Bob Gregory Guest Morning Report - 1-10-16 - Sandy Alderson


Ever since Alderson's book came out earlier this year,  I really wanted to give Alderson the benefit of the doubt.  
I wanted to believe that he really was not lieing to Met fans.

I wanted to believe he intended to do many of the things he mentioned that would cost money, but the Wilpons kept closing the wallet as he was about to do them.

Alderson's quotes regarding why Cespedes will not be pursued by the Mets however destroys any doubt whether Alderson is a part of the lies.

On Thursday, Alderson stated very clearly 2 things:
1)  money is not the issue with not pursuing Cespedes at this point.  In fact he pointed out that the Mets are spending money and will spend more money if there is a difference maker available.

Fact:  It is undeniable through observation and statistics that Cespedes made a major positive impact on the NY Mets this past season.

2)  The reason Alderson and the Mets are not interested in Cespedes is primarily because Cespedes is not primarily a centerfielder.  Filling in at centerfield for 5 weeks is ok according to Alderson, but for the first 2 years of a contract would be unacceptable.
Why again?...
Because Cespedes is not primarily a centerfielder.
I believe the logical assumption there is that centerfield defense would be compromised.

Here is where I call Alderson out.  I cry as loud and as far as I can BULL CRAP!!!

I am not disputing whether Cespedes is or is not primarily a centerfielder or even capable of being a primary centerfielder.

I am not disputing whether placing value on whether Cespedes is primarily a centerfielder as being a satisfactory reason not to pursue him.

I am not even going to argue whether his offense would or would not make up for any defensive deficiencies.

I am shining a spot light on Alderson's words vs. his actions.

His words are that there is no interest in Cespedes because Cespedes is not primarily a centerfielder.

His action however, was to acquire De Aza as the left handed part of his centerfield equation.  De Aza who has not played centerfield primarily.  In addition, all reports that I have read, seem to rate him as being more of a corner outfielder given his current abilities.

Alderson's actions did not coincide with HIS words.  Notice, the Wilpons have no part in the issue here.
This is all Alderson.  Alderson's lie.

I would also like to point out Alderson's own misdirection.
His statement makes it appear that Cespedes would only be able to fit in to the outfield mix as a centerfielder.

To begin with Cespedes, even as the starting centerfielder would not play all 162 games.
Add to that opportunities to play left field when Conforto and Granderson have days that they are off.

I am sorry, but many of these personnel decisions do have Alderson's thumb print on them.  It can not always be placed at the Wilpons feet.

This situation perfectly illustrates that:
1) Not pursuing Cespedes is Alderson's decision. It is not a Wilpon closing the check book decision.

2)  Alderson lied and used misdirection in order to justify his decision when addressing a Met fan base that is actively questioning the validity of his decision. 


Thomas Brennan said...

Clearly, de Aza is a much better center fielder than Cespedes is, Bob, you just don't catch the higher vision that is Sandy Alderson. Bob, we've been snookered.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Bob that SA is not being completely truthful.

I agree with SA that The Mets should not sign Cespedes.

SA has already said that he did not want to give long contracts to players on the wrong side of 30. If he gave that as a reason, he'd be getting even more heat. I don't think he wants to give Cespedes a contract longer than 3 years, and I don't blame him.

No doubt Cespedes carried the Mets for a month. But there have been lots of players that had a great month, capitalized, then turned out to be duds. He doesn't strike me as a team player. He doesn't hustle in the outfield,and he doesn't put the team first. He seems more likely to become a Bonilla than a Piazza.

We've already come out ahead on the Cespedes deal, let's stay there.

S. Finch said...

there is a big difference in paying 7million for an imperfect solution compared to 50 million for the minimum of two years of cespedes in cf.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

I would sign Cespedes for 3 years... no more... if available

s. finch said...

i'll add, the defensive numbers on cespedes in cf are atrocious. for comparison, a little bit worse than daniel murphy and a few ticks better than lucas duda....from their time in the OF!

Mack Ade said...

I will also say this...

I think we are all heading towards pitchers/catchers feeling a little short-changed. Some miss the loss of players like Cespedes... others question not making the salary projects once quoted by Alderson... still others mentioned both...

I still see a better opening day team though I am starting to get more concerned with what the Nats have done in the off-season.

