Alderson Quits On Mets For This Year And Next

By the time Ryder Ryan reaches the major leagues – if he even plays for the Mets – Jay Bruce might be in the final year of his contract with the Indians, or any number of teams. The Mets will not be one of them.

Who knows? Bruce might be retired by the time Ryan pitches at Citi Field. Is that Sandy Alderson’s idea of being competitive in 2018: To trade their best offensive player for a player who isn’t even one of the Indians’ top 30 prospects?

BRUCE: Escapes the lunacy. (AP)

BRUCE: Escapes the lunacy. (AP)

There are so many layers to this deal, including the inevitable conclusion the Mets don’t want to trade with the Yankees, who reportedly offered two prospects, but weren’t given a call back from Alderson, who continually thinks he’s the smartest man in the room, despite a track record that suggests otherwise.

Bruce was prepared for the trade, telling the Mets website: “The long and short of it is I was prepared. I knew something could happen, and happen fast. I really enjoyed my time in New York, but I’m excited to jump right into a pennant race.”

The kicker?

Of course, it is money. The Indians will pick up the balance of Bruce’s 2017 salary, around $4 million, while the Yankees, who traditionally throw money around, reportedly only wanted to assume $1 million of Bruce’s contract.

Reportedly, Alderson didn’t even extend Yankees GM Brian Cashman the courtesy of a “give me your final offer,’’ phone call. It’s even more baffling considering the Mets agreed to the two Yankees prospects.

Ryder, by the way, has a 4.79 ERA in 33 relief appearances in Single-A.

So, in exchange for Bruce, Lucas Duda and Addison Reed, the Mets received five relief prospects, none of whom can be labeled “can’t miss blue chippers.’’ They also acquired the unimpressive AJ Ramos in a separate deal with the Marlins.

It must also be pointed out the Mets save around $11 million, which only reinforces the notion this was merely a salary dump and they are trying to build on the cheap. In the interim, the Mets are still trying to dump Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson. Apparently, all offers will be considered.

Apparently, all offers will be considered.

I loved the Bruce trade last summer and never bought into the notion he couldn’t play in New York, which is really an overrated mind thing. Often the issue is raised by self-important media commentators.

If you play hard, don’t whine, are stand-up in the clubhouse, and produce without making excuses, anybody can play in New York. The fans, media and team executives simply want players to be productive at their jobs. Bruce was that in his last two weeks last summer and he’s been a rock this year, leading the team in homers (29) and RBI (75), playing right field and first base.

He did everything manager Terry Collins wanted, and his value to the Mets was underscored when after Amed Rosario botched a play that cost them a win he was counseling the rookie after the final out.

No excuses. A solid professional. And a proven, lefty power hitter. Don’t you think the Mets might need those qualities next season if they are as close to contending that they claim?

Bruce, Reed or Duda might play deep into October, possibly at the expense of the Yankees. Does skunking the Yankees qualify as a successful season for Alderson and the Mets? It sure seems so. Then again, they save around  $11 million, which is really what this is all about.

So, what have the Mets accomplished toward next season? After all, they say this is tinkering and not a rebuild.

In trading Reed they lost their capable – and underpaid in relation to the position – closer in the hope Jeurys Familia will recover from surgery to get his job back, this despite monumental postseason collapses in each of the past two seasons.

Trading Bruce probably enables them to bring up first base prospect Dominic Smith, but that should have been done weeks ago.

Trading Bruce also enables them to move Michael Conforto to right field, but that leaves a hole in center. The Mets aren’t sold on Juan Lagares, whom they signed to a four-year contract, yet won’t let play. It dosn’t help he’s been injured in each of the last two years. Another great Alderson decision.

Perhaps that leaves an opportunity for Brandon Nimmo. But, do you think Nimmo or Smith – perhaps combined – will give the Mets the production Bruce did? Both are unknowns.

If nothing else, extending Bruce a one-year qualifying offer, would net them a compensatory draft pick which will be higher rated than Ryder. I don’t know if Bruce would have accepted the offer or would have been willing to sign a long-term deal. If I were him, and seeing how Alderson was so foolishly open in trying to trade him, I wouldn’t trust him.

But, did Alderson even try?

Bruce is 30 years and has proven he can produce in New York, offers protection to Yoenis Cespedes and has five good years left, barring injury. How much would it cost to keep Bruce? Perhaps $80 million over four years is my guess. But, if Alderson thinks he can get a comparable bat and clubhouse presence for less, he’s mistaken.

So, instead of having a lefty power hitter in the fold, add that to Alderson’s offseason wish list.

