastrous 2009 season (which had a lot of parallels to this season, come to think of it). He had a lot of work to do, so he spent the next few seasons righting the ship without spending a lot of money. Alderson even said he would spend when he thought the team was ready.
He started doing that prior to the 2014 season, when he made his infamous “90 wins” proclamation. He signed Bartolo Colon for $20 million and Curtis Granderson for $60 million, moves only a would-be contender would make. He was a year too early in his prediction, but Alderson followed by spending the next three winters when he thought the Mets were serious about contending. Indeed, they made the playoffs twice.
But now Sandy Alderson seems to be going back to his non-spending ways, refusing to get involved in the “inferno” reliever market, even though the bullpen will be as important as ever next season, what with limiting most starters to two times through the line-up. He was a non-player in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes, admittedly because of his massive contract.
It seems everywhere you turn, the Mets won’t chase this player or that because of money. Now, much of this is coming from the Wilpons. But Sandy Alderson was able to convince them to spend when he thought the team could contend. Now, either he’s lost his power of persuasion or he does not believe in this team.
For the sake of all Mets fans, I really hope it is the former. Because a GM who does not believe in his team will do just enough to be able to field nine players every day while spending the least amount of money possible. We’ve seen that before. It is called the 2010-2014 Mets. And it was not pretty.