Still, the Mets template seems to be the same that got them to the playoffs this past season... get to the all-star break and start picking up players made available who's contracts are due to run out at the end of the 2016 season.

I only hope our system can survive another depletion of minor league talent.

bob gregory said...

Please keep in mind (as I tried very hard to make clear in the post):

The issue here is not whether Cespedes should or should not be pursued.

The issue is, Alderson being responsible for
1) most of the actions and inaction choices, not the Wilpons

2) Alderson has proven that his words can not be trusted due to him choosing to purposely tell half-truths, misdirect, and lie to the Met fan base.

bob gregory said...

How many of those atrocious numbers in centerfield came after his injury last season?

I watched him play all last year in centerfield. I hope you remember the PRAISE he received by the announcers for his centerfield defense before the injury.

Are you going to say Lagares is not a great centerfield defensive player because of how he played when hurt last year?

bob gregory said...

Is a 4th year really going to kill the organization?

Would one more year or option really make a contract for him a poor decision?

What would happen in that 4th year that would prove so detrimental?

bob gregory said...

What if a Cespedes contract comes in at 4 yrs around
$90 million?
$85 million?
$80 million?
Below $80 million?

Herb G said...

As most of you know, I am very pro-Sandy, so I am admittedly biased in this discussion. Additionally, I have been one to favor resigning Cespedes, but to a safer deal than 5 or 6 years at around $140 million, which has been rumored as his asking price.

Nonetheless, it is most distressing the hear Sandy labeled as a liar. I believe he is being very truthful in his answer. Locking ourselves into Cespedes as the primary CF for at least the next 2 years isn't necessarily prudent. And de Aza IS in fact, a center fielder. The fact that BAL and BOS had better CF options doesn't diminish that fact. De Aza has played the majority of his career games in CF. And while his FLD% is a bit lower that league average, his RF/9 is better. With De Aza in CF part of the time, Lagares will get more ABs, even against righties, and they will better be able to assess whether he should win the regular CF job back in 2017. So Sandy's logic holds water to me.

S. Finch said...

You say:

Fact: It is undeniable through observation and statistics that Cespedes made a major positive impact on the NY Mets this past season.

-SA says exactly this in his press conference. He says that putting a player out of position for five weeks is doable, but 5 years (or 2) is not. It especially does not when you are paying superstar money.

You then use DeAza and his supposed equally poor defense as your argument why he is not truthful.

1)Deaza is a one year commitment for little money. You play him out of position for ~90 games for one season, as opposed to Cespedes for 300+ over 2 years.
2)DeAza's defense, while not great, is much better in CF. The numbers bear that out.

Furthermore, of course the Wilpons are "indirectly" responsible. They hired a GM who is risk averse and runs an organization based on moneyball principles. What did you or the Wilpons expect with Sandy Alderson, a return to Minaya type free agent indiscretion?

And finally, the Mets, just as any business have a public face and will never come out and show their full hand. Do you expect SA to say, "we'll yeah, I'd like a payroll of 150mil, but i work with what the owners give me?" Let's not be so naive to the fact that business involves politics.

S. Finch said...

The numbers I cite are his career average UZR in CF. Announcers are looking at a couple of nice highlights, which bias our perception. He can make some incredible throws (which UZR accounts for), but overall, Cespedes is a terrible CF. De Aza is just slightly below average.

S. Finch said...

And what contract would make sense? As i said in a post the other day, if we had Michael Conforto, the young, up-and-coming CF and Juan Lagares, the struggling LF, I would have no problem signing Cespedes for ~5/100 to play LF.

Take his career average offense, with terrible defense in CF, and you are paying a lot of $$ for very little value.

Anonymous said...

I think there's a tendency for some fans to disassociate Sandy from the Wilpons. When things go right, they praise Sandy; when things go wrong, they blame the Wilpons.

In my view, he's very happily make millions of dollars each year working for the Wilpons, cashing their checks, and supporting their ownership. He's been a good soldier, and a very well-paid one.

Sandy is not a victim in this.

James Preller

S. Finch said...

And to beat a dead horse...

Take all players since 2000 who have played a minimum of 900 innings in CF (Cespedes has 915 career innings in CF) arrange them based on UZR/150, which leaves us with 154 qualified players

fifth best? Juan Lagares, which i think all met fans would agree with (would probably #1 if not for last years decline).

fifth worst? yep, you guessed it, Yoenis Cespedes.

