Despite your opinion on @MetsGM, there is no defending his lack of creativity
- Updated: January 28, 2015
Judging the performance of any GM looking for his first winning season in his five years at the helm would leave a lot to be desired anywhere. I am not big on the fact that “this is New York,” but I am sure there is some credence to that statement- though I can go without ever hearing it again. My feelings at this point are mixed on the state of the New York Mets and their General Manager Sandy Alderson. While what could very well be the 5th straight losing season under this regime will be unacceptable, the depth in the Mets farm system is clearly as good as it has been since the early to mid 1980s and the mid to late 1960s. Of course, the common denominator with all three scenarios is the fact that good farm systems often coincide with extended periods of losing. Johnny Murphy, Frank Cashen and Alderson had to secure young players through trades and make wise picks in the drafts, so credit is due to all three… but only to Alderson if the Mets finally become a winning team again.
Something that is common among New York fans is generally there is no middle ground. In a case like judging the Mets General Manager, either fans love what he has done for the farm system or they hate that the team has wasted four more baseball seasons of their lives. I am in the middle right now, though, like most others, I have concern over the owners ability to support a winning franchise if the Mets take the turn for the better. I like the fact that the Mets have acquired some talent in trades such as Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Vic Black, Dilson Herrera and Noah Syndergaard. I also like the fact that Alderson has taken small risks in free agency, adding guys like Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer, Bartolo Colon and bringing in minor league invitees like Marlon Byrd, Latroy Hawkins, Scott Hairston, Tim Byrdak and others.
I do not like the fact that there has never seemed to be any depth at any position during Alderson’s time as GM of the Mets. The Mets are now always designed to have 25 players ready for their opening day roster, with no contingency plan. If somebody gets hurt, the team now has a choice over whether to bring up a player who is not good enough to be in the major leagues or to rush a young player up to the big leagues who is not ready. Whether this is strictly financial or not, intentionally ignoring the importance of having depth on a team is like saying MLB players do not get injured. It is very ignorant.
Piggybacking off the last point I just made, the Mets are last in the Major Leagues in completed trades AND major league free agent signings since October of 2010. That means the Mets have completed less trades and made less free agent signings than the Marlins, Rays and Astros– not to mention the Twins, Rockies and every other team in baseball during this time. A year later- in October of 2011, I just started writing for Bases Empty Blog and started www.johnpielli.com. I had stressed the importance of Sandy Alderson putting his own stamp on this team. It is January of 2015 and he has yet to do this. The Alderson defenders will talk about the younger players drafted during his time as GM- and yes, there is plenty of promise. The Alderson defenders will talk about the lack of financial security and may bring up the simple fact that spending money does not guarantee success. While the second point is debatable, the first point will go back to what I mentioned in the first paragraph- after six straight losing seasons, you are bound to have a jewel or two fall in your lap.
The truth is, that other than the continuous lack of depth at the major league level of this organization, I respect the fact that Alderson is trying to build this team from the ground up. However, it really bothers me that he has openly punted the last four years of Mets Major League Baseball, and most importantly, he has not put his own stamp on this team. It is YEAR FIVE of the New York Mets under Sandy Alderson and the Mets are still likely to have more players on their opening day roster that were drafted or signed when Omar Minaya was still in charge of the team. The Mets could start the 2015 season with as many as 15 players that were in the organization when Minaya was GM. Outside of David Wright, who was drafted in 2000, the following players were all drafted or signed as amateur free agents by Minaya: Juan Lagares (2006), Ruben Tejada (2006), Wilmer Flores (2007), Jenrry Mejia (2007), Jeurys Familia (2007), Jonathon Niese (2005-7th), Daniel Murphy (2006-13th), Lucas Duda (2007-7th), Dillon Gee (2007-21st), Kirk Nieuwenhuis (2008-3rd), Eric Campbell (2008-8th), Matt den Dekker (2010-5th), Jacob deGrom (2010-9th) and Josh Edgin (2010-30th). Of course, it is likely that either Nieuwenhuis or den Dekker will not make the team, Campbell is no lock-especially with John Mayberry, Jr signed and Gee could be traded before opening day. Still, it takes a lot of inactivity to have the majority of or close to half of your players brought in by a previous GM of over four years ago.
The debate can go on among Mets fans with spending vs non spending. I am not sold on either. When a team is using players drafted and signed in 2010 or before in 2015, it says two things. First, the GM that was here before knows more about evaluating talent than Mets fans gave him credit for. If you do not believe my last statement, just ask Sandy Alderson. Sandy likes his teams’ chances in 2015 with more of Omar’s players than his own! Secondly, it shows that the Mets GM has lost whatever creativity he had. The Dickey/ Beltran trades could not have been made without Dickey and Beltran being here already. Take that away, it seems like there has been a scary amount of inactivity and creativity for the New York Mets franchise since October of 2010.