Tag:Sandy Alderson
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:29 pm
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Injury roundup: Howard, Nix, Madson and more

Ryan HowardBy C. Trent Rosecrans

There is no timetable for Ryan Howard's return to the field after he suffered an infection near the site of his Achilles injury, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters on Sunday.

Howard is currently in a walking boot and fighting the infection with antibiotics. Howard will keep the boot on his left leg for the next week to 10 days.

"Once we're comfortable with where the infection is at, we can be more aggressive with his rehab," Amaro said (DelawareOnline.com).

In other injury news from around baseball on Sunday:

• Phillies outfielder Laynce Nix is limited to pinch-hitting and DH roles while he deals with tightness in his hamstring. Nix is expected to be in competition for the Phillies' job in left field, but Philadelphia is being cautious with him. The left-handed Nix is also expected to play some first base in Howard's absence. [DelawareOnline.com]

• New Reds closer Ryan Madson has a "minor" elbow injury and hasn't appeared in either of the Reds' first two spring games.

"He has a little irritation in his arm," manager Dusty Baker said (MLB.com). "The doctor looked at him today. Hopefully he will be all right in the next couple of days."

• David Wright will sit out at least the first two games of the exhibition season with pain in his left ribcage. Wright is still working out with the team, but the team is being cautious.

"We're going to hold him out until he's asymptomatic," general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters. [New York Times]

• Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez will rest his shoulder two more days before determining when he can return to the mound.

"I want to make sure everything is fine," Sanchez said (Palm Beach Post). "We're early in spring training, no reason to rush. I want to make sure nothing is bothering me."

He felt soreness in his should after a bullpen on Friday.

• Plenty of injury news from Rays camp -- left-hander Matt Moore threw off the mound for the first time in more than a week on Saturday, and on Sunday said he felt "normal." The left-hander had suffered from a lower abdominal strain and expects to throw again Monday and batting practice on Thursday. He could appear in an exhibition game as early as next weekend. Third baseman Evan Longoria said his bruised right hand should be good enough for him to play Tuesday, if not Monday. First baseman Carlos Pena and DH Luke Scott will take BP on Monday and expect to play as soon as Tuesday, but at least sometime in the coming week. [Tampa Bay Times]

• Giants reliever Dan Runzler will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday to get a second opinion on how to treat his strained lat muscle. Runzler's initial diagnosis has him out three-to-four weeks. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Mets aren't happy with Dickey's Kilimanjaro climb

R.A. Dickey

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Earlier this offseason we noted Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey was planning on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in January and at the time Dickey said the Mets had "concerns."

In an article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson confirmed the team sent Dickey's agent a letter letting him know the team could void his contract if he were injured on the climb.

"If we thought it was a good idea, we wouldn't have sent the letter," Alderson told the newspaper. "Beyond that, have we trided to dissuade him from going? It seems to me that the letter is enough of an effort to dissuade him, and he intends to go on nonetheless."

Dickey is set to make $4.5 million in 2012, but he doesn't sound worried -- "it's not like it's Everest."

However, the report notes Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with pulmonary edema after being taken off the mountain on a stretcher.

The 37-year-old knuckleballer will be joined on his trip by Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello and Rockies pitcher Kevin Slowey, as the trio uses the climb to raise money and awareness for Bombay Teen Challenge, which helps victims of sex trafficking in India. While the Mets are right to have their concerns, it's nice to see a baseball player using this kind of off-season trip to raise money for a charity and then sticking to his plan despite his team's concerns and willing to suffer the consequences if things go wrong.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Mets still keeping tabs on Jose Reyes

Sandy Alderson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Mets will at the very least talk to Jose Reyes' representatives in an attempt to re-sign the free-agent shortstop, according to MLB.com.

The Hot Stove

"I certainly would hope that we'll have conversations … by the time we get to Dallas, or at Dallas,"Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "I do expect to have them over the next handful of days."

The winter meetings begin Monday in Dallas.

Alderson said he was unsure what exactly, in terms of dollars and years, Reyes is looking to get to sign.

"As far as the market for Jose is concerned, I only know what I read in the paper," Alderson said. "There haven't been addiitonal reports I've heard about other offers. So I'm not sure there's much more clarity than we had the first time, when Miami's bid/proposal was reported."

