Day 2 at GM Meetings

Sandy Alderson arrived at the GM Meetings at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee on Monday afternoon.

Alderson subsequently reminded reporters of last year's acquisition pace -- his first signings, Ronny Paulino and D.J. Carrasco, came on board at the winter meetings in early December, and many of the Mets' moves waited until January.

“Right now it’s the middle of November," Alderson said. "It’s a long way to go.”

With nearly all the other GMs in attendance, as well as plenty of agents, groundwork can be laid for future moves. Asked how much legwork had been done on potential trades, Alderson said: “I wouldn’t say a lot. I don’t know that anybody has laid a lot of groundwork. We’ve had conversations with people.”

The Mets are in a tough predicament trade-wise. They have bloated contracts (Johan Santana and Jason Bay, for instance), then players such as Lucas Duda and Jon Niese who are making close to the major league minimum and therefore valuable to the organization -- and not much in-between, which are typically the pieces traded.

“Yeah, but take young guys for example,” Alderson said on that point. “Do we want to keep them? Yes. Would they possibly have trade value that might bring us other players? Maybe. I wouldn’t rule out at least in conversation talking about a wide range of possibilities.”

The Mets' primary pursuit, Alderson has all but acknowledged, is closer. And it seems like the Mets are targeting the price range of Matt Capps and Frank Francisco. Alderson has suggested the Mets could sign two closer types for the back end of the bullpen.

Interestingly, reports now seem to indicate Angel Pagan may be retained assuming Jose Reyes departs and the pressures on the Mets' payroll are less. That's not so much a function of liking Pagan, who would get a raise from his $3.5 million in 2011. It would seem more a function of not being able to land a competent center fielder on a one-year contract at a low cost.

The Post suggests Endy Chavez could be brought in as a backup outfielder to push Pagan for playing time under that scenario.