New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson dished on a variety of issues Tuesday in a conference call with reporters, beginning with dinner meeting with Jay Z, the agent for the Yankees’ Robinson Cano.
No, the Mets aren’t players for Cano, and as I wrote earlier, it was at the agent’s invitation, and Alderson and Jeff Wilpon had their reasons for accepting.
“They requested a meeting,’’ Alderson said. “We had a nice dinner. They made a presentation. We talked generally. And that was it. As I said, we were approached.’’
After the season Alderson said he had the resources to offer a $100-million package, but later backed off that stance, and reiterated it again at the general manager’s meetings.
“I had said last week that I didn’t foresee contracts in the $100 million range for the Mets this offseason,’’ Alderson said. “I think that statement still pertains. On the other hand, we are committed to improving the team. And we will explore whatever possibilities arise, however remote the eventual outcome.’’
The Mets accepted the invitation as a courtesy, knowing they would never consider Cano based on economics.
Someday, Jay Z might represent a player of interest to the Mets, and it would do the organization no good to diss an agent sanctioned by the Players Association.
NO CONTACT WITH PERALTA: Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta has been reportedly been linked to the Mets as the answer to their shortstop void.
Alderson said he has not had any contact with Peralta’s agent.
ALDERSON SUGGESTS PAYROLL WILL RISE: Alderson acknowledged a rising market, evidenced by Colorado giving LaTroy Hawkins a one-year, $2.5-million contract and Philadelphia giving Marlon Byrd $16 million over two years.
“We have to be realistic about the market and not sort of deny the inevitable,’’ said Alderson, who added the 2013 payroll was $87 million.
“If the market is as robust as it seems to be, I think we have to acknowledge that. And consistent with that acknowledgement, if we’re going to participate, we have to recognize that.’’
Not unexpectedly, Alderson made no promises. Although, the Mets did sign left fielder/first baseman Brandon Allen, 27, to a minor league contract.
Allen has a .203 career average with 12 homers in parts of four seasons with Arizona, Oakland and Tampa Bay.
This is not the big signing we had been waiting for.
GETTING IN SHAPE: At the end of the season each player is given a physical and put on a conditioning program.
Four Mets – Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada and draft pick Dominic Smith – are taking it further and are attending a four-week fitness camp in near Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tejada, in particular, caught the organization’s ire for not reporting to spring training on time or in shape.
It’s a positive act by Tejada, whose shortstop job is in jeopardy. Tejada is also recovering from a fractured leg sustained in late September.