Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed a variety of roster matters with reporters today, including Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, who provides a recap of the talk. Alderson left the impression that the club remains interested in bolstering its struggling offense, but that he has yet see a sufficiently impactful and reasonably priced deal to be made.
New York’s head baseball decisionmaker said that the trade market remains “thin” at present. While the club is “somewhat aggressive” and is even “prepared to overpay” for the right player, in his words, that does not mean that there are any available options worth reaching for.
“You get to the point where you’re prepared, based on the short term, to maybe do a little more than you’d otherwise do,” said Alderson. “But there still has to be something out there that’s attractive that you really believe is going to help your team.”
Alderson noted that the club’s recent stretch of poor play — the reaction to which he termed “panic city” — is not necessarily indicative of its outlook or its needs the rest of the way. Despite having fallen back to .500, he indicated that the Mets may be amenable to pursuing a rental and are not just looking for a starting-caliber player.
“We’re not looking at somebody who is going to be a starter for us the rest of the season necessarily,” Alderson explained. “But it has to be somebody who fits that we think can actually help us either short term or a little bit longer term. But right now, I think, there’s less of an emphasis in our minds in the trade market on the long term.”
Regardless of what moves ultimately become available to New York, Alderson indicated that the organization was not likely to pursue multiple trades. “I’ve talked about having money available at the deadline,” he said. “But we’re not going to be making two, three, four, five moves. So we’ve got to be sure — not sure, but we’ve got to be at least somewhat confident — that what we’re going to do here is going to help us.”
Further to that point, Alderson stressed that the Mets would need to effect an improvement from within, first and foremost: “[T]he bottom line, at least for the time being, until something breaks, we need to get the job done with what we have.”
Certainly, New York hopes that the impending return of infielder Daniel Murphy will provide a boost to the offense, a point that Alderson noted. But the absences of Travis d’Arnaud and David Wright, along with the meager offensive output of players such as Michael Cuddyer, Juan Lagares, and Dilson Herrera, would seem to present a broader challenge.
All said, the ballclub’s all-in batting production ranks 25th in the game. And it is far from clear what can be done to bolster things from the outside — particularly if, as Alderson suggests, the Mets aren’t in the market at multiple positions.
Where could the club theoretically look to make a move? The New York outfield is filled with big contracts, first base is ably manned by Lucas Duda, and catcher is accounted for by d’Arnaud (when he finally returns to full health). That leaves the other three infield positions as the most plausible targets for an upgrade, with the team’s various internal options capable of shifting around depending upon the precise acquisition.
A move at short would therefore appear to make the most sense, as Murphy is generally believed to be best suited defensively at third while Wilmer Flores is already reportedly headed to second. But the market looks to be short of reasonably available talent at that position — at least, that is, unless the Mets are willing to make a truly significant acquisition.