New York Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson has taken plenty of heat from Mets’ fans that are impatient with the long rebuilding process. But Alderson has also made plenty of positives moves for the Mets over the past year. Of course, sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make, which is the case with Alderson and the Mets not signing center fielder Michael Bourne last offseason.
Fans and critics alike were clamoring for the Mets to sign Bourne to help solidify an outfield that looked questionable heading into the season, and was pitiful during the first two months of the season. Alderson was weary of committing so much money and years to Bourne, as well as possibly giving up their first round-draft pick.
Bourne ultimately signed with the Cleveland Indians, where he’s had a below-average season compared to statistics from previous years.
After two months of wretched play, the Mets eventually found an outfield combination that worked: Marlon Byrd had a career year for the Mets before being traded at the end of August; Juan Lagares emerged from the minors as the possible center fielder of the future and the Mets traded for Eric Young Jr., who has given the Mets the speed and leadoff hitter that could have had in Bourne.
With Bourne this season, the Mets may have won a few more games, but he would not have made a significant difference. More importantly, had the Mets signed Bourne before this season, they would still have him for years to come, which would now be unnecessary with the emergence of Lagares, the presence of Young and now Matt den Dekker fighting for a spot in the Mets’ outfield.
As it turns out, the Mets didn’t need Bourne and are better off having not signed him as a free agent last winter; something that wasn’t so obvious at the time. Alderson can be both praised and criticized for the moves he’s made as general manager of the Mets, but this is one move that he deserves praise for not making.