There have been reports that the Marlins offered Reyes six years and $90 million.

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Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:16 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Mets GM says team isn't out of Reyes race

Jose ReyesBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson isn't counting his team out of the Jose Reyes sweepstakes. Alderson said Monday that he is still talking with Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg.

"I still think it's early, notwithstanding all the background noise of the past week," Alderson told reporters, including the New York Daily News' Andy Martino

Alderson, of course, was talking about the reports last week of Reyes signing with the Marlins. The Marlins are perhaps the most vocal of their courtship of the former Mets shortstop, with owner Jeffrey Loria acknowledging the team's offer to Reyes.

MIlwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said he's spoken with Reyes' representatives, although he said he hasn't decided whether the team was interested in pursuing Reyes. When asked the extent of his dealings with Reyes, he told reporters, "One phone call, no numbers," according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Brewers are also interested in Rafael Furcal, the paper reported.

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Posted on: November 1, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 10:20 pm
 

Team-by-team NL free agency outlooks



By C. Trent Rosecrans

With open free agency set to hit us at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, it's worth taking a quick look at what every single team is going to be looking for. We've already done detailed breakdowns in the R.I.P. series, so here are some quick hitters for the National League:

East
Atlanta Braves | R.I.P.
Needs: shortstop, corner outfielder, relief pitching
Money to spend?: Not much. The Braves' biggest need was getting rid of Derrek Lowe, and they did that and have saved $5 million to boot. The team has good, young starters, but put too many innings on their bullpen. They'll need more bullpen arms and also a bat in left field and a shortstop. With Tyler Pastronicky just about ready, the team could use a veteran backup just in case he doesn't work out.

Miami Marlins | R.I.P.
Needs: starting pitching, center field
Money to spend? Oh yeah… with the team preparing to move into a new stadium, owner Jeffrey Loria is expected to make a splash in free agency and could raise payroll to the $100 million range. South Florida will be a favorite of baseball agents in the offseason who will use the Marlins as leverage -- they may even be more popular than the "mystery team" of the past off seasons. The Marlins will be rumored as a possible landing point for nearly every big free agent. The question is, which ones -- if any -- will actually take their talents to South Beach.

New York Mets | R.I.P.
Needs: starting pitching, closer, relief pitching, middle infield
Money to spend? There are plenty of questions about the Mets ownership group, so nobody outside GM Sandy Alderson really knows what's going on and how much money he has to play with. It doesn't look like the team will go crazy in trying to re-sign Jose Reyes. The team will instead hope to improve its bullpen and rotation.

More Free Agency
Position rankings

Philadelphia Phillies | R.I.P.
Needs: shortstop, corner outfielder, closer, relief pitching, first base
Money to spend? It seems like they always find it when they need it, so there's no real concern about the budget. Even with Roy Oswalt likely to leave Philadelphia, there are few worries about the team's rotation. The bullpen, however, will need to be addressed. Ryan Madson may be re-signed and used as the closer, but the Phillies need middle-innings guys, as well. Left field is still an issue and the team could look to upgrade there, but will also need to address first base while Ryan Howard recovers from his Achilles injury. John Mayberry Jr. can play first, but moving him there creates a spot in the outfield.

Washington Nationals | R.I.P.
Needs: center field, starting pitching, relief pitching
Money to spend? Oh yeah. Like the Marlins, the Nationals have money to spend and unlike the Marlins, they have shown a willingness to actually use it. Last year the team overspent on Jayson Werth, something that certainly caught the eyes of free-agents-to-be. Several top names will certainly be courted by the Nationals, including Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and C.J. Wilson. The Nationals really can't be counted out on anyone.

Central
Chicago Cubs | R.I.P.
Needs: first base, third base, closer, relief pitching, right field
Money to spend? The Ricketts opened the pocketbooks for their general manager, so it's unlikely they'll close 'em for players. Epstein says he wants to build a team from the bottom up, but that takes time and there will be pressure to win right away, and free agency will be part of that. Expect the Cubs to at least talk to the likes of Pujols and Fielder, even if they don't sign them. With Epstein in the fold, it'll certainly be interesting to see what route the Cubs take.

