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Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13

Posted: 2/13/2013 4:33 PM

Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 


I know he has and will continue to have detractors, but this seems somewhat informative  and pretty forthright (for an interview with a GM).

http://risingapple.com/2013/02...this-afternoon/

A few interesting blurbs:

On his thought process regarding letting Scott Hairston walk-

With Scott, unfortunately maybe our eyes were bigger than they should’ve been.  At the time that we were talking to Scott, there were some other possibilities out there that we didn’t want to be foreclosed from.  I know some of our fans say ‘you never had a chance to do this or had a chance to do that,’ but as long as there’s a possibility for us, we’re gonna play it out.  For example, with the Justin Upton trade to Atlanta.  We weren’t prepared to trade [Zack] Wheeler or [Matt] Harvey, but you never know what a team is willing to do after a period of time they’ve surveyed the market.  So we kind of held open the possibility of ‘well, gee, maybe we will be able to work something out with other players in our system.’  Unfortunately, Hairston signed the night before Upton was traded.  Had it happened the other way around, we might have been back in on Scott.  But if we had made a trade like that, we couldn’t guarantee him the playing time that he was looking for.

On whether it was the fifth year vesting option or the draft pick that was a bigger factor regarding Michael Bourn-

I think the fifth year was the determining factor, simply because until we got to a resolution on the contract we weren’t gonna have to address the pick.  There’s no question that we didn’t want to go to a fifth year.  We didn’t want to go to a vesting option that was tantamount to a fifth year.  Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:35 PM

Re: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 


Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

What does that mean?  They got indication from MLB that they would lose the request?
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:38 PM

Re: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



oct271986 wrote: Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

What does that mean?  They got indication from MLB that they would lose the request?
Probably that, and/or they didn't like that it would need to go to an arbiter and take more time.  Maybe they felt that there was no way the arbiter would rule in their favor, given how the rule is stated.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:42 PM

Re: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



oct271986 wrote: Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

What does that mean?  They got indication from MLB that they would lose the request?
  yeah, there was a report today by Rosenthal that MLB has no plans to change this rule going forward. He went on to state the language is clear in that it is only there to protect the top 10 picks not necessarily the 10 teams w/ the worst record.


Last edited 2/13/2013 4:44 PM by xmulderx

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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:47 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 


so that begs the question was this Bourn stuff just a ruse? if you were aware of the stance by baseball that they were unlikely going to protect your pick, why are you still talking with Bourn then? who knows...


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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:50 PM

Re: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote:
oct271986 wrote: Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

What does that mean?  They got indication from MLB that they would lose the request?
  yeah, there was a report today by Rosenthal that MLB has no plans to change this rule going forward. He went on to state the language is clear in that it is only there to protect the top 10 picks not necessarily the 10 teams w/ the worst record.
it doesn't matter.  the process needs to play out.  At this point, it would be poetic justice only to land back in the same exact position a year from now - being nudged out of the protected 10th spot by some shlubby team like the Twins who get a do-over pick for failing to sign their 2013 draft pick.  

Let the league formally confirm that parties never intended for the 10 worst teams to be protected from draft compensation and thus the rule is really about suppressing FA salaries, not for competitive balance purposes.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:54 PM

Re: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



DuffyDyer wrote:
xmulderx wrote:
oct271986 wrote: Also, I think the tenor of our discussions with Major League Baseball on the draft pick changed dramatically from the beginning of this journey to the end, which was too bad.  It was also a factor.

What does that mean?  They got indication from MLB that they would lose the request?
  yeah, there was a report today by Rosenthal that MLB has no plans to change this rule going forward. He went on to state the language is clear in that it is only there to protect the top 10 picks not necessarily the 10 teams w/ the worst record.
it doesn't matter.  the process needs to play out.  At this point, it would be poetic justice only to land back in the same exact position a year from now - being nudged out of the protected 10th spot by some shlubby team like the Twins who get a do-over pick for failing to sign their 2013 draft pick.  

Let the league formally confirm that parties never intended for the 10 worst teams to be protected from draft compensation and thus the rule is really about suppressing FA salaries, not for competitive balance purposes.
   Agreed


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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:58 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote: so that begs the question was this Bourn stuff just a ruse? if you were aware of the stance by baseball that they were unlikely going to protect your pick, why are you still talking with Bourn then? who knows...
I think it's pretty clear the way Sandy operates...he lurks and hopes to get players on his terms/hopes they fall into his lap.  Obviously, there are varying degrees of this.  Some players, he sits back further and waits longer, others, he's a little more aggressive on.  It seems that with Bourn they were a little more aggressive toward the end.  It was said that Wright was talking and texting him...I think that says their interest in Bourn was legit.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:15 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 


Here are a few more blurbs:

Is he frustrated that he didn’t get the impact outfielder he was searching for?

