In a USA Today article from Saturday, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson pledged that: “over the next six months or so, we will be in a position to make some significant acquisitions”. Is this Alderson just telling fans what they want to hear after years of losing, or is this something that he’s actually going to follow through with and make happen?
With his comments, Alderson is obviously referring to all the money coming off the Mets payroll following the season that should enable them to spend more freely this winter in free agency. Of course, the Mets did have some available money this past offseason, but were unwilling to use to help their outfield, despite knowing they had serious problems there heading into the season. They allegedly had the money to sign Michael Bourne, but were unwilling to part with their first round draft pick, which they may have had to sacrifice if they signed him.
Even if the Mets had money to spend, there’s no precedent for Alderson going out and spending it during his tenure for the Mets, much less spending it wisely. On the other side of the coin, other than an overwhelming offer money wise, why would a free agent want to sign with an organization that has been as pitiful as the Mets and appears to be so far from being competitive? That could prevent the Mets from making a “significant acquisition” in free agency, even if they have the money available to do so.
Alderson also said that he’s open to making a “significant acquisition” via trade. In the past, Alderson has proven himself great at trading away stars in exchange for quality prospects, doing so with both Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey. However, Alderson has not made a significant trade that has involved dealing away prospects in order to acquire a star player, which can be tougher to do.
If Alderson decides to explore that route he will have to be careful, as the Mets still don’t have a deep farm system and they can’t afford to trade away their top prospects, especially their pitching prospects, unless they get something substantial in return that will help them in both the short term and long term. This means that Alderson can’t force a trade if a fair one isn’t available to him, something he could be tempted to do in search of a “significant acquisition”.
So while Alderson obviously wants to make a splash with a big acquisition in the near future, he shouldn’t be making such promises. Other than the trades he’s made to acquire top prospects, Alderson has yet to make such a move during his time in New York, and there’s no guarantee such an opportunity will present itself, no matter how much he wants it to. Until Mets fans see first hand Alderson being able to make a “significant acquisition”, they shouldn’t be convinced that he’s capable of pulling one off, and they shouldn’t expect one to happen.