Around the Horn: Sandy Wants to Stay, Noah Impresses, Duda a Dud (Palindrome Edition), and Alderson’s 5 Best Moves
As I’ve told any team I’ve ever coached when they were flinging the ball around the infield, “If it ain’t snappy, it’s crappy!“
* Sandy Alderson wants to stay for another few years.
This might surprise some readers, but I think this is a good thing for two main reasons. First, it tells me that he wants to be around for the good times, and that he believes there will be good times ahead. Second, teams benefit from organizational continuity. Obviously, incompetent management, coaches, and players all need to be quickly moved out. But overall, it’s a positive when teams can forge consistency up and down through the organization — a “way,” so to speak. In baseball, as in life, there are many different paths to success. The important thing is to stick with an approach and work at it. Constantly rebuilding, rethinking, reworking often becomes a negative. Too many sports franchises overreact to every bump encountered along the road. While Sandy Alderson has been a source of frustration here at “2 Guys,” overall I’d give him a positive grade. (Aside: I do not feel this way about Terry Collins.)
* Regarding the annual Davis-Duda Debacle, a friend wrote in our comments section: “The only reason I can see for both still being here is that neither has any significant trade value and the front office is afraid that they may flourish elsewhere. But at some point you have to make a decision whatever the consequences are and move forward to the next option.”
The thinking should be: Who is going to help the New York Mets win games? Then act accordingly. I believe that Sandy is determined to stick with Ike Davis at 1B. Duda may be the better option to start, but it’s not in any of the tea leaves that I’ve been reading. However, Lucas Duda is a terrible option for the bench. He’s simply too limited a player for that role, where teams essentially have four available players (the backup catcher is almost never used in a game). Duda can’t run, can’t help you in the field, can’t hit LHP. He has one skill, LH power bat, on a team that will already have Davis, Granderson, and Murphy in the lineup. Given the Mets’ overall construction — and we’ve been saying this for years — Lucas doesn’t bring enough to the table as a bench player. OTOH, I think he could be of use to several other teams, particularly in the AL, particularly if they need a LH bat. Right or wrong, he’s gotta go, because he’s not going to help the New York Mets in 2014.
* To the surprise of no one, Noah blew them all away in camp.
Remember, a lot of these Mets coaches have never actually seen Noah Syndergaard throw a pitch. And predictably, the big fella impressed them. That’s great. Already some observers have called for bringing him up in April because, you know, the crazy notion of putting the best players on the field. Making winning a priority. Bringing in fans. And so on. As Earnie Palladino wrote, “Dollars and cents always seem to take priority over wins and losses, and there is where a lot of the Mets’ problems lie.”
My two cents? I’ve been beaten down by pennywise management. I’ve reluctantly come to accept that this is going to be another phony Super 2 deal. We’ll hear how Noah needs more work on his change-up, and he will come in July, maybe too late to make a difference this season. But it is all the more reason why the timetable for Mejia and Montero must move up. They can’t run along the same track as Noah. With Mejia, the guy debuted on April 7, 2010. The clock has been ticking for a while. If healthy, get him firing those bullets in the Bigs. Same with Montero, who has aced six levels of the Mets minor league system. The pipeline needs to open for the organization’s talented, young players. This includes Flores and Lagares, too. Alas.
* Todd Singer of Rant Sports provided this insane list of Sandy Alderson’s five best moves:
- Trading for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud
- Trading for Zack Wheeler
- Signing and Trading Marlon Byrd
- Signing Bartolo Colon
- Trading for Eric Young, Jr.
First off, notice anything missing? David Wright’s contract deserves to be on this thing, don’t you think? Or has spending money somehow become a bad thing? Is that where we’ve gotten to nowadays? I’d also add the Niese contract extension to this list. Trading Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey were both sad, necessary moves and it appears that the Mets GM came away with excellent hauls. But again: In Dickey, he was trading away the Cy Young Award Winner! He was set up for a great haul, and maybe Wil Myers would have been the better fit. We don’t know that now. I wonder if anyone would trade Syndergaard/d’Arnaud for Myers straight up today? It’s interesting to ponder. Alderson would be the first to admit that he got lucky with the Byrd signing, though he made an astute move by pairing Byrd with Buck in the Pirates trade. Signing Colon? That’s the fourth best move? Yikes. And trading for Eric Young stands as the type of minor, simple, obvious deal that we’ve been begging Alderson to make since the day he arrived. He gave up excess pitching for bench strength (it’s not my fault that Terry mistakes Eric Young for a starter). Again, acquiring Wheeler and Syndergaard could go down as highlights in Mets history. It could also go down as a footnote that in the process he dealt away Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey. Some of us might recall that they weren’t exactly chopped liver. And that sometimes the best GM moves are keeping the guys you’ve already got.