Zozo said...


I disagree that our offense is better than last years opening lineup.
1) Last year we were expecting a normal David Wright type year, we knew nothing of his serious back aliment. So at third we are weaker. We are relying on our main man in our lineup to be something he probably won't ever be again.

2) Are you more excited this year about Darnaud. I am not because he had another injury laden season again. I believe if we wanted to trade him right now his value probably declined from last year

3) Lagares last year was coming off gold glove season and it seemed like he is taking the next step. This year his arm is still hurt and they brought in De Aza who was put on waivers twice last year.

4) I would put it as a push for 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases

5) Conforto is an upgrade, but we have to realize that he is basically a rookie who skipped his extra seasoning that he probably could have used. Also don't forget the tremendous pressure that is being put in his shoulders.

6) Granderson was a plus, but he actually finally hit the numbers he was supposed to with his contract. He will be a year older, but hopefully he doesn't go back to his 2014 numbers.

Yes the starting pitching is better but the relief pitching as constituted right now is not as strong. We are going to ruin our young pitchers arms because they will have to throw basically a perfect game every time they pitch to win.
I think we should PAY CESPEDES his 6 year $138 million dollar contract.
First 3 years at $28 million a season
Last 3 years $15 million a season
With an option for him to leave after 3 seasons.

They were going to give a four year contract to Zobrist who is a lot older and more injury prone so far in his career than CESPEDES has shown. So a 6 year contract for CESPEDES as opposed to Zobrist would end at younger aged year.

So I don't think we are better, especially at offense than we were last year.

S. Finch said...

On an slightly unrelated note, i am curious why there seems to be so much use of the "opt out" clause in proposed deals here and in other blogs/boards. For the players it's great, but in virtually all scenarios the option does not benefit the team.

Zozo said...

Also basically all our top competition got so much better than last year.
Cubs, Giants, Dbacks extremely better
Nationals, Cards Dodgers a bit better
Pirates a little more seasoning for that young lineup.

So when you sit on your hands and do nothing to improve your offense in the offseason, you are starting behind the 8 ball once again.

Zozo said...

I believe if you start CESPEDES in centerfield right from the get go in spring trading he will adjust just fine. Maybe next year if we trade a Granderson and get something for him he can move to rightfield with that gun, if not the year afterwards.

bob gregory said...

But before the injury, what did you see with your eyes last season

S. Finch said...

Honestly, he looked OK most of the time, especially the first month. But, that is why we have defensive metrics. He might take a funky route, or get a bad jump that the eye doesn't notice, but causes him to lose balls an otherwise decent fielder would get to. We see plays like his in the WS or Daniel Murphy's career and can clearly define that as bad defense, but on a day-to-day basis, it's so much more subtle.

Zozo said...

I agree Bob everyone was so surprised how well he took to Centerfield, especially me, without having time in the offseason or spring training to work on it. Also CESPEDES and Conforto would be able to get a whole lot more comfortable with each other in spring training at their defense working side by side in non meaningful games. Plus I believe that inside the park HR should have been Confortos ball all the way, but the rookie probably pulled back in favor of the veteran getting to the ball.

Zozo said...

Bob great article, I like Sandy but he might just still be the hand puppet saying what is best for these cheap ass business owners. I wonder if the Wilpons are taking from any of their other business ventures to pay down this debt of theirs? Or is it just the Metsies who have to sacrifice?

Herb G said...

The opt-out clause is being given because the players demand it as a condition of signing, often for less money. It is being mentioned here because fans think it will be an inducement to Cespedes,and might bring his price back down from the stratosphere.

S. Finch said...

There is such a strange sense of entitlement with the Mets and probably sports fandom in general. If the Mets had a poor product or consistent mediocrity such as the Marlins of recent past i would understand, but this team just made it to the World Series.

You might disagree with the strategy, but clearly it is working. The "throw money at high-profile targets whether they fit or not" hasn't quite worked for the dodgers and countless other organizations.. There is no silver bullet, and the expectation that owners of a business spend XX dollars on XX product because you are a deserving fan seems odd to me.

