By Steven Inman
Sandy Alderson continues to sit on his hands while his team continues to lose ground
If you haven’t noticed, the Mets are in a tailspin. The Nationals are running away with the NL East and the Mets at the halfway mark of the season are at 41-40. They are entering the toughest part of their schedule that will see them continue on the dreaded West Coast Trip against two World Series contenders, finishing the series with the Dodgers and then the Giants. Unlike Willie Randolph a few years back, you should expect Terry Collins to make it back from this difficult West Coast trip but Collins doesn’t exactly have a long leash.
If Terry goes, Sandy should follow him out the door.
Sandy Alderson was brought in here because the Wilpon’s have no interest or ability to add payroll. They felt that a baseball man like Alderson who had experience running low budget teams like the A’s and the Padres would do just fine with their situation.
Whether that was right or wrong Alderson accepted the challenge. His plan was simple, wait out some of the Mets bad contracts and develop the Mets minor league system. He has done a fine job of that as baseball considers the Mets having a top five farm system, headlined by 2014 first round pick Michael Conforto. The outfielder is blazing through the minor leagues and should be considered for Triple A, if not the big leagues pretty soon.
Having said that, Alderson hasn’t done much else besides that improved system. When you are a small payroll team (no question the Mets are now) you have to develop your minor league system and then lock up your young stars before they get expensive. Alderson hasn’t attempted to lock up any of the Mets young pitchers to date. He’s running out of time to do so as some of them begin arbitration this winter. Alderson’s lack of urgency on seemingly everything is very alarming. He called the Mets beat reporters and fans the citizens of “Panic City” when he was questioned about his lack of movement this week while the team continues to free fall.
Alderson continues to alienate the fans as if its his job. The comments joking about the franchise such as “what outfield?” and “the Mets only reimburse gas at a downhill rate” continue to make fans irate. Most of Alderson’s jokes have been about the teams finances and with a passionate fan base that is having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it is difficult to understand why Alderson continues to “poke the bear”.
Buster Olney of ESPN described the current state of the Mets on a recent telecast as “a burning building and nobody is doing anything about it”
The Mets currently have the 21st highest payroll in the sport so it’s not like they are completely without resources to use. All of the big contracts Sandy Alderson has brought in as GM of the Mets have been poorly spent or worse.
The two most expensive deals Sandy Alderson has made in free agency are currently playing corner outfield for the Amazins. Curtis Granderson has batted .235/.333/.403 in 236 games as a Met. He has been incredibly streaky and his outfield defense has declined over the past few seasons. The Mets have bigger problems than Granderson but he hasn’t been worth the 4-year $60 million contract he received.
Michael Cuddyer has been a disaster for Sandy Alderson and the Mets. Cuddyer is batting .242/.296/.364 in his first season in Queens. Cuddyer, 36, is battling a knee injury that might plague him for the rest of the season. At this point in his career he really is a DH who shouldn’t be playing everyday to keep him fresh. Not only are the Mets going to be stuck with Cuddyer’s $12.5 million contract in 2016 but the Mets also gave up their 2015 first round pick for the former Rockie along with the pool money that goes with it. Cuddyer’s contract is going to be very difficult to operate around going forward. His bat has slowed to the point that he has become a guess hitter which has really hurt his plate discipline in 2015. Cuddyer used to be a guy who wouldn’t strike out much…
Michael Cuddyer has been a disaster with the Mets and his contract will tie the club up in 2016 as well
While Marlon Byrd was a good pickup a few years back, but he wasn’t brought back for Chris Young who was a very regrettable signing by Alderson.
Alderson has spent the rest of his small budgets on bullpens. All of the relievers brought in by Alderson on major league deals haven’t worked out. Players like Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, D.J. Carrasco all performed very poorly when brought in by the Mets.
Alderson and company have flat out been too patient to help this team be successful. Besides letting a potential playoff team die without any reinforcements in ’15, the team also took far too long assessing their own players. The Lucas Duda–Ike Davis dilemma took far too long causing the Mets to be unable to get anything of value for Davis. The same situation occurred with Dillon Gee who is being paid $5.3M to pitch in Las Vegas. His decision to keep Wilmer Flores at shortstop as long as they did remains a head scratcher.
With the Mets falling out of the race quickly, Sandy Alderson had to do something bold. He could have traded a few lesser prospects to get Ben Zobrist or even called up his own uber prospect Conforto, instead he and his staff just sat on their hands, leaving this team to figure something out themselves.
If anyone should be on the hot seat its Sandy not Terry.