Mets make statement with signings at Meetings
GM Alderson lands Granderson, Colon, while making progress on trade front
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Over the span of four days at the Winter Meetings, public perception of the Mets underwent a complete metamorphosis. Gone was the team that spent most of the early winter serving as daily tabloid fodder, replaced by a sleeker version with a clear and concise message:
The Mets are trying to win.
One of the Meetings' most active teams, the Mets officially signed outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, then unofficially inked starting pitcher Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million pact. Those two deals completely overhauled their depth chart, giving the Mets a legitimate outfield for the first time in years and a quartet of starters with proven big league talent.
Along the way, the Mets laid groundwork for a potential trade of Ike Davis, which could happen soon. They spoke to agents regarding their need in the bullpen. And they came away satisfied with the knowledge that, in addition to what they accomplished here at Disney, they are in good shape to continue making progress over the coming weeks.
"We're happy with the way that the four days went," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "We've made some progress on the trade front. We've talked to a lot of free agents. So from that standpoint, we're very happy. I think we're positioned to do perhaps some other things later on, but I'm happy with the four days."
Though Alderson could not comment on the Colon signing because it is unofficial, he noted that his team's activity "provides us with the type of depth that we're going to need through the course of a season.
"We have lots of young talent, but we don't want to rely on it entirely. Adding experienced pitching, whether at the top end of a rotation or elsewhere, was an important factor for us. Look, pitching is pitching. We all know how important it is in baseball."
With that in mind, Alderson will spend the nine weeks between now and Spring Training searching for a veteran reliever and potentially another starter, as well as an upgrade at shortstop if possible. He could fill his outstanding pitching needs through free agency, though much will depend upon how the trade market for Davis unfolds. And it will unfold soon.
For the Mets, the Meetings' final image was that of Alderson walking into Brewers manager Doug Melvin's suite, presumably to touch base about Davis one last time. Like the rest of baseball, Melvin understands that Alderson is no longer posturing.
The Mets are officially open for business.
Deals done: The Mets signed Granderson to a four-year, $60 million deal and reached an agreement with Colon on a two-year, $20 million contract.
Rule 5 Draft activity: The Mets selected right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin from the Phillies, then traded him to the Dodgers for cash. They did not lose any players in the Major League phase of the Draft.
Goals accomplished: With Colon, the Mets no longer have to worry about who replaces rehabbing starter Matt Harvey's innings. With Granderson and Chris Young, the Mets suddenly boast a power-hitting, defensive-minded outfield that not even remotely resembles the patchwork group they used last season.
Unfinished business: After laying groundwork with multiple teams this week, the Mets hope to accelerate their trade talks regarding Davis. The team would still like to sign a veteran reliever, could add a low-end starting pitcher and would love to upgrade at shortstop, though much of that depends on the Davis situation, and they may not ultimately accomplish all their goals. Alderson said Thursday that the Mets are far more likely to address their shortstop situation through the trade market than free agency, meaning Stephen Drew is not high on their wish list.
Team's bottom line: "We feel a lot better about our team today than we did two weeks ago." -- Alderson