The New York Mets have been active in free agency this winter, but Sandy Alderson’s recent comments should rub fans the wrong way.
There is no denying the fact that the New York Mets have been an active player throughout baseball’s slumbering offseason. The team has made a flurry of moves that range from picking up Asdrubal Cabrera‘s option, to bolstering the bullpen with Anthony Swarzak, and even inking Jay Bruce to a team friendly three-year deal.
These moves were definitely positive developments, but still, the roster contains warts that will require further additions to correct. Yet general manager Sandy Alderson seems to believe that the organization deserves credit for the moves they’ve made thus far.
“We have done more than probably 80 percent of the teams in the game,” Alderson remarked to Mike Puma of the New York Post earlier this week.
Alderson: "We have done more than probably 80 percent of the teams in the game."
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 1, 2018
Of course, this comment is true, but it is also the type of statement that should make a fan’s skin crawl. Why, exactly, should fans be irked over a comment like this?
Because this is an organization that stripped the 2017 roster down to its bare bones. Alderson is the same guy that traded away Addison Reed, Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Lucas Duda for peanuts because the organization was more interested in cash considerations than prospect value.
Not surprisingly, the organization’s farm system was recently ranked as one of the game’s four worst by Baseball America.
Baseball America's new farm system rankings: Yankees at No. 2, Mets at No. 27. Looking at the hows and whys. https://t.co/jZW1x8j09a
— John Harper (@NYDNHarper) January 30, 2018
Doing “80 percent more than the other clubs” should have been a given for this front office after they stripped this team down to the foundation by the end of last August. And where have those cash savings from 2017 gone exactly? The organization has only really signed one difference-making player that was an external addition.
That player, Anthony Swarzak, was brought in to replace Reed. At this point, Swarzak is not really an upgrade over Reed, he’s closer to a fill-in, a drop-in replacement. He’s not really an upgrade—he helps maintain the status quo.
Actually, the team has signed two external players, because we can’t forget Adrian Gonzalez, a 36-year-old with a serious back injury signed for the veteran’s minimum. So, for Alderson to make a statement like this is disingenuous, especially considering the team’s payroll is a projected $20 million less than last year’s.
This roster still has multiple holes left to fill and even though Alderson might tell you they just need to add an infielder to the mix, this team could use another bullpen piece and a veteran starter as well.
This is the equivalent of owning a business and replacing your mediocre equipment with more mediocre equipment. Yeah, you could claim that you’ve replaced more equipment than 80 percent of your competitors, but at the end of the day your business still needs more upgrades and still has a mediocre product.
That’s what this current Mets team is, a collection of mostly the same parts as last year. If this team wants to take a step forward in 2018, doing more than 80 percent of the other clubs simply is not enough.