NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the end, the Mets would have had to pay too much to get needed upgrades.
So went the rationale of general manager Sandy Alderson after Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline came and went without the Mets doing anything to improve their roster.
The Mets (52-56) went into Thursday 7 1/2 games out of the top spot in the NL East and 6 out in the wild card race, but were 15-10 in July, giving many people reason to believe they could contend for a playoff spot.
However, Alderson told reporters that significant improvement in certain areas would have required the Mets fork over some of their top pitching prospects, something that is clearly a non-starter with this GM in advance of 2015, when the Amazins are expected to be downright dangerous on the mound.
“The question of improving the club is certainly a legitimate one. In order to potentially improve the club some significant way as opposed to some incremental way, we would have had to have been prepared to deal some of our young pitching,” Alderson said. “At this particular stage, we’re not prepared to do that, at least in the deals that were presented, or were available to us.”
It appears the Mets dangled veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon, but due to the timing of first the Jon Lester and then David Price trades teams might not have had the time to come back to the Mets with acceptable offers. It had also been reported that the Mets were not interested in paying any of Colon’s $11 million salary for 2015 in a deal, which could have scared some potential suitors away.
Alderson said there could be more of a market for Colon this winter.
“Yes, on Monday I felt our assessment was that in the case of someone like Bartolo that he might be viewed as more valuable in the offseason than he would be today. I think the lack of activity surrounding Bartolo indicated that,” Alderson said. “I think the other thing that happened was so many of these marquee pitchers went late, just before the deadline, as well as some second-tier starters, that whatever teams might have circled back on someone like Colon may not have had time to do it.”
Colon is 10-8 with a 3.88 ERA in 21 starts. With a stable of young pitchers in Triple-A and Matt Harvey returning from Tommy John surgery, New York isn’t expected to keep Colon for the entirety of his two-year deal.
“There will be lots of teams looking for pitching in the offseason,” Alderson said. “And there will be lots of teams thinking about giving a veteran pitcher three or four years at $50 million, $60 million. At that point, an $11 million deal for one year for someone of his ability looks pretty attractive. I’m not sure it looks quite as attractive today as it would then.”
Alderson said he had several discussions regarding star players, but he just couldn’t get together with anyone.
“There was some activity. Nothing came to fruition. There were some proposals that we made that were not acceptable and some made to us that we didn’t feel were reasonable. And so, while we were active in conversations, although not super active, we just didn’t make any deals,” Alderson said. “I think going in we didn’t intend to be sellers and we didn’t intend to be buyers necessarily. We were looking at the market and what it would dictate. We set a price on some of our players. And, under the circumstances, they weren’t met. So be it.
“We’re happy with the team that we have. We’re happy we retained all of our players. And we’re looking forward to the last 60 or so games of the season.” Alderson added.
The Mets did get a nibble from the Nationals on second baseman Daniel Murphy, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. But Alderson suggested this week it was unlikely the team would shake things up at the deadline, and many believe the Mets will lock up Murphy to a long-term deal. Rosenthal described the Washington-Murphy scenario as a “longshot.”
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