Sandy Alderson was on “Inside Pitch” on SiriusXM radio this morning. Here are a few highlights:
When asked if the Mets are in rebuild mode now that Jose Reyes is gone, Alderson said “let’s call it a restructure.” He said they still have a $100 MM payroll, so it’s hard to call it a rebuild. But he said they have too much money tied up in just a few players.
This is a telling comment about the direction of the organization. It sounds like he wants to clear the salaries of the highest paid players, and distribute the team payroll across the roster. This means more selling ahead, including, perhaps…
The “Inside Pitch” hosts asked Alderson if they would give Wright an extension. Alderson said, “I don’t see us giving him an extension anytime soon.” He was also quick to correct the hosts when they said Wright had 2 years left on his contract, when in fact he has 1 and an option for a second.
Though he was a bit coy in his answer, this suggests what most believe: That Wright is a candidate to be traded at the deadline.
He clarified again that he did have conversations with Reyes’s agents, adding “not every day.” But they they were aware of the range of years and money the Mets were willing to spend, even though there was no official offer. He said the Mets wanted to keep him. He also said injuries were a factor when considering how much to pay for Reyes.
Alderson said he was happy with the moves he made to bolster the bullpen, although he can’t officially talk about two of the guys, since the deals aren’t final, and likely won’t be until next week. He said the team “would have finished above .500″ if they were able to keep Francisco Rodriguez.
He admitted he was concerned that failing to bring back Reyes would lead to a drop in attendance, but said he had to consider expenses as well, especially in light of the loss the Mets took this season.
The hosts said they looked forward to Alderson, a small-market GM, coming to New York to use his intelligence combined with a rich, New York franchise, then joked with Sandy, “You’re back in Oakland again.” Alderson laughed and sounded a little frustrated in his response. He said he can’t wait to get the team’s payroll under control.
While he was clearly trying to choose his words carefully, it seems clear that he doesn’t want to call this a rebuild, and that he’s trying to keep the team competitive on the field, while building the organization for the future. It will be tricky, especially under the microscope of New York, and blogs like this one.