Cincinnati Reds | R.I.P.
Needs: closer, relief pitcher, corner outfielder, shortstop
Money to spend? Not much. It looks like the team will stand pat in the rotation, but after not picking up the option on Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati will need someone to finish out games. Last year Walt Jocketty stayed quiet during the offseason, but this winter that may not happen. However, the team is more likely to use the trade market than spend big in free agency.

Houston Astros | R.I.P.
Needs: shortstop, relief pitching
Money to spend? The Astros are in full-on rebuilding mode, as evidenced by their July fire sale. There's also the holdup of the sale of the team and the possible switch to the American League. If Jim Crane is approved by MLB, he may want to find his own general manager. The Astros won't be much of a player in the free agent market, looking for low-priced.

Milwaukee Brewers | R.I.P.
Needs: first baseman, shortstop, third baseman, relief pitching
Money to spend? Some -- for the right people. The team will try to make a pitch to retain Fielder and possibly Jerry Hairston Jr., but are likely celebrating to be free of Yuniesky Betancourt. The team probably won't be in the race for Reyes or even Jimmy Rollins, but could be in the market for a second-tier shortstop like Clint Barmes. They'll also need to add some arms in the bullpen, but could try to re-sign the likes of Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins.

Pittsburgh Pirates | R.I.P.
Needs: catcher, first base, shortstop, corner outfielder, starting pitching
Money to spend? Yes, as much as $25 million or even a little more, but they also have plenty of holes. The Pirates took some steps forward in 2011, but will need to fill out their roster and will likely be going for the second-tier players to fill out a lineup around Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.

St. Louis Cardinals | R.I.P.
Needs: First base, shortstop, relief pitching
Money to spend? Some for the right player. The Cardinals have nearly $60 million tied up for 2012 in six players -- Matt Holliday, Kyle Lohse, Lance Berkman, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jake Westbrook. There's also the little matter of Pujols -- who will listen to offers from the Cardinals, but is unlikely to give much (or any) of a hometown discount. The team also needs a shortstop and could use another left-handed reliever.

West
Arizona Diamondbacks | R.I.P.
Needs: second base, middle infield, relief pitching
Money to spend? There's not much tinkering expected of a team that surprised everyone by winning the NL West in 2011 -- the rotation is looking good and most of the positions are already manned. The team declined its option on second baseman Aaron Hill, but could also look at former Diamondback second baseman Kelly Johnson. The bullpen was radically rebuilt last season, but could use some tweaking.

Colorado Rockies | R.I.P.
Needs: starting pitching, second base, third base
Money to spend? The team needs a starter and also two infield spots -- all without spending much money. They could be looking to trade to find their infielders and a lefty reliever. But they also need a pitcher that can throw 200 innings in a season, but those don't come cheap on the open market. They'd also like a right-handed bat.

Los Angeles Dodgers | R.I.P.
Needs:catcher, second base, third base, starting pitching, relief pitching
Money to spend? Who knows? With the Frank McCourt mess, nobody knows what the future holds for the Dodgers. If they are sold, the timing may still be off for any big additions to the budget. In a perfect world, the Dodgers are looking at the big names like Fielder, Reyes and Wilson, but it doesn't seem like that will happen.

San Diego Padres | R.I.P.
Needs: closer, relief pitching, corner outfield, middle infield
Money to spend? The Padres have money to spend and spots to fill -- but don't expect them to be wooing the big names. Big money in San Diego is still small money to the likes of the Phillies and Cubs. The highest-priced free agent likely to sign with San Diego is closer Heath Bell.

San Francisco Giants | R.I.P.
Needs: shortstop, corner outfielder
Money to spend? The Giants will spend for the right player, and Reyes may just be that player. Or Rollins. The team may also try to retain Carlos Beltran, but at his age and injury history, the Giants are unlikely to gamble with a multiyear contract.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 5, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 12:48 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

MetsBy Evan Brunell

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: New York Mets
Record: 77-85, 4th place, 25 GB
Manager: Terry Collins
Best hitter: Jose Reyes -- .337/.384/.493, 101 R, 39 SB
Best pitcher: R.A. Dickey -- 8-13, 208 2/3 IP, 3.28 ERA, 134 K, 54 BB

2011 SEASON RECAP

Coming into the season, no one expected the Mets to contend and the team did fans a favor by starting out 11-16 and setting expectations. The club rebounded to post three straight winning months largely on the strength of Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Dickey. There was some noise in the summer months about how New York could potentially finish .500, which would have been a resounding success, but once Beltran was traded and Reyes battled hamstring problems, New York quickly fell out of the race, with a season-worst 10-16 August and by then, it was just playing the string out.

