Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Thoughts on today’s Winter Meetings developments

Curtis Granderson signed 2008 Allen & Ginter baseball card from my collection
Curtis Granderson signed 2008 Allen & Ginter baseball card from my collection

The Mets officially introduced Curtis Granderson to the media today, and the new Mets’ cleanup hitter did his best to land on tomorrow’s back pages.

“A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said that, ‘True New Yorkers are Mets fans,'” Granderson said. “So I’m excited to get a chance to see them all out there.”

I don’t know anything about “True New Yorkers,” but I do know that the Citi Field crowds are going to be sparse most days unless the team can get fans excited again.

And Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon told reporters today that the magic isn’t back just yet.

“I think we’re still building,” he said. “I mean, we’d like to win next season, of course. But I can’t tell you what other moves Sandy is going to be able to make between now and opening day. We’ve got a long way to go. This is the second day of the winter meetings.”

I can think of one easy move the Mets could make, assuming Wilpon family finances aren’t an issue – sign Stephen Drew and stop pretending that anybody other than Ruben Tejada really wants him to be the team’s shortstop next year.

But of course it’s not a financial issue, according to Wilpon.

“Right now it’s a baseball decision,” Wilpon said, ” because Sandy hasn’t come to say, ‘Gee, we have to go sign Stephen Drew,’ or anybody else for that matter. …

“I haven’t heard him say that that’s the best thing to do with our resources,” Wilpon added. “He hasn’t come to me and said, ‘Gee, if we had X, we would go take somebody like that.’ So there’s still discussion on who we’re looking at in a trade scenario and what else might be out there.”

And you know what? Maybe Alderson is pursuing a better option on the trade market and all this talk about Tejada is intended to help his bargaining position.

Or maybe the Wilpons have created an environment where Alderson knows not to even bother asking for more money to run the baseball team, just like Bob Cratchit learned not to ask Ebeneezer Scrooge for more coal, no matter how cold it got.

Justin Turner poses for a photo with me during a Mets Social Media Day event in 2012.
Justin Turner poses for a photo with me during a Mets Social Media Day event in 2012.

But hey, not every baseball decision comes down to money. Alderson said as much to Jorge Castillo when the Star-Ledger reporter asked the GM about the hatchet job rumors spread by an “unnamed source”  that Justin Turner was let go because of a lack of hustle.

Maybe I missed something – I certainly wasn’t focused on the Mets during the second half of the season (for reasons not really related to their performance) – but I did not see anything that made me question Turner’s work ethic. And I’m more than a little bit tired an “unnamed Mets official” being a source for these types of stories.

One bright spot: Jeremy Hefner, another Met who was non-tendered, will likely return to the organization on a minor league deal while he rehabs from Tommy John surgery next year.

And I just found this amusing: Jason Bay reportedly has an offer to play for Japan’s Yomiuri Giants next season. I hope they’re not expecting a big-time slugger.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sandy Alderson may be a good GM, but he’s not so great at instilling confidence

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson spoke to the media and a group of bloggers on Thursday in advance of next week’s winter meetings.

Sandy Alderson (Photo By

If the interviews were supposed to inspire fan confidence in his off-season plan to improve the team, it might have been better to skip them.

On Jose Reyes, Alderson said: “I certainly would hope we’ll have conversations certainly by the time we get to Dallas, or at Dallas. There have not been any discussions in recent days, but I do expect to have them. … As far as the market for Jose is concerned, I only know what I read in the paper. There haven’t been additional reports that I’ve heard about other offers. So I’m not sure there’s much more clarity than we had when the first time the Miami visit/proposal was reported.”  (via ESPN New York)

Alderson doesn’t sound very interested in re-signing Reyes to me. That’s probably the smart move – after all, there aren’t a bunch of other teams aggressively pursuing him – but I’m sure not looking forward to seeing Reyes 18 or 19 times a year with the Miami Marlins. But who knows? Maybe Alderson’s seeming disinterest is just a negotiating tactic

But then there’s the ever-shrinking projected 2012 payroll, which Patrick Flood has detailed through a series of Alderson quotes.

The latest:!/matthewartus/status/142390952709988353

The Mets have already committed about $65 million to Johan Santana, Jason Bay, David Wright, R.A. Dickey, D.J. Carrasco and Tim Byrdak… that doesn’t leave a whole lot to pay everybody else.

It’s not fair to Alderson, but I’m beginning to look forward to his press conferences with the same feelings I had for Jerry Manuel in 2010. Alderson just never seems to have anything good to say.

Come March and April, I’ll be happy to see the Mets – no matter whether Reyes or Ruben Tejada is the starting shortstop. But in December? I’m not feeling very optimistic about 2012.