I think it’s safe to say that the Mets are indeed cutting the proverbial fat. Since Sandy Alderson has taken over the reigns of General Manager for the Mets, besides having a sabermetrics point of view infiltrating the team, it’s evident that Team Alderson believes in one formula: Addition by Subtraction.
Since November 4th, besides exercising Jose Reyes’ 2011 option, Alderson’s best moves have been of the non-move variety. This included parting ways with relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi, offer arbitration to Perpetual Pedro Feliciano (and with his declining, Mets will receive a sandwich pick as a result), and the biggie tendering/non-tendering of certain players.
Today it was announced that the Mets have non-tendered RHP John Maine, reliever “The Other” Sean Green and fan-favorite OF Chris Carter. In other news, they also tendered the contracts of R.A Dickey, Angel Pagan and Mike Pelfrey. What gets me is that people are talking about the non-tender moves like it’s a bad thing.
When the Mets and Omar Minaya parted ways, Minaya left Roosevelt Avenue behind littered with contract albatrosses, oft-injured players, retreads and hyped prospects who have not quite lived up their promise. In the middle there somewhere lays David Wright and Jose Reyes, the “crown jewels” of the organization. I think what people are reacting to is this: Sandy Alderson has openly said that he has about $5 million in a budget to work with. Whether this was capped by Sterling Enterprises themselves or this is a number that Alderson has given himself to work with due to the locked-up money to be distributed in 2011 has not been determined. However, I think what we really aren’t used to is that we finally have a General Manager who has his head straight, who is looking at the bigger picture, and finally being honest with the fan base and not giving us the run-around and what to expect. I, for one, think it’s refreshing that I don’t have to be stressed out as a fan going into 2011 hoping that the next free agent signing works for the Mets. It’s clear whatever the plan was before was no longer working.
Other contributions to the collective agita of the Mets community is that other teams seem to be making big deals. To which I say “Big Deal!” I think we have been so spoiled with the big headlines and equally as a big contracts being dished out that we expect to be right there with them. I mean, seriously, Jayson Werth gets a SEVEN YEAR DEAL with the Washington Freaking Nationals? That’s what people are complaining about? This is the type of deal that, whether Werth was welcome or not, if Omar Minaya did this, he’d be skewered by bloggers left and right for not recognizing that Werth is a limited player and never hit 100 runs-batted-in during his tenure at Citizens Bank Park.
Furthermore, Adrian Gonzalez looked to be Gonz-o to Boston in a blockbuster transaction, only to have the kibbosh put on it due to a number of years on the contract extension. However, the deal as it was constructed was more of a testament to Theo Epstein’s keen eye for talent and his building up of the Red Sox farm system.
This is my take on the situation. Sandy Alderson comes in, and automatically gives credibility back to the Mets, without even having to do much but build a “Dream Team” front office including J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta. However, in the Mets community, we are not used to calculated and thoughtful moves that actually MAKE SENSE for the team. On the flip side, you can be certain that if Omar Minaya were still here, he’d have given Takahashi what he wanted, he would have kept Feliciano around, and definitely would have tried his best to keep Chris Carter to justify that Billy Wagner deal in 2009. While we all liked those players, they don’t necessarily make them a better team.
Alderson said as much that in letting players go or not negotiating with them that he hadn’t seen much of them in action. Folks, we all know Alderson is a numbers guy. Middle relievers are replaceable, and terrible defensive outfielders are as well. Is it really going to kill the Mets to cut ties with Feliciano and other old hats from the Minaya regime?
Call me when he doesn’t cut Oliver Perez. I hate how people are jumping the gun simply because that was what we wanted him to do. Chances are, Alderson is looking for a taker, to eat some of the salary. Heck, even the Mets took Gary Matthews Jr. last year…oh wait. Never mind. My thought is that by Alderson cutting the fat recently and giving himself a monetary to figure to work with is just beautiful. Enjoy it while you can.