Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, these days known as "the grown-up you hope is allowed to fix this team like he thought he was going to in the first place," spoke to reporters yesterday before the Mets' final game of the season. (A win!) The goal was to seem more like the steady hand in charge and less, oh, Baghdad Bob. So, how did he do?
The main headline takeaway from Alderson's remarks was his desire not "to blow up the team." So that's nice!
“My message,” Alderson said, “would be ‘Look, I think we’re very definitely headed in the right direction. But at the same time, we will not in the near future have unlimited funds. So recognize what our immediate situation is, what we expect to be our mid- and long-term situations, and evaluate us on that basis.’ ”
Alderson was talking specifically there about any possible discussions he would have with David Wright and R.A. Dickey about extensions in the offseason. (They're both free agents after next year.) It was less "we'll pay whatever it takes," and more "hey, they understand that we're gonna try, right?" In other words, the Mets finances aren't as bad as they were last year at this time, when they could barely offer anything to Jose Reyes. But they're not great either.
And what wasn't said was what mattered the most. Howard Megdal had the best reaction on Twitter, and his takeaway: The Mets aren't going to be able to sign Dickey and Wright without raising their payroll, which Alderson didn't say he'd be able to do. Here's Megdal's tweets, put together:
In much the same way Mets hoped to sign Reyes, but didn't have $, if payroll is static, no backloading, no way to sign Wright/Dickey. Seriously, there's no opinion about this. Add Bay/Santana, including buyouts, 50 million. Frank Frank, 6.5. No raise for Dickey/Wright ... ... gets you to 81.5 for five players. Payroll this year was 91.6. So no raise, Niese/Davis/Murphy and others all gone at same payroll. Obviously, Dickey/Wright less likely to sign on for no raise in '13 or larger rebuild, let alone both. Open to hearing how it works, though.
Yeah ... that's not so good. The Mets basically have to try to convince Dickey and Wright to stay on with no raise and a rebuilding job around them. Or they'll have to trade them this offseason or next year. Fantastic. Go Mets! Have a great offseason everybody!