I’m Satisfied With The Mets This Winter, Aren’t You?

Presumably, Sandy Alderson knows more about baseball scouting than we do, so what’s not to like about the trade of R.A. Dickey for prospects?

Based on surface viewing, the Mets’ desire to trade Dickey was to maximize what they could get for a 38-year-old with a trick pitch and only one outstanding year on his resume.

ALDERSON: Why is he smiling?

That’s all understandable and a move to be cheered, perhaps in three or four years when Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard rock our world and become stars.

No, make that future All-Stars, you know, like Mets’ prospects before them: Mike Pelfrey, Lastings Milledge, Francisco Martinez, Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Gomez.

And, add them to stellar free-agent signings and trades for Jason Bay, Kaz Matsui, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Francisco Rodriguez, Guillermo Mota, Moises Alou, Julio Franco, Orlando Hernandez and Johan Santana. In fairness, Santana had his great Mets’ moments, but he’s also had a consistent run of injuries. Injuries are hard to project, but the Mets knew he logged a lot of innings before giving him all that money. I mention injuries, because that’s the red flag on d’Arnaud.

The sum total of those parts is a track record of skepticism and non-believability of Mets’ management, and it isn’t just Alderson. Fool me once shame on you; fool me a dozen times then shame on both of us. Alderson, the supposed baseball genius, is still a front man for ownership.

Quite simply, the Mets guessed and projected wrong so many times before so why should we believe them now when they say d’Arnaud and Syndergaard will be different?

The one thing we know for certainty about d’Arnaud is an injury history that includes his knee and back, pretty important body parts for a catcher. And, Syndergaard is all of 20.

Fact is, we don’t know how good they’ll be and neither does Alderson.

What we do know about Alderson is how inconsistent and infuriating he’s been since coming here. There was the Carlos Beltran trade, which is still in doubt because just how good is Zack Wheeler?

Please tell me somebody knows.

The last two years began with the concerns Jose Reyes (2011) and David Wright (2012) might be dealt at the trade deadline. However, those scenarios conflicted with the statements the Mets had the resources to add talent at the trade deadline, which they maddeningly didn’t in either season despite maintaining a whisper of hope.

Then, there was not making an offer to Reyes while maintaining the team would be competitive.

After this season, in which Dickey was one of the few bright spots, came the claims both extending he and Wright were priorities. Wright was done, but all along there was the obvious preference to trade Dickey.

Then Jeff Wilpon declared Alderson had more money to deal with this winter, only to have no significant additions made and Dickey to be cast away over a $5-million difference.

If the Mets were willing to give Dickey two years, then the duration of the contract wasn’t an issue, and this was all about maximizing the potential return. Even so, Alderson said the Mets wanted to add major-league ready talent to be competitive this season.

I guess John Buck is major league ready. That should keep us warm and cozy during the cold winter.


9 thoughts on “I’m Satisfied With The Mets This Winter, Aren’t You?

  1. You make am excellent point regarding how to value prospects.

    As you know good teams are built from the farm and Sandy is building the farm. Will these players be worth what RA can do now? We shall see. The injuries to the catcher worries me. We will know by July how hurt he is. Our history in trading for damaged players is pretty bad.

    That said the players you mention came under Omar. In retrospect Omar’s judgement was poor both in how he handled prospects as well as trades.

    What Sandy is telling me ( he called me :) is this team will be terrible this year. That the only reason for me to watch is to see if Matt ( an Omar pick ) can bring the magic. Otherwise there is no point to watching.

    Hopefully one year of pain is worth it to build a good team. They will have to go outside for an OF because the best short term solutions are Capt Kirk and Van Dekker neither of whom have proved they are MLB players.

    In writing this I realize next year I won’t be as active on this board as the season is over before it started. The only suspense is will we be better than the Marlins?

    • I heard an interview with Sandy today on the radio

      He all but said this season is a bust. We just picked up an OF for Marte

    • dave: Where do you come up with one year of pain? Including the collapses of 2007 and 2008, their last winning seasons, followed by 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, I’m counting six years.-JD

      • By one year I mean the team is not pretending they will do anything to improve this year. Last year it was about extstablishing Murph, Ruben, etc. this year we don’t pretend to have an outfield and do not pretend to make it major league ready. We just offed the reigning Cy Young leaving a hole in the rotation which the new guy is Jennry who can’t pitch.

        But you are right. As fans we have suffered for years. My point was this year the team is not even pretending they will try and win.

  2. John, respectfully, it is fair to be skeptical about Alderson, who was brought in primarily, or most immediately, to stabilize financial operations. I get that you are angry and distrustful. Been there. And yes, all prospects are suspects until they help you win games at the major league level. However, in fairness, the scouting reports are not what “they say” about d’Arnoud and Syndergaard (and let’s not forget Becerra, either), it’s pretty much consensus from analysts around baseball. Alderson didn’t hype these guys, baseball scouts did. This is what a rebuild looks like. Darling and Terrell weren’t proven at the time of the Mazzilli deal, either. Could d’Arnaud become a bust? Sure. He’s suffered some injuries, could get hurt again. But so could Dickey. Hey, I love this deal — I’m excited about it — and I love the THINKING behind the move. He’s rebuilding for the future, finally. John Buck is a stopgap, everybody knows that. 2013 is a stopgap, too. As for the payroll money, we’ll see. I don’t expect much. Not sure I’d even advise them to spent much this off-season. But again, in fairness, clearly Alderson had to see how Dickey played out before he could address other areas. There’s still work to do, and not half of it will be finished by this Spring. I think this deal was a step in the right direction. Guarantees? You don’t get any. Nobody does.

    • Defending a guy who needed three Winters to decide to rebuild!!!!! Pathetic. He couldn’t re-build and he couldn’t build upon. He couldn’t get Dickey to take a bad deal so he changed course on the fly. How many more years do we wait for him to make another decision?

  3. James: Thanks so much for your thoughful response. I hope I get to read you again often. Not angry, but distrustful. I’ve been hearing for a time now about how things will be different. I understand Alderson made this trade based on, 1) what he could get for Dickey, and 2) the advice of his scouts and reports on the prospects.

    Of course, 2013 is a stopgap. I suppose every year is a stopgap until they win the World Series. I knew why Alderson was brought here, and I understand they can’t just come out and say he is a caretaker. But, please don’t tell me you think you can compete when you have the problems they have. If anything, they are worse now then at the end of last season. You’re right about guarantees and I don’t expect any. Just don’t pee on my leg and tell me it is raining.-JD

  4. John, I post over at Two Guys Talking Mets Baseball — just google “2 guys mets” and you find us — if you do, in fact, want to read more from me.

    I’ve been following your writing for many years. Keep up the good work. I don’t think we are that far apart in our perceptions, except that I’m newly hopeful over a number of recent moves.

    First of all, I think everything has to be cushioned by the phrase, “Given the circumstances.” Otherwise, of course, you just sign R.A. Dickey and be grateful for it. My take on the negotiations was that Alderson always hoped to trade R.A., and that he used his leverage to bring R.A. to a point in the negotiations where he could tell prospective trading partners the perimeters of what it would take to sign Dickey. That is, he could tell the Jays, “$30 million or a little less should get it done.”

    As for the bullpen, my hunch is that Alderson believes — or maybe I’m just projecting my own belief on him — that the Atlanta Braves have got it figured out. Did you realize that no one in Atlanta’s pen made over $1 million last year? The best concept is to fill the pen from within with young, cheap, hard-throwing guys. The farm system should be the pipeline for this talent, since overpaying via free agency is a proven crapshoot. When I look at the arms in the system, I really see a number of those guys becoming relievers and getting a shot with the Mets. Many will fail, hopefully a few make it.

    Wheeler will come up in June, because the Wilpons do not want to start the arbitration clock running. Etcetera, etcetera, and so it goes . . .

    • The pen will be populated by our young arms because face it we have nothing there.

      We have Fransisco and Parnell and that is our pen. Neither are very good. We have 2 young lefties who had a few good weeks. We will have Familia and a bunch of other guys in the pen because there is nothing there. The guys from last year are mostly gone.

      You need to put our pen situation in the context of the rotation which is poor.

      Johan
      Niese
      Gee
      Harvey
      a warm body

      Really how good do you think this rotation is? Niese is still trying to establish himself, Johan breaks down in 1/2 a year in the past few years and the others guys you cannot depend on. I like Harvey but the reality is he had one good month in the majors. Big Pelf had a good month or two also and we cut him.

      Oh. Did I mention we do not have a major league outfield? Will Sandy use the $5M found money from exiling the reigning Cy Young winner to rent an OF? Someone? Anyone? I would accept bringing Hairston back, but he had a decent one year. The previous year was not impressive. He is a journeyman backup outfielder. I will take what I can get, but our OF is terrible.