I’m a little frustrated.  We wanted that extra piece.  We wanted that piece that would bridge us from where we are to where we think we’re gonna be in short order.  Somebody who would’ve helped is in ’13 and was still gonna be able to help us in ’14 or ’15.  I’ve said that I don’t think we’re that far away.  And with a couple of pieces, let’s say in the outfield or what have you, given what else we’ve had coming, I don’t think we’re that far away.  When you miss out on one like that, or come close on one, it’s a little bit frustrating.  The thing that I take some solace in is that we’re in on those things.  At some point it’s gotta happen.

Does he feel his plan starting to take shape with the people who are now becoming main cogs on this team?  Can he say that some of the pieces he envisions as big parts of the future now in place?

Yeah, I can.  Absolutely, unequivocally.  Look at the starting rotation and look at the potential that we have.  Look at the, I think our pitching across the board  – starting rotation, bullpen – the talent that we have in our system, yes we’re getting there.  Do we have the right pieces in the bullpen now?  I have no idea.  We’re gonna find out.  All these guys, right now, that we have in the pen, there is not one guy in that pen who’s on more than a one year contract.  We’re down to the second year on [Frank] Francisco, everybody else is a one (year deal).  We may have some answers in there this year who may not be there next year.  But we’ve got lots of flexibility, lots of depth, and we’ve got a lot of young pitching talent coming.  I think that’s definitely evident.  Catching wise, I think we’re more optimistic about our catching now.  Maybe that’s putting all of our confidence on the future on Travis d’Arnaud, but I think our outlook at the catching position is as good as its been in recent years.  The infield, again, I think it’s pretty solid and controlled.  We’ve got a very solid infield and they’re not going anywhere.  They’re either young or they’re under a multi-year contract.  And they’re very competitive with infields across the league.  Outfield wise, that’s the question mark for us.  When you boil it down to two or three positions and they’re only outfield, it’s a lot more manageable.  Whereas the pitching, the infield, the catching, you can see manifestations of what we’ve been trying to do.  The outfield is still problematic, it’s still something we have to deal with.  It’s not like we’re dealing with every aspect of the team at this point.  We’ve made dramatic improvement in certain areas and are very happy with that.

What would make 2013 a bad year?

We’re not gonna be happy unless we have a winning season.  Here’s the other thing that we have to take into account: it’s important for us, and I’m not saying more important than winning games, but it’s very important for us that we see the continued development of the players at the major league level and at the minor league level on who we’re counting the next several years.  If we had a winning season – let’s say we win 87 or 88 games, and the two or three guys that you talk about (Harvey, Wheeler, and d’Arnaud) don’t have good years, is that a good season?

Francesa says the Mets have a bad looking major league outfield, and Sandy responds-

Let me ask you a question.  What did our outfield look like last year?  I’m not happy with what we were able to do or not able to do with the outfield and I take total responsibility for that.  At the same time, I’m not sure that what we have currently is a significant downgrade from what we had last year.  That’s not a compliment, but I think there’s been a lot of focus on the outfield.  In some ways, it’s detracted from a more fair appraisal of what we have elsewhere.

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Posted: 2/13/2013 6:28 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote: so that begs the question was this Bourn stuff just a ruse? if you were aware of the stance by baseball that they were unlikely going to protect your pick, why are you still talking with Bourn then? who knows...
THe point is that this stance was not known until after the Mets essentially had an agreement with Bourn.  That is why Bourn didn't sign because everyone suddenly realized that the draft pick issue was not going to be quickly resolved.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 6:56 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 


Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.


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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:14 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote: so that begs the question was this Bourn stuff just a ruse? if you were aware of the stance by baseball that they were unlikely going to protect your pick, why are you still talking with Bourn then? who knows...

Everything isn't so conspiratorial. biggrin
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:16 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:18 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



omnimetfan wrote:
xmulderx wrote: so that begs the question was this Bourn stuff just a ruse? if you were aware of the stance by baseball that they were unlikely going to protect your pick, why are you still talking with Bourn then? who knows...
THe point is that this stance was not known until after the Mets essentially had an agreement with Bourn.  That is why Bourn didn't sign because everyone suddenly realized that the draft pick issue was not going to be quickly resolved.

I don't even know why we're still discussing Bourn.  Seems to me, Bourn signing elsewhere had more to do with the 5th year, which we weren't willing to add, than the draft pick.  The pick was only one stumbling block, not the only one.
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:41 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 




---------------------------------------------
--- DocK16 wrote:


xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".

---------------------------------------------

So Dickey was the only resource they had, money included, to improve the OF?
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:16 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



DocK16 wrote:
xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".
Ahh, I think we could gone another way as well.   We could have used some of the excess young pitchers to find a match with a team that has an extra OF.

I don't have the interest in fully searching the league for the perfect match, but we couldn't find a David Murphy type, someone's 4th OF that could be had for a young pitcher like Degrom or Fulmer or whatever...
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:28 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



MookieLJL wrote:

---------------------------------------------
--- DocK16 wrote:


xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".

---------------------------------------------

So Dickey was the only resource they had, money included, to improve the OF?

No, but the argument could be made that Dickey was the only resource worth spending in that regard, given how the OF market shook out.

Not that I 100% agree, as I had some interest in guys like Ross or Ludwick, but those are also names I don't have much of an issue with the office passing on once their market rate reached a certain price. The resources were there, but the decision was made that they weren't worthwhile at their specific price points. That's the debate to be having, if any.

John Adams: At a stage in life when other men prosper, I'm reduced to living in Philadelphia!
Mike "Doc" Emrick: THEY SCORE! HENRIQUE!! IT'S OVER!!!

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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:32 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



DocK16 wrote:
xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".
  I think the C position was a huge need, so as much as I preferred to keep Dickey & trade Niese. That trade was outstanding IMO... Sandy deserves credit on that deal for sure.

  I also do not think the loss of Hairston was a big deal. Simply from the standpoint of we would be forcing another bench player into a starting role w/ no guarantee he could duplicate what he did offensively a year ago. Which was not really that great to begin with and we would have been overpaying for that bench player in the process.

  I guess not getting Justin Upton is what bothers me the most this winter. I not only thought we had a legit shot of landing him, i really thought we would land him. IMO he was our main target for the OF heading into the winter and we didn't get it done. We can't say for sure one way or the other what players it would have taken. I personally don't believe Wheeler or Harvey had to be in that deal. I just have a hunch we balked at giving up Niese here and that bugs me a bit. The Bourn thing I was against all along, so that does not bother me any.

  In listening to this Alderson interview today, he was coming across sincere and honest and then he lost me when he decided to say we can win with this outfield. I think in doing so that hurt some of the good points he built up in the earlier part of the interview. After joking about that OF all winter, you just can't turn around and say that now IMO.

 


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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:40 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



xmulderx wrote:
DocK16 wrote:
xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".
  I think the C position was a huge need, so as much as I preferred to keep Dickey & trade Niese. That trade was outstanding IMO... Sandy deserves credit on that deal for sure.

  I also do not think the loss of Hairston was a big deal. Simply from the standpoint of we would be forcing another bench player into a starting role w/ no guarantee he could duplicate what he did offensively a year ago. Which was not really that great to begin with and we would have been overpaying for that bench player in the process.

  I guess not getting Justin Upton is what bothers me the most this winter. I not only thought we had a legit shot of landing him, i really thought we would land him. IMO he was our main target for the OF heading into the winter and we didn't get it done. We can't say for sure one way or the other what players it would have taken. I personally don't believe Wheeler or Harvey had to be in that deal. I just have a hunch we balked at giving up Niese here and that bugs me a bit. The Bourn thing I was against all along, so that does not bother me any.

  In listening to this Alderson interview today, he was coming across sincere and honest and then he lost me when he decided to say we can win with this outfield. I think in doing so that hurt some of the good points he built up in the earlier part of the interview. After joking about that OF all winter, you just can't turn around and say that now IMO.

 

That's fair.  

First, regarding Upton I think it's clear we didn't have the ML ready piece to make that deal happen.  Towers clearly liked Prado and we didn't have anyone comparable to entice the Snakes to choose our package over theirs.  

Second, I didn't listen to the interview, but I don't think it's totally disingenuous to poke fun at the OF while claiming we can win with it as a weakness.  Winning, of course, is relative, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think this team could exceed expectations (which are probably around 73 wins).  Not by much, but to whatever extent Sandy means by "win", I don't think the OF projects to be a total liability as some suspect.  Jason Bay is a liability; he was a below replacement player.  I don't think either of our platoons projects to be below replacement.

Last edited 2/13/2013 9:48 PM by DocK16

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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:47 PM

RE: Sandy Alderson: WFAN interview Feb 13 



MookieLJL wrote:

---------------------------------------------
--- DocK16 wrote:


xmulderx wrote: Let me see if i can sum up Sandy's winter regarding the OF:

stage 1) we need an infusion of talent in the OF...
stage 2) my OF is so bad, my jokes are benefiting... so its not so bad, is it?
stage 3) I was Bourn to run...
stage 4) you know that OF I made fun of on multiple occasions, I was only kidding, we can win with these guys. seriously, we can win 80 something games.

The opportunity to upgrade the OF was spent upgrading the C position.  Do you disagree that the Mets did the best they probably could have by turning Dickey into D'Arnaud.  I remember you saying you would've done Dickey for D'Arnaud straight.

We could've traded Dickey for D'Arnaud or we could've kept the OF "promise".  I'm glad Sandy didn't feel obligated to the extent he took a lesser deal to keep that "promise".

---------------------------------------------

So Dickey was the only resource they had, money included, to improve the OF?

That's why I rated our off-season a C, because I felt more could have been done.  But our sole opportunity to do something big was the Dickey trade.  We could've traded for Chris Young and the vast majority of the fans criticizing the team's OF would be every bit as vocal.

I do think there's a chance one or both of Cowgill and Brown give us more than expected and combined with a platoon partner help stabilize the OF a bit.  

Some would've felt better had we signed Hairston.  I think we're just as well off, if not better, with Cowgill and Brown.
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