Sandy Alderson was a guest on WFAN today, and said:
“If [Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez] do not earn their way on the team (in Spring Training), they won’t be on the team.”
Alderson talked to Mike Francesa for 60 minutes, and essentially said:
He is not under any financial restrictions from Ownership, noting that no matter what he does, even if he does nothing, because of previous commitments, the Mets will be one of the top five payrolls in baseball.
He expects to be able to acquire players for the stretch run, assuming the team is in contention around the trade deadline.
“For the purposes of this conversation, let’s assume we wanted to move [Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo], there’s no market for them right now,” meaning he can either cut them now or wait and see how they look in Spring Training, “and, at the same time they’re trying to make your club, there may be a new market.
This is not a year where the Mets will be adding a lot of new money to the payroll, so he will need to be ‘creative.’
He does not expect Johan Santana to be ready Opening Day, but feels it is ‘reasonable’ to expect him back by the All Star break, ‘could be before that, could be slightly later,’ but they will have him for the second half.
‘We need starting pitching… and we’re looking.’
In Mike Pelfrey, RA Dickey, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese, the Mets have four starting pitchers capable of being in the rotation, but he feels the they need at least two or three more to complete, i.e., ‘bounce-back candidates,’ like Chris Young, who, with the other four, can compete for the final five spots.
Because of Ruben Tejada, Castillo, Brad Emuas and Daniel Murphy, among others, noting, “We’re confident enough, at this point, (at second base), going in to Spring Training,’ though, as of now, there is no ‘pecking order.’
Murphy has told him he will make the team, ‘come hell or high water.’
He believes Mets fans will come out to the ballpark if the team wins – and to do that he needs the core players, i.e., ‘the seven or eight guys who are making big money,’ to have reasonably good years, not great, but reasonably good, and be healthy… and he doesn’t think that is ‘an unrealistic expectation.’
He buys in to the correlation between players in their walk years having more incentive to be more focused and perform better.
Terry Collins will be the most significant change to the team from last year to this year,
He has yet to ‘draw any conclusion’ or ‘put his finger on’ why the team has been so injured the last few years, though he will be hiring a new strength and conditioning coach and is currently working with team doctors to understand what has happened.
Regardless of what happened last year, ‘We have a lot of upside,’ because the team on the field can change, given the amount time missed last year by Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay, to name a few.
Angel Pagan is an every day player, he’s a starting outfielder.
Though he hasn’t seem him play himself, he views Josh Thole as the team’s ‘primary catcher,’ based on what he’s heard from people in the organization.
The team will determine in Spring Training what position Carlos Beltran will play.
“I think if things go right for us, we can be a contending team,” pointing out that he’s ‘an optimist with a healthy dose of realism.’
To listen to the entire one hour interview, go to WFAN.com.