Well, here we are on August 1st and the Mets made no real moves. Some people will say the real deadline is August 31st but in this case I don’t see it that way. Most of the players we could have traded have very affordable contracts and will not make it through waivers.
No surprise here. Historically, Sandy does not like these deals.
I will never understand Byrd still being on this roster. It just makes no sense to me. This whole finish strong thing is such nonsense. As is often said in baseball, “momentum is only as strong as your next day’s starting pitcher.” It sure doesn’t extend through a long winter. And we have already gone to a six man rotation. Less Matt Harvey helps with a strong finish? Please. This is Hairston II, what is wrong with these guys? Why do they refuse to make these minor deals? Sandy proved with the Young deal just how useful a small trade can be. Lagares has shown how a non-premium prospect can help a team win.
I have mixed feelings. The unknowable nature of these deals — what could they really have gotten for Byrd? or Hairston? — makes it difficult for me to come out spitting fire and brimstone. That said, I was skimming the section on the Phillies in Baseball Prospectus 2013, and the essay basically addressed a team that needed retooling. Salient quote:
“Ideally, Phillies management will see this team for what it is and, barring a surprising and sustained bid for contention, realize that once again moving veteran parts in July is the best move. You can never have too much talent on the farm.”
Makes sense to me. But what if the plan is to resign Byrd? Squeeze another year out of the guy. How much? Four million? I mean, if you don’t trade him, can this really be about keeping him for the last 55 games and watching him walk? However, again, there’s plenty of precedent, dating back to Oakland (ancient history, btw) for Sandy Alderson doing exactly that.
I don’t buy that argument, not that you are making it! We heard that two years ago with Capuano, and last year with Hairston. It doesn’t make sense. These guys (and surely Byrd fits the model) are the type of free agents that sign after the bigger guns. Notice when Hairston finally signed. Whether you want him or not for the following year is a decision you will make late in the following off-season, after major needs are addressed. Sitting still now will have no bearing on whether the guy comes back. The items are unrelated.
When Sandy used to hold onto these guys in Oakland there was a very different CBA. You could get draft pick compensation for a guy like Marlon. The system changed, yet it seems our GM keeps operating as if it has not. It’s aggravating to me.
I was hopeful that the Mets could bring in a future piece at the deadline, and cited the 2002 trade of Jason Bay to the Padres in the comments section yesterday as a reverse-example. I would have moved relievers or Byrd for prospects; being a seller should be an advantageous position. Unfortunately, trade posturing is the noise that disrupts the signal, it’s impossible to know what’s real. Andy Martino reported that the Mets were seeking a Top 10-15 team prospect, which sounds reasonable. Meanwhile at Metsblog, Matt Cerrone kept repeating that Alderson wanted a Top 100 Prospect, someone who was “more or less ready to join their big-league lineup.” Which is not my view at all. Think of all the promising players who don’t fit those requirements. Look at all the guys in the Mets system and multiply that by 3-4 organizations (Rangers, Pirates, Reds, certainly): Fulmer, Tapia, Smith, Matz, Nimmo, etc. We wouldn’t want a couple of interesting A-level talents in exchange for 50 games of Marlon Byrd?
All in all, a strange trade deadline. Teams across baseball didn’t really go for it this year. Could it be that so-called top prospects are now the most overrated asset in baseball? Or does Sandy’s inactivity tell us the complete opposite? He values 50 games of Byrd over adding low-level prospects to the farm. I guess we’re in “win now” mode after all!
I saw those reports as well, and understand that only the Mets front office knows for sure what they were offered and what they were willing to accept. We know they found whatever was offered unacceptable. Hopefully for the Wilpons Byrd hits like crazy the rest of the way, Byrd mania sweeps across the Metropolitan area, and a Mets ticket becomes harder to get than a Cronut this September.
If so, then I’m flat-out wrong here.
The truth? All I really wanted was for them to trade away one fan . . .