HEAD-BUTTING Mr. MET:
NEW YORK METS: Sandy Speak 101.
Sandy Alderson ~ What's the problem with what he said?
Paraphrasing, he said things to the effect the payroll is higher than he liked. And the Madoff situation presently hampering the Wilpons hasn't really interfered with his operations, nor does he see it interfering with his operations next offseason either.
He recognizes we are a New York team with a different financial dynamic on the positive side of things; meaning, we should be operating like a big market club and the payroll will of course be reasonably high; not unecessarily high; but always representative.
So now, I've heard many Met fans complain lately that Alderson wants to turn us into a small-market mimicking club. And, we should at least be equaling Philadelphia's expenditures. That part is very fair on the outside. We should not be getting outspent by Philadelphia. But because our team is in flux, that doesn't apply this season.
But think back a little to when Alderson first took the job. He talked about payroll flexability.
Now, throw it all into a blender and translate this into GM speak, and you'll rest better tonight.
This is what I get out of what he said. We all knew this next season was about shedding the contracts of Castillo, Perez and Beltran and not about adding another bad contract especially with what happened with Jason Bay and the fact we are paying a very steep price for Johan Santana to be on the disabled list. They exaggerate the problem a bit. But by shedding the first three player's contracts, it brings us very close to $100 million even. That disparity is the unecessary part he's talking about. Even with financial health, the Mets weren't going to escelate towards $165 million anyway. That is also unecessary. Once the contracts are shed, the Mets will be in a position to play with the same monies. The Wilpons have said maintaining this current payroll level is not at issue. Believe them. Because it's not! You know me; I'd call Wilpon's bluff. The Wilpon's haven't been that forthright with us. It's true. But I do think they can maintain their unofficial cap of $150 for these next two years.
If it weren't for these three onerous contracts, we would have plugged-in one of three prospects waiting in line for the 2B job; Pagan would be our starting center-fielder, with either Duda or Nieuwenhuis getting promoted to RF; and in the case of Perez, who basically caused us to play with a 24-man roster, his spot on the staff can be filled by another, much cheaper and willing pitcher; - Perhaps a return of Fernando Nieve or Hennry Mejia. You get the jist.
That's what you should be taking out of what Alderson said. Because without Castillo, Beltran and Perez, more than most likely, in accordance with the direction we started last season, the positions would have been back-filled from within the system, and the payroll would indeed be significantly lower regardless of a supposed mandate to cap spending or even a willingness to spend by the Wilpons.
There-in lies Sandy Alderson's flexibility and our ability to sign smartly timed free agents while also maintaining a reasonably low, but big city payroll. But we are still in the addition by subtraction stage in this process. So I'd ask my fellow Mets fans to rethink their current ire for Sandy Alderson's small market Moneyball aura about him. I'm not into Moneyball myself, but I don't think we're going full blown with all that stuff.
If need be, look at the Yankees signing of Rafael Soriano and how Brian Cashman was over-ruled by his superiors. That is a team trapped in a vicious dilemma and is in dire need to spend in order to sustain their own voracious books. For the Yankees it is no longer a way of business like when George ran things many years ago. The Yankees are now trapped into spending large to sustain a Monster (in the kindest but scarriest sense). Cashman tried weaning them off that system and the Steinbrenner Family apparently decided against a turn towards conservatism. And if you ask me, they are now trapped in their business model with no way out but to sell their interests in the team. That's if they decide not to stick it out. But at the same time, I don't under estimate them to gut it out like their Pop.
FLEXIBILITY vs. TRAPPED
That's what this is all about. Omar Minaya almost had us hopelessly trapped but in the bad way. He trapped us none the less. Thank goodness this purge will only take another year or so, in order to get this club calibrated correctly again.
Alderson? All it was GM speak. We're still going to spend bucks even though historically, free agency has never really been our gig. We'll just be a little smarter about it now.
All is well. There's nothing left to see here. Go back to your farms now.