Timing played a role in the Mets’ acquisition last week of James McCann, according to team president Sandy Alderson, who noted that the organization also spoke with the top free-agent catcher on the market, J.T. Realmuto.
Alderson said the match with Realmuto wasn’t right — or at least not right now.
“We can afford to wait to fill some [holes], but we can’t afford to wait to fill all of them,” team president Sandy Alderson said on Monday afternoon. “This wasn’t a compromise pick. Part of it was our really strong interest in James, but at the same time, we had conversations with J.T. ….The short answer is we talked to both.”
The move doesn’t take the Mets out of the running for other top end free agents — such as outfielder George Springer — but Alderson didn’t want to wait if he didn’t have to. He’s settling in for what he thinks will be a long offseason in baseball.
“When you have different parts of the market moving at different paces, you have to make some decisions,” he said. “You have to make choices, not only based on the player alternatives, but also the timing.”
Other executives have shared similar sentiments. Some want to know if there will be fans in the stands next season or if MLB will even play 162 games. They’ve relayed those concerns to players, which has helped cause some stagnation in the market, at least at the top end.
“Right now, things are a little slower in the gourmet section than they are in the meat department,” Alderson stated. “We’ve running up and down that aisle the last couple of weeks. Right now, I don’t think that part of the market is moving all that quickly.”
So the Mets jumped where they could and now will play the waiting game for any of the higher ends guys. That will undoubtedly spill into the New Year.
“I talked to one agent today who said [his client] might not sign until January or February,” Alderson said.
In addition to McCann, the Mets also added to their team in the form of a new general manager to work under Alderson. Former Red Sox, Cubs and Diamondbacks executive Jared Porter was introduced on Monday. He takes over the day-to-day operations of a team with deep pockets after billionaire Steve Cohen took over recently.
Alderson isn’t shying away from the reputation the Mets now hold as potential big spenders, as McCann hardly feels like the last headline making move the team will make this winter.
“Everyone knows how we’re positioned right now,” Alderson said. “There’s no secret there. The act that we’re involved in those [high-end] conversations doesn’t put more pressure on us.”
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