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Mets are 2 1/2 games out in the National League East entering Saturday, and if they stay in the race until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, general manager Sandy Alderson says, he'll be shopping. What he nets, if anything, will depend on the price tag -- not so much in dollars but in talent.
"If we're in the race, as I expect we will be, I don't believe that money is going to be an issue for us," Alderson said during a Chatting Cage session on MLB.com on Friday, when he answered fans' questions before the Subway Series began. "We'll be looking for ways to help the ballclub. It's very possible we'll still need help in the bullpen at that time, but there may be some other areas of need that will emerge and we'll have to address."
Spending would be a positive sign for the Mets, whose payroll was trimmed in the offseason. But it would be tough to give up some of the Minor Leaguers Alderson's worked hard to stockpile in exchange for a player who might only stick around through the end of the season.
After all, it was the trade of Carlos Beltran that brought in MLB.com's top Mets prospect, Zack Wheeler, last year. It's near impossible to pull off a deal like that as a buyer.
Following is the transcript from Alderson's chat.
Is Buddy the dog with you?
Buddy's not here tonight, no, but he was at the ballpark for Johan's no-hitter. He's had a great year so far.
Can the Mets get some help before the All-Star break?
Well, we're going to do everything we can to keep David Wright -- that, unfortunately, is something we'll deal with in the offseason, not this year. With respect to a trