Recap: Alderson WFAN talking Lee, OP, Collins, and more

This morning on WFAN, GM Sandy Alderson said the Mets will NOT be signing free-agent LHP Cliff Lee this off season.

“I stand by what I said before about our free-agent activity,” he explained.  “We’re going to be active in the market, but we’re not going to be active in the top end.  We have to be judicious and surgical in our free-agent participation.  Next year, and the year after, we’re going to be in a position – and we want to be in the position every year – to be active in the top end if we desire.”

Alderson also said he s continuing to monitor Oliver Perez in winter ball, and either he or Terry Collins – or both – will travel to meet and watch him play this off season.

He said he understands there are a ‘couple of players’ who have not produced in the past and who are not ‘fan favorites,’ and that ‘the knee-jerk reaction might be to do something to satisfy that frustration.’  However, though he is not ‘afraid’ to cut a player just because he is due a large salary, “I think, before one makes a decision about players who’ve been disappointing in the past, you have to develop some basis for making that decision.”

He said he made the decision to hire Terry Collins last Sunday.

This was a particular interesting exchange, given what I wrote yesterday:

Craig Carton:  Is it fair to say the most important thing for you, when you came in, was to regain control of the clubhouse and the franchise – was that something that, from the guys you talked to in the inner-circle in baseball, was a problem here?

Sandy Alderson:  No, I would not say that that was our number one priority … Mission No. 1 is to win.  Winning will take care of a lot of other problems.  But, at the same time, if you’re in the process of trying to get to that ultimate goal, what goes on in the clubhouse and what goes on on the field, just in terms of how the players approach the game, is very important.  So, Terry was not hired because he would have an impact on the clubhouse, he was hired because he’ll have an impact on the field.  But, to some extent, they go hand-in-hand, but I would say it’s about focusing on the field and other things will take care of themselves.

Lastly, Alderson essentially said:

  • Jason Bay will be 100 percent in Spring Training;
  • He would prefer to see Jose Reyes play in 2011, before declaring him the team’s shortstop of the future;
  • The Opening Day second baseman will be a ‘wide-open’ competition;
  • Josh Thole is fully capable of being a starting catcher;
  • Angel Pagan is an every-day player;
  • ‘In a perfect world,’ he would prefer a hitter’s park, but he wants to see Citi Field for a year before making any judgments about its dimensions.

To listen to Alderson’s entire 15-minute talk with WFAN, keep checking here.