Would i like the Mets to have a bit more flexibility, say a 150 million dollar payroll? Sure, but does it matter? An interesting study on the correlation between payroll and winning found that "you’d have a slightly better chance of predicting playoff participants simply by using alphabetical order than by using payroll numbers."

Our fixation on payroll and cheap-ass owners may have held weight a decade ago, but it is simply less important than it has ever been.

bob gregory said...

Funny thing.
Over the past 10 years it appears that most of the low payroll teams did not make the playoffs each year.

Most of the higher payroll teams did make the playoffs.

Zozo said...

The Cubs are the team we should be emulating right now, because they are doing it the correct way. Actually that the same theory is what 86 mets were built on.
We both have our home grown elite starting pitching and young stud corner outfielder. Now we need to bring in our next Carter and Hernandez to finish the strategy.
So CESPEDES is is our number 4 hitter who will take pressure off Conforto, just like Carter did for the StrawMan.
I am not asking to even come close to top payroll but due to ticket prices and being in a BIG market we should at least be in the middle of the pack.

The Cubs added their final pieces and I believe would be favored against in a big way if we faced them in playoffs next year. Plus I don't want the one game wild card, I want us to win our division.

greg b said...

Good afternoon guys, with spring training about a month away I'd like to know who r some of you guys sleepers in the Mets farm system that all of us will hear about this year.

Mack Ade said...

Greg B -

I'll write my thoughts on this on Friday.

Herb G said...

Zozo- I agree with you that the Cubs have made big moves to improve themselves. But I don't agree that emulating them is the best way for us to repeat our 2015 success.

If you can't see that the team Sandy has assembled so far is better offensively than the one we put on the field last April, I suggest you visit an ophthalmologist. DeAza and Cabrera are significant upgrades over Mayberry and Campbell. Walker is superior to Murphy (and I am a big Murphy fan) And Plawecki and Flores make the bench way better. The team right now is the equivalent of the one just after the Uribe and Johnson acquisitions. So . . .

IMO, if Cespedes doesn't come to us at a price that is acceptable to Alderson soon, I predict you will see the acquisition of Carlos Gomez at the deadline next July. With his hip fully healed, I think Sandy will pursue him to provide that bat you so desperately want.

bob gregory said...


I think you are missing Zozo's point.

He is comparing the team assessment Before last season started to the team assessment now.

You are looking at last year's April roster now in hind sight and comparing the 2016 roster outlook in fore sight with optimism.

Herb G said...


I hope you get to look at this, given the lateness of the hour. I don't think I am not missing Zozo's point at all. I tried to outline the differences between last year's team assessment and this year's. Last year, we expected strong performances from a full year of Wright and d'Arnaud, a streaky Duda being Duda, good bat poor glove from Murphy, relatively low expectations from Granderson, given his 2014, fairly high expectations from Cuddyer, great concern about making Flores our full time SS, and a strong year defensively and improvement at the plate from Lagares. So let's compare that to this year.

We should be expecting the same from d'Arnaud, but with a much better backup in Plawecki in the event of down time. Same for Wright, with Flores as his backup. No change for Duda. Walker an improvement over Murphy. (as much as I like Murph) Cabrera a better option than Flores as a full time SS. Much higher expectations from Granderson. Similarly great expectations for Conforto, and probably somewhat lowered expectations for the CF platoon than what we expected but were disappointed with in Lagares. And you have to say our expectations for the bench, with Flores replacing Campbell, De Aza replacing Mayberry and Plawecki replacing Recker, have to be much higher than last year.

In my book, this is a much better team offensively. And that isn't even taking into account our biggest reason to assess this team over last year's - the starting rotation.

bob gregory said...

My apologies. You do get Zozo's point.

It is.just a difference of opinion then.

eraff said...

Sleeper Farm Picks???

OK... I really like Jhoan Urena, and I'm hopeful he'll re-establish his prospect Track. Urena is a well balanced Hitter. Here's a 2011 look---switch Hitter, sound stroke

Here's Urena a few years later...

A Deep Farm Sleeper is Kutis Horne... a Tall Lefty Drafted very young out of Canada in 2014. He's lot's and lots of Projection--- Large, Lefty and looks like a low/mid 90's arm on projection.
Here's Horne at 14/15 yrs old in 2011

Here's the MLB Video at 17 yrs old

Mack's Mets © 2012