NEW YORK -- Mets GM Sandy Alderson reiterated Saturday that the Mets will have the opportunity to be players in the trade and free-agent markets moving forward.
"I do believe that over the next six months or so we will be in position to make some significant acquisitions, whether it's through free agency or trade," Alderson said during a question-and-answer session with season-ticket holders. "We're certainly looking forward to that possibility."
Alderson is in his third year as the GM of the Mets, and the team has not been active in acquiring talent during his tenure. Alderson told the crowd of approximately 350 that he's made only four significant deals, three of which involved a re-signing. Reliever Frank Francisco, who is on the disabled list, is likely the other signing Alderson was referring to, as the team inked him to two-year, $12 million deal.
The GM preached patience. He mentioned the emergence of some of the team's young core, including ace Matt Harvey and trade acquisition Zack Wheeler, who will debut Tuesday. Alderson described the team as being in the transition phase to acquiring more established veteran players.
Fans, though, have questioned whether Alderson's plan is paying dividends. After inheriting a 79-win team, Alderson's squads have decreased in wins over the past two years, and the Mets are on pace for just 62 wins this season.
"We're working at it. The problem is, at some point, the best thing you can do is have a little patience," Alderson said. "Unfortunately, I've been preaching that for two and a half years and it's wearing thin. But we're almost there."
The team has been limited with its payroll, Alderson said. The Mets are still paying failed free-agent acquisitions, such as outfielder Jason Bay, who is now with Seattle. The team has a payroll near $95 million, but Alderson told the New York Post that the team has about $55 million committed next year, meaning it could have a good chunk to spend this winter.
Alderson said he would like to acquire a veteran or two at the trade deadline that the team could control beyond this season, and there will likely be new faces around toward the end of July, be it via trade or promotion from within.
"There's no question that, unfortunately for a variety of reasons, we have a lot of money invested and have not gotten a significant return on that investment. I've said since I got here that we have to work our way through it," Alderson said. "The fact is we have just about worked our way through it. By the end of the season, we will have more opportunities to acquire the type of players who will sustain and make us successful than we've had to acquire the last couple of years."
As Alderson tried to reassure the fans that there will be better days ahead, he made reference to one of the team's best moments during his tenure: the team's four-game sweep of the Yankees this year.
"For four days last month, you probably had a pretty good feeling about your support of the Mets," he said.