New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson reiterated to reporters on Friday night that he believes the team’s payroll will be somewhere between where it is now -- $140-145 million -- and $100 million.
“I don’t think it will be below that,” Alderson said. “I’m comfortable where we’re headed next year, at least at this point.”
Alderson also pointed out, like he had before, that owner Fred Wilpon was never quoted in the Sports Illustrated article, which revealed the decreased payroll projections.
“I’m not saying that Fred was misquoted,” Alderson said. “I just think there’s room to interpret the article a little differently. I’ve been involved in enough discussions to know [those figures] were probably a little lean.”
Alderson downplayed Wilpon’s harsh criticism of shortstop Jose Reyes, center fielder Carlos Beltran and third baseman David Wright in a New Yorker magazine article.
“They’re professionals, and things happen from time to time and they’re able to take that in stride,” Alderson said. “I don’t think this has been a major issue for them.
“Sometimes comments like those, even though they may be unfortunate, are enough motivation themselves for some players. I don’t believe that any of our players needed that motivation, but often that’s something that comes from within and not from without.”
Alderson said he hasn’t felt the need to speak with Reyes, Beltran or Wright about Wilpon’s disparaging comments, which have been well documented.
In summary, Wilpon said that Reyes doesn’t deserve or will get Carl Crawford type money, Beltran -- after being overpaid by some schmuck -- is 65-70 percent of what he used to be and Wright isn’t a superstar.
Alderson doesn’t think Wilpon’s comments will affect the Mets’ or other team’s evaluations of those players going forward.
“Clubs are going to make their decisions. They’re going to make their decisions based on the body of work,” Alderson said. “And we all go those emotions from time to time, just not usually stated on the record.
Asked about what he thought about David Einhorn acquiring minor ownership of the team, Alderson responded: “I think we should wait and see. It’s not a completed transaction at this point. Let’s see what it means for the baseball side. I think right now what we’ve done for the past couple months is try to stay focused on the field and the immediate job at hand, which is to play the game on an everyday basis and make do with what we have, and I think that’s how we intend to focus things going forward as well.”
Alderson said he met with Einhorn and a couple of his associates “a month or two ago,” as he did with about six other potential interested minor ownership groups.
“[I saw David as] Enthusiastic, knowledgable, and obviously very interested,” Alderson said.
Alderson wasn’t worried about divulging any of his future plans regarding baseball operations to everyone.
“It’s one story, told seven times,” Alderson said. “I don’t think there was anything that was overly confidential in anything I said.”
Alderson was asked if he’d heard Einhorn’s comments about him, which were quite favorable.
“I appreciated that,” Alderson said. “A vote of confidence from a potential minority partner.”
Alderson said being in New York is somewhat of an adjustment, because stories move in “a little faster.”
“They move in different directions,” Alderson said. “But, in many ways that’s a good thing. As I’ve said, we’re in the entertainment business, so coverage is good, it’s not always gonna be positive, but there’s certainly a level of interest in the Mets in this city that goes well beyond the level of interest that I’ve experienced in other teams at other places, so that’s certainly a positive.”