Sandy Alderson had a Q&A with season ticket holders Saturday afternoon, he addressed many topics including Bringing in the fences, Murphy Trade bait?, and Payroll for next season.
Sandy Alderson said revising the dimensions of Citi Field will be considered. But the GM did not portray that as any kind of cure-all for the Mets' hitting woes.
Sandy Alderson has not ruled out more adjustments to Citi Field, but also doesn't portray that as a "panacea."
"This is our ballpark. We have to build a team that can be successful here," Alderson said. "We may have some difference of opinion as to how to do that, but that's obviously what we're trying to do. As I said earlier, when we improved our outfield defense last year, we got much better in this ballpark. And so I think that was one example of how we have adapted. And I think those are the kinds of things we need to continue to do.
"At the same time, look, changing the ballpark is not a panacea for not hitting with men in scoring position. It's not going to change our rate of singles that we hit with a man at second base. So when I suggest that we look at the dimensions of the ballpark, that doesn't mean that I think that's the solution. It's just part of the equation. We're not trying to degrade the ballpark or shift the focus to the ballpark from other things as to why we don't win at home. But hopefully we'll take all of these things into account as we continue to try to get better at home."
Asked in a Q&A for an assurance Murphy will not be dealt amid speculation on Twitter and blogs that he may end up available, Sandy Alderson answered:
"Look, we have a real appreciation for Dan Murphy. Murphy is somebody who is an offensive player, who has really done some things this year to improve himself as an offensive player. His on-base percentage is much higher than it has been in recent years. He goes the other way. So there's no question in terms of this ballpark, he's been a plus. You know, we talk about all the time: We're looking for players that are willing to play in New York or can play in New York. He hits in New York. He hits in this ballpark.
"He's done a nice job getting himself to the point where he plays second base as well as he does. So, you know, I haven't been on Twitter in a long time. So I know you haven't been reading my tweets. And I don't think you've been reading them from Terry [Collins] either. So, at this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight."
Sandy Alderson was asked whether the payroll would increase from its current level (about $85 million) in 2015. Here's the full text of how the GM replied:
"Well, coming into this season we did have money to spend," Alderson said. "It was money that had come off the books and reallocated. So we signed Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon. We brought in Chris Young. We did some other things. So our payroll this year is roughly the same as it was last year, but we reinvested quite a bit of that money.
"Look, what I have said on many occasions is it's not up to you to come and create a situation where we can improve our payroll. We need to play better with what we have. And I don't define that in terms of payroll, but with the players that we have. We're two months into this season. As I said, I think we're close. And I think we have the capacity to play better. Statistically, we've got to get back to ... average with respect to wins with one-run leads and that sort of thing.
"So are we going to increase the payroll next year? I think that's something that we deal with after this season is over. If we're in a position [where] we're competing, we're vying for a wild-card spot or a division championship on July 31, I think we have the capacity to make a move. There's no question about that.
"Look, with all of the frustration and disappointment that some of us feel, No. 1, it's a fairly recent phenomenon. You know, 10 days ago we were a game under .500. And we had a tough road trip. And I'm not trying to make excuses for me or the team or the players. We went into Philadelphia and won four out of five. That was an exhausting series. There's no question about that. And I think we got to Chicago and were maybe a little bit tired. Not an excuse. A lot of close games. We didn't win them. We played a better-than-Chicago-Cub team in San Francisco. All of those games were close. That was a six-day shutout. And that's what got us to where we are right now.
"But, as I said before, we have some strengths. The pitching is a strength. We're getting there offensively. We're finding where we can fit the pieces in that lineup. I really do believe that we are close. So let's focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let's see where we are. And then in the offseason, that's another question you can ask me and I'll have to answer again, for sure."