The worst kept secret in baseball came to fruition last night as Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants. Everyone knew he was a goner; it was just a matter of where he’d end up and would the Mets receive anyone of value for him.
By acquiring top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler for the Mets erstwhile centerfielder-turned-right fielder, Sandy Alderson demonstrated again why he was the right choice to run the cash strapped team from Flushing. By dumping K-Rod and the looming threat of his prohibitive option for 2012, and now getting a future cog in the rotation for a guy who was on borrowed time, Alderson has demonstrated little rust in his deft hand at maximizing value. When you add his low-cost, low risk, high return investments thus far — manager Terry Collins, starter Chris Capuano, relievers Pedro Beato, Jason Isringhausen, and Tim Byrdak, and his faith in youngsters Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Lucas Duda, Jon Niese, and Bobby Parnell — you can see why there’s no better man to be managing the Mets fortunes (figuratively speaking) at a time when they are limited, to say the least, with the pocketbook. Keeping Jose Reyes a Met for the next 6-7 years –well, that may be asking too much for Alderson. He’ll have to defer to the Wilpons, and their new investor, David Einhorn, because that will come down to money, lots of it.
To fully appreciate the way Alderson operates, think back to 2004, when the delusional Mets thought they were still in the Wild Card race and traded prized prospect Scott Kazmir for a broken down Victor Zambrano. Any Mets fan with a pulse knew that even a healthy Zambrano could not help move the needle. That was the doing of then GM Jim Duquette, who was bookended by serial traders \ profligate spenders Steve Phillips and Omar Minaya — both prone to making wild pitches (real or imagined) at the trade deadline and during the off-season with the misguided hopes of putting the Mets over the top.
In Alderson, the Mets have someone who is committed to working within his constraints, using his experience and guile to build for the future.
Yes, building for the future, Mets fans. What a concept. Anyone, including all those bloviators in the media who declare time and again that the fans in this town insist on winning now, and they won’t stand for rebuilding, and you must go out and spend on stars because this is a star town, here’s what I have to say: that may be true for the Yankees and their endless supply of riches, but for Mets fans, we’ve grown patient. We can live with rebuilding because, A) We have to, and B) Because the quick fix hasn’t worked.
So enough already with the “gotta win now” philosophy. Just shut up and let Sandy Alderson do his job.