2012 AUDIT

The Mets are still a couple of years away from contending, and 2012 will be much like 2011 in that GM Sandy Alderson needs to get the team in order moving forward to win. That means wiggling out of poor contracts (looking at you, Jason Bay) or finding players who can fit in New York. The free-agent market isn't robust, so for any significant changes, the Mets will need to turn to the trade market. Don't expect them to deal any of their heralded prospects, though, as these players are the future of New York. The club could use more pitching, but what team doesn't? Alderson will have a tough call on his hands this winter, deciding whether or not to bring back Jose Reyes as well as trade the face of the franchise, David Wright.

FREE AGENTS

Chris Capuano, SP
Scott Hairston, OF
Willie Harris, UTIL
Jason Isringhausen, RP
Jose Reyes, SS
Chris Young, SP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

  • It'll be difficult for fans to accept it, but Jose Reyes needs to walk. The amount of money that would be otherwise tied up in Reyes would be astronomical given his checkered injury history. In addition, as great a year as he had, it was also a career season, and he's only had two other seasons in which his OPS has been greater than .800. It's not the right investment for Alderson to make, especially since Reyes would fetch compensatory draft picks that can stock the Mets' farm system. To replace Reyes, the team shouldn't go for a silver bullet. No one can replace Reyes in the minds of fans, so they shouldn't even try. Instead, sign defensive wizard Clint Barmes, whom pitchers will love.
  • Keep David Wright. There's been scuttlebutt that the Mets might consider trading him, but New York needs to give fans at least one reason to come to the park. Deleting Wright wouldn't provide enough of a return coming off an injury-plagued and poor year. Start the year with Wright in the lineup and make him available in July.
  • Resign Chris Capuano. The lefty wants to be with the Mets, and he was more than capable in the back of the rotation. Someone who clearly wants to be with the Mets is a good thing right now.
  • Go with Ruben Tejada at second base permanently. The Mets need to figure out if they have a long-term answer at the position with Tejada, and playing him is the only way to find out. Daniel Murphy could also stick at the position if and when Ike Davis returns from his injuries.
  • Do nothing else. Yes, really. Look, this isn't a team that can contend in 2012. It just can't, and Alderson is not the type of GM who will trade away prospects important to the future just to slap a band-aid on the major league team. There is a significant crop of free agents coming in 2012, and the Mets need to save their money for then as well as work through the remaining questions on the roster. Jason Bay is entering a put-up or shut-up season for the Mets, Angel Pagan is looking to rebound, and there are two outfielders close to the majors that need to break in and get at-bats in Fernando Martinez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. By this time next year, the Mets will have a clearer picture as to the future of the team, its top prospects will be that much closer to the majors,  a bountiful free-agent crop will await, and the Phillies will be another year older. It will take time, but Alderson can and will get the Mets back to relevancy.
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Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Mets might change Citi Field dimensions



By Matt Snyder


A common refrain since the Mets moved into Citi Field is that the outfield dimensions cost the team loads of home runs in each given season. Notably, it's been discussed how many homers have turned into doubles for David Wright by several different New York reporters. Only Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and AT&T Park (Giants) have been worse for home runs this season and Citi Field ranked 27th in homers last season.

Two areas in particular that have drawn malign are the height of the left-field wall (why not have it the same height as the center-field wall?) and the well in right field (where it says "Modell's"). It feels like changing those two things would make it a pretty average ballpark for hitters.

Well, changes could be on the horizon, and not-so-small changes at that.

“If we do something, it won’t be subtle,” general manager Sandy Alderson said (NYTimes.com Bats blog), noting that changes are not definite but the Mets are looking hard at several different options.

