The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and the New York Mets have chosen to stand pat. Some Mets fans are disappointed, and feel that this is a clear indication general manager Sandy Alderson doesn’t think the Mets can win this year, and therefore doesn’t care about the team. This is a spurious relationship.
Alderson doesn’t want to sell veterans like Daniel Murphy and Bartolo Colon because he thinks his current team has a chance to challenge for a Wild Card spot, and those two players can help. He doesn’t want to trade away his prospects for a big bat because he feels players like Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki and Rafael Montero can help the Mets build sustained success in the very near future.
Alderson and company do not want to overpay in a trade. They don’t want to give up more than they get back. They feel they can get better offers in the offseason, particularly for Colon. Mets fans don’t seem to care. They just want Alderson to do SOMETHING. Maybe he can repeat the success of the past like when the Mets got Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan, a bunch of nobodies for Tom Seaver, Victor Zambrano for Scott Kazmir, or maybe they’d like to get someone like Luis Castillo and sign him to a four-year contract.
Mets fans say they’d like just one more guy, just a spare piece to “lengthen the lineup” like Alex Rios or Asdrubal Cabrera. No matter who the Mets inquire on, the other team is going to ask for New York’s top prospects. And not every player is worth New York’s top prospects. Previous Mets GMs over the past 20 years or so had a reputation for being easily fleeced. Alderson hasn’t shown a similar tendency.
If Alderson isn’t blown away by a deal, he’s not going to make it. Remember, there is a 2015, too. There’s also an August. These days, the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline is more important than ever because there are two Wild Card teams in each league and more teams are in playoff contention longer.
Last August, the Mets traded Marlon Byrd for Vic Black, who is now a staple of the back end of their bullpen, and Dilson Herrera, who is now arguably their best second base prospect.
There’s nothing wrong with being deliberate. A process to build sustained success takes patience, which is something many New York fans don’t have. They want their teams to spend $200 million on superstars and win now. That’s not always realistic, and is dependent on the financial health of the organization, which for the Mets, has been weak since the Wilpons tangled with Bernie Madoff.
It’s important to remember, the season doesn’t end on July 31, and neither does the future.