SANDY SETS HIGH PRICE: Decides Against Moving Byrd, Adding Talent to Farm

Mike:

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.

Jimmy:

No surprise here. Historically, Sandy does not like these deals.

Mike:

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.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets

Jimmy:

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.

Mike:

9324938-largeI 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.

Jimmy:

jason-bay-autographed-baseball-card-san-diego-padres-2002-topps-t227-295x400I 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!

Mike:

CronutI 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.

Jimmy:

The truth? All I really wanted was for them to trade away one fan . . .

 

Anthony-Weiner-pushing-kid-on-a-swing

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12 comments

  1. Alan K. says:

    I thought maybe there was a possibility of a Weiner for Filner deal with San Diego.

    • James Preller says:

      Ha. I heard San Diego wanted Kevin James included in the deal, so Sandy decided the price was too high.

  2. Don P says:

    Sandy has officially lost me. I have been willing to accept much of his drivel, because I thought he could construct a solid team in spite of the Wilpons. But, after not trading Hairston last year, and making no moves this year I beleive that he is asleep at the wheel.

    Sometimes you make a move just to show you care; to show you’re paying attention. Maybe he didn’t realize the trading deadline was yesterday?

    • Michael Geus says:

      Yesterday I posted a list of some of our more notable deadline deals from the past. Some of them went very badly. This mindset seems to dominate Alderson’s thinking, he rather do nothing than make a mistake.

      There is good in that, obviously, as it is hard to imagine something like Kazmir/Zambrano ever happening with Sandy at the helm.

      The issue is the opportunity cost every time he takes three pitches. Hey, I still think he can construct a solid team but two things have to happen.

      1. The Wilpons have to give him a reasonable budget
      2. He has to pick up the pace

      Number one is totally out of his control, and two is also somewhat connected to one. But not 100%, and yesterday was an example of that. This winter is put up or shut up time.

      All but his staunchest supporters want to see some activity before Opening Day 2014.

  3. RAFF says:

    We’re all saying the same thing, repeatedly. Reyes, Hairston, and now Byrd are emblematic of an organization with No Philosophy, No Approach, No Plan, and no decision making… Three times, now, they have come to the deadline and “kept the bat on their shoulder”… Logically, this would mean that they have made a Baseball and a Financial decision to reject whatever offers they have received and to tender an offer at the appropriate time (free agency)… And twice before, they have kept the bat on their should both at the trading deadline and at the tender-offer deadline. Now, they have kept the bat on their shoulder with Byrd. This (non) move should logically be predicated on a decision to make him an offer later. Among the experts in this audience- can someone answer this question: If the Met’s make Byrd an offer in the off-season, and another team beats them out for Byrd’s Services- do the Mets get any compensating pick for him?

    • Michael Geus says:

      Not unless the Mets make him a “qualifying offer,” which should be in excess of $13 Million for 2014.

    • I can’t lump Reyes in with Byrd and Hairston. With Jose, we’ve been over this ground endlessly; Sandy needed to recognize the situation and trade Jose immediately, so that was an asset squandered.

      With Hairston and Byrd, far lesser talents, we don’t know what was offered. It’s fair to assume it wasn’t much, very possibly he could have netted “suspects” who would never have made it to the majors. I don’t believe that ANY move was necessarily superior to no move. At the same time, sure, I hoped Byrd was going to traded — but it was a strange market this year. A few big names moved, but pieces like Byrd did not appear to be in demand. Sandy was not the only cautious GM out there — most of them are afraid of making the stupid deal.

      Let’s think of it this way: You are a GM and your team could use an outfield bat. Marlon Byrd is available. You might think he’s awesome, you might think he’s dirty, you might think he’s about to turn into a pumpkin. How much would YOU give up for him? Now imagine that all the Mets prospects are at your disposal. Who would you be willing to flip for 50 games of Marlon Byrd?

  4. Eric says:

    James— what was offered for Hairston?…… well, take a look at what he was traded for LAST MONTH—a Live Armed 22 year old at A+ level of play—a strikeout per inning…a starter>>….

    I’ll assume that we could have traded for that LAST YEAR….and I’ll doubly assume that we could have exchanged Byrd for the same yesterday!

    Although I’m not a Byrd believer, I’ve asked REPEATEDLY , ” If we’re not trading him…are we extending him NOW?”.

    I would like to have the 2 level a+ Starters instead of 50 Hairston games in 2012 and 50 Byrd Games in 2013…. That’s a bottom line with some fairly solid assumptions—

    I do not understand what they’ve NOT done.

  5. RAFF says:

    Jimmy – It just looks and sounds like the same movie with the same laugh-track. Nothing for Reyes, Nothing For Hairston (the Cubs just flipped him for a decent young pitching prospect), and now nothing for Byrd. So, it’s hard for me to view this recent round in isolation. It’s impossible to figure out how the decision making process PRIOR to the trade deadline is in any way synchronized to what they do later. IF the qualifying offer is going to be in a range outside of what they are willing to offer- then how does this decision to do nothing jibe with the Already Made decision, which is going to come later— Which is TO DO Nothing? And how- In light of the past history, can this look like anything but the same old thing of Doing Nothing and Making No Decision?

  6. RAFF says:

    This entire affair is best summed up in the words of the Late GREAT, beloved Bob Murphy: “And a roar goes up from the big crowd; it is a roar of disappointment.” (Jimmy Qualls breaks up Seaver’s Perfect Game)

  7. IB says:

    Maybe Alderson is willing to gamble that if Byrd and the Mets can have a strong second half it will make the Mets more attractive to the free agents out there they have interest in. When he said something to the effect that it was better for the organization as a whole to finish well I think this might have been what he was driving at. This team needs to show it has playoff potential in the near future to get guys like Choo (who I don’t think would fit well in NY) or Ellsbury or whoever. Weigh that against some so-so minor league talent they may of may not have been offered.

    I’m on record as not wanting to trade Byrd and I’m glad they didn’t. I’d like to see him resign for at least another year. The guy can play.

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