“We’re not looking necessarily to gain an advantage with respect to home runs versus visitor’s home runs,” Alderson said (NYTimes.com Bats blog). “But at the same time, I think there is some sense that the park is a little more overwhelming to a team that spends half its time there, as opposed to a team that comes in for three games, doesn’t really have to alter its approach or think about it too much and leaves.”

I tend to agree with him. All things equal, I'd much rather have my team playing in a league-average ballpark instead of an extreme-hitter or extreme-pitcher park. Not that it definitely determines the fate of your ballclub -- it doesn't -- but if either pitchers or hitters collectively believe they're getting screwed for 81 games, it's hard to keep a positive mentality for the whole season.

'Fan' is short for 'fanatic:' A Yankees fan had the task of serving Red Sox starting pitcher Erik Bedard with child support papers Tuesday and relished in it. He wore a Yankees shirt and bragged on Facebook that he intentionally served Bedard on a day of his start (Big League Stew). Bedard went out and gave up five hits and four runs (though only one was earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Let's hope this fan never accuses any player of lacking professionalism, or else we've got a nice case of hypocrisy working.

Lincecum endorses Kershaw: The NL Cy Young vote is going to be quite competitive, with Clayton Kershaw, Ian Kennedy and some Phillies likely garnering most of the votes. Two-time winner Tim Lincecum believes the winner should be Kershaw. “Just with the numbers he has, he’s leading in a lot of categories, to put up a 20-win season is huge, especially with the team he’s got. He’s done a magnificent job with his year," Lincecum said after losing to Kershaw again (Extra Baggs). The two aces have squared off four times. Lincecum has a 1.24 ERA in those outings, but Kershaw has won all four.

Harwell's glasses are back: In Tuesday's Pepper, we passed along the story that a statue of late, great Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell had been stripped of its glasses. Well, the replacement set of frames is back at home (Detroit Free-Press). Let's hope these stay there for a while.

Aramis' swan song: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was traded to the Cubs in July of 2003. He played on three playoff teams, in two All-Star games and solidified a position that hadn't been locked down since Ron Santo manned the hot corner. The Cubs have a $16 million option for 2012 on Ramirez and he has repeatedly said he wants to stay, but the feeling apparently isn't mutual. When asked if he believes this is his last run with the Cubs, he replied (Chicago Tribune): "Probably. There's a good chance. I'm a free agent and I don't know what's going to happen. But it looks like I'm going to hit the market."

Movie Night! "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was a huge hit in the 80s, and it includes a scene in Wrigley Field. It's only fitting that Wrigley's first "Movie Night" will be showing the Matthew Broderick film October 1 (Chicago Tribune). Bleacher seats are $10, while lawn seats are $25. That's steep for a movie that hit theaters in 1986, but would the novelty of sitting on Wrigley Field's playing surface be worth it? You make the call.

No ERA title for Cueto: Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto was already suspected to be ruled out for the season, and now he's even admitting as much (MLB.com). With the Reds out of the race, this wouldn't normally matter, but Cueto had a shot at leading the league in ERA. His 2.31 mark currently trails only Kershaw (2.27). The problem is that Cueto has only thrown 156 innings. In order to qualify for an ERA crown, a pitcher must have thrown at least one inning for each game his team has played. So once the Reds play game 157, Cueto falls off the ERA standings.

Rockies love Tracy, kind of: Rockies manager Jim Tracy is signed through 2012 and his job is safe at least through the length of the contract. "Jim is signed through next year, and we'd love to have him be manager here for much longer than that. But I have gone into the last year of my contract here more than you could imagine," general manager Dan O'Dowd told The Denver Post. So that sounds good, right? Well, depends upon the point of view. He's not offering a contract extension, and you'll notice the comment about going into the last year of a contract. So it sounds like O'Dowd likes Tracy for now, but he's giving himself a chance to change his mind by the end of next year. And he has every right to do that.

Watch those Nats: If you relish in the failures of the Nationals, you better enjoy it while you can. I've preached all season that the proverbial corner would be turned soon, with a great young base of talent and lots of money available for free agents. Speaking of which, expect the Nats to be hot after All-Star starting pitcher C.J. Wilson -- who is a free agent after this season -- this coming offseason (MLB.com via Twitter).

Saito can't get healthy: Brewers reliever Takashi Saito has been excellent this season, sporting a 1.90 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Of course, he's only thrown 23 2/3 innings due to a series of injuries. Now he's dealing with a calf injury (MLB.com).

More roadblocks for McCourt: One of the ways embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt plans to get out of his financial mess is to sell the TV rights to Dodgers games for future seasons. Well, Fox holds the Dodgers' TV rights through 2013 and has a problem with McCourt trying to negotiate a deal immediately (LATimes.com).

Johan's progress: Mets' ace Johan Santana continues to work his surgically repaired shoulder back into shape. After throwing a three-inning simulated game Saturday, he's now slated for two instructional league games (Oct. 1 and Oct. 7). (ESPN New York)

Happy Anniversary: On this day 15 years ago, Vladimir Guerrero hit his first career home run (Hardball Times). He now has 449.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Mets could cut payroll under $100 million in 2012

Reyes

By Evan Brunell

The New York Mets plan to pare payroll significantly next season, taking a $140-million team and slashing it down to at least $110 million, if not under $100 million.

The Mets aren't ready to commit to an overall payroll plan for 2012 because a lot of the decision hinges both on 2012 ticket prices and the fate of Jose Reyes. The team has yet to determine next year's ticket prices, which will directly influence the team's payroll budget. Plus, New York could choose to rebuild next year if Reyes departs, which would set the team up better for future success even if a year's pain would be needed, a source tells the New York Post's Joel Sherman for the first time on the record or on background.

Projected 2012 Mets
Lineup
C Josh Thole
1B Ike Davis
2B Ruben Tejada
3B David Wright
SS Jose Reyes?
LF Jason Bay
CF Angel Pagan?
RF Lucas Duda
Rotation/Closer
SP1 R.A. Dickey
SP2 Johan Santana
SP3 Mike Pelfrey?
SP4 Jon Niese
SP5 Dillon Gee?
CL Bobby Parnell
Helping matters is that the lineup and rotation for next season is pretty much ready to go, sans possible question marks at short and in center field, as well as the rotation, where the club could opt to non-tender Mike Pelfrey. If the team brought Reyes back, they would make more of a push to contend but still wouldn't go past $110 million in payroll, and that essentially guarantees the team next season looking much like this year's, as you can see from the table to your right. The projected lineup and rotation next season could be just like this year's, with Johan Santana added after a year-long rehab.

Why minimal change?

To start, the Mets don't have much choice. There are five players signed for 2012 at $60.45 million. Adding Reyes around $20 million annually would push the total cost to $80.45 million, leaving just $30 million to spread out among 19 other players. That's not a lot of flexibility, which would demand the Mets retain many of their players, especially those who have yet to hit free agency and can still be controlled at lower dollars.

But don't forget -- the Phillies aren't going anywhere, the Braves are a strong team and the Nationals are starting to worry many in the game. That's a lot of teams to get through to make the postseason, and the Mets aren't dripping with enough talent to make it happen. They could be better off punting 2012 -- if Reyes doesn't return... or even if he does -- to get one year closer to the end of Santana and Jason Bay's contracts, while bringing along their top prospects for another year. With Jenrry Meija undergoing the knife for Tommy John surgery and Zach Wheeler along with Matt Harvey still a year or two out, it may be the prudent move to load up for 2013... especially given the elite free-agent class that currently projects to hit the market. Sherman cites Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain as potential free agents.

While the Mets may be -- are -- paring payroll so the Wilpons can save money in light of the Bernie Madoff case, they're also slashing payroll because there just isn't much that can be done. Treating 2012 as a rebuilding year to evaluate the team may be the most prudent course of action, Reyes or no Reyes. And if there's one thing about GM Sandy Alderson we know, it's that he's smart and if the best course of action -- even in a major media market like New York -- is to wait another year for the best chance at long-term success, he will do it.

And frankly, if you look at the team, it's the right move. The Mets should do what they can to bring back Reyes, but any retention of Reyes would have to be with the idea that the contract would pay far more dividends in 2013 and beyond, not 2012. Lip service would be paid toward making the postseason next year with Reyes, of course, but it wouldn't go beyond that unless New York surprises and stays in contention deep into July.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com