Last week I concluded a post with a joke about how little Sandy Alderson does. This was during a discussion about Stephen Drew and the joke related to Alderson’s, umm, deliberate pace in putting together an annual roster. This pace leads me to laugh every time an eager blogger begins discussing moves in the following manner:
“If we can trade Ike for a pitching prospect, we can then turn around and flip that prospect for a hitter.”
That would take two trades, and in one of them Sandy Alderson would have to trade a prospect. Two trades is six-to-nine months work for the current regime, the idea of Sandy Alderson making two quick consecutive trades is fantasy. Oh, and the last time Sandy Alderson traded a prospect since he became GM of the Mets was never.
I started thinking about that today, and I am being unfair. Sure, Frank Cashen traded for Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Ray Knight, David Cone, Ron Darling, Howard Johnson, Bob Ojeda, and Sid Fernandez in the time it takes Sandy Alderson to order a meal. But Alderson has to spend a lot of hours devising up new ways to sell the unsellable. Sandy has to acquire players and also be in charge of explaining our payroll, the one that makes no sense and has no relation to our market. Cashen was never stuck with that job.
To his credit Sandy seems to love this part of the job, leading me to figure that this is what he spends most of his waking hours doing. He jokes, and better yet, he comes up with harebrained analyses that fly right by New York sportswriters. Hopefully those guys don’t manage their own investments. The latest doozy from Sandy is payroll concentration.
Certainly by now you have heard. While other GMs were working on mundane tasks such as acquiring talent, Alderson and his gang were running the numbers.
“If you want to look at the data and the way we look at data and associate winning teams with payroll concentration,” Alderson said at last month’s general managers’ meetings, “you realize that there are limits to how effective an overall team can be with their payroll concentrated in a small number of players.”
That quote was used as justification by Alderson not to pursue many high-priced players this offseason. It happens to make a lot of sense, as long as all teams have the same payroll. But those are not the rules of baseball. So, yes, David Wright makes over 20% of the Mets current payroll, and Sandy is implying this is a problem. Well, if the Mets payroll were at the $140 million mark it once was, Wright wouldn’t be close to that percentage of the total. When Alderson brings up the issue, he is leaving out half of the equation. That is useless math.
As a Mets fan I want Sandy and his entourage to succeed. When he can focus on baseball, he has managed to find time to make a few savvy moves. I wish he spent more time on baseball and less on spinning yarns.
Ike Davis isn’t going to trade himself, you know.