Of course, Alderson says it will be better when all those young arms – which are another year older – return from the disabled list.

We’re still waiting on Matt Harvey to repeat his 2013 form. Noah Syndergaards lat injury is a concern. He admits he’s willing to adjust his offseason conditioning program, which is a plus but guarantees nothing.  Zack Wheeler showed some promise after sitting out two years. He’s back on the disabled list. Like Harvey and Syndergaard, the Mets are hoping he can make a few starts in September.

Once again, the Mets are hoping for the injured to bounce back. Speaking of hope, they are still wondering about Steven Matz, but have little left for Rafael Montero.

Overall, this vaunted rotation has yet to complete a five-game cycle together, and none of those arms has won 15 games. But there’s hope, isn’t there? Hope is the card Alderson wants to play, probably on orders from above.

The 2017 Mets entered the season as World Series favorites in some circles and will finish as a dumpster fire. The 2018 Mets, assuming no significant acquisitions are made, have numerous significant questions with few answers in sight.

Thanks Sandy. Thanks Fred. Thanks Jeff.


7 thoughts on “Alderson Quits On Mets For This Year And Next

  1. We’re a small market team, at least in ownership’s mind. Maybe the Wilpons should get their obsession with 1950s Dodgers and look to 2010s Dodgers. They’ve made the playoffs 4 straight years and will be five this year. They draw 3.7 million a year. In 2012 they made that huge deal with people gasping about getting contracts in Beckett, Gonzalez and Crawford but they have made it work. Even after trading for Yu Darvish, their farm system is still ranked 10th while ours has been restocked to 17th.
    Is Montero now the worst starter in Mets history? After getting down by four yesterday, the team flat out quit, no chance of coming back or even making an effort. But we got Thor in a episode of “Game of Thrones”…our highlight of the year.

  2. Time will tell, but it is at least possible that the money the Mets are saving on these deals will be used in the offseason to shore up the real trouble spots, such as CF (Lorenzo Cain?). Keeping Bruce is a very imperfect solution because it forces Conforto to CF, and, even if he’s been OK at it, it’s not his position. Sure, maybe the Wilpons will just pocket the money and go to the movies, but I don’t see why you don’t even consider the possibility that the salary relief will go to improving the team in the offseason.

  3. You know, I read pieces like this and I think the Mets maybe just traded away Tom Seaver again. It’s Jay Freaking Bruce, a guy most people wanted out of town here last winter at any cost.
    You have no idea of the prospects the Yanks offered. Is it worth spending $3 million to have two Ryder Ryans in the organization? How about having one who saved them $4 million?

    Bruce is gone, Conforto moves to right and the Mets last Gold Glove Award winner goes back to his original position. Who’s to say the money the Mets saved on this deal and the others they made recently don’t go towards Mike Moustakas’ first year salary here?

    Lighten up, geez.

  4. The Mets trading Bruce was proffered the Wilpons are not committed to winning. Who are they going to spend their money on for all you optimists? Mike Moustakis and Lorenzo Cain? That’s the cream of the free agent crop next year. Neither is a difference maker or will make up the numbers Bruce produced this year and last. Juan Legares is the answer? You’re all kidding, right? Sure, nice glove but not stick and injury prone. Nimmo, Dom Smith and Rosario are all untested and next year shouldn’t have to be a rebuild year. If Sandy thinks the stars will finally align for this stellar pitching staff then he better start getting some defense and some hitters behind them especially if they are content with D’arnaud behind the plate for another year. We gave 3 pretty good players and got a terrible return. They all may have walked anyway but Sandy sure drives a hard bargain?? Hardly!! Don’t expect and off season of spectacular signings. We Mets fans just got duped again!!

  5. Can we dfa Freddy coupon?

    Seriously. I think we should have kept Bruce and offered a contract

    If you want to shed players you can easily cut Jose and Cabrera

    Neither player is needed and most likely we can’t get anything in a trade. If Bruce is worth an A ball pitcher not in the team’s top 30 these guys are worth a bag of balls.

    Shedding these 2 gives you playing flexibility. You can play Neil at third and Wilmer at second with the 2 kids at short and first. You also won’t lose anything defensively and most likely a wash offensively. The kids will find their way soon enough and will show the fans what good defense can mean for a pitching staff and wins.

    Keeping Bruce would give you an outfield of Bruce/Mike/Yoenis for next year
    Wilmer is a good bat you can keep at second. Smith is supposed to be a solid contact hitter and amed can hit as well. This means that positionally you need to find only a third baseman and catcher for next year and you have your starting 9.