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.
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.