Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Does Alderson Believe In Anyone But Himself?

Sandy Alderson has been Mets General Manager for 14 months, and one thing has become abundantly clear: Elvis doesn’t like what isn’t his.

More to the point, if you’ve been paying special attention to what Elvis has done since his hiring, he isn’t just trying to change the attitude of the Mets, he is also trying to change everything about the Mets, and to me, this isn’t necessary.

Yes, there are players that need/needed to go. Although I am a huge fan of Carlos Beltran, the Mets had to make that trade. At first glance, it was a terrific trade, with the Mets acquiring Zach Wheeler. Wheeler right now is the highest ranking prospect in the Mets system.

Francisco Rodriguez also had to go. Not just from his anger management issues, but also for his easily acquired option kicking in which would have paid him $17M for 2013.

Alderson also did a respectable job biopsying the cancers on the Mets; most notably Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. Although it was a huge financial hit for the financially strapped Mets, ridding the Mets of these two tumors was essential for the growth of the organization.

Where Alderson is concerning me, is his treatment of players that deserve more respect. I have read volumes from reporters, bloggers, and pundits about the treatment of Jose Reyes. I have no qualms with Elvis not wanting to go to a 6 year deal, but to sit idly by while the Marlins and Brewers were showing not only money, but more importantly, interest in the Mets former Mets superstar Shortstop is unconscionable. Jose Reyes is the best homegrown talent the Mets have developed not named Seaver or Strawberry, and Elvis let him walk without so much as an offer. He had last off-season to approach Reyes and did not. Reyes very clearly said he wouldn’t accept an offer during the baseball season, and he honored his word. Alderson didn’t use his window of exclusivity at seasons’ end to negotiate with Reyes, and once Jose was free to talk to other teams, the Mets GM still didn’t’ show any interest. Reyes deserved more than that, especially after putting together an MVP type season.

Although Alderson did sign RA Dickey to a two year deal last off season, he doesn’t seem to be in Dickey’s corner. It was known last winter that Dickey was looking to hike Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Bombay Teen Challenge, a charity that helps victims of sex trafficking.

The Mets sent a form letter to Dickey’s agent, Bo Mckinniss, voicing their opposition to Dickey’s charity excursion. According to the Wall Street Journal Alderson said, “If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn’t have sent the letter. Beyond that, have we tried to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless.”

Makes me wonder if Elvis and the Mets are hoping Dickey sustains some sort of injury so that he can void his $4.5M contract.

Then there are the rumors and suppositions: Will he trade Daniel Murphy? Will he trade Jon Niese? Both players have been rumored in possible Mets trades. What about David Wright? He is entering his last year (option not included), and is due to earn $15M this year. If his option is exercised, he will earn $16M in 2013. I think Elvis will try and move Wright by the trading deadline.

Think about it: Niese – signed by Minaya; Wright – signed by Duquette; Reyes – signed by Duquette; Murphy – signed by Minaya; Beltran – signed by Minaya.

Trading Niese would be foolish. He is young and a lefty. Many have written about his poor conditioning, but no one is complaining about Pelfrey’s insufferable pitching. Why?

Much of my reasoning might be able to be explained away, but I have the awful feeling that Elvis doesn’t want anything to do with his predecessor’s players, and want his own players, regardless of the cost. Look how many Blue Jays have been brought on since JP Ricciardi was hired. Brad “Are You Kidding Me” Emaus. Another wasted Rule 5 pick.

Ultimately we all want a winner, and I understand the old adage that “you cheer for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back”, but it’s the name on the back of the jersey that made us fans to begin with. Fans need not only a team, but players they can follow. No one wants a revolving door. What’s more exciting than watching one of your home-grown players doing well for your team? It’s all about loyalty, and loyalty can’t be a one way street.

Sources: Cot's Baseball Contracts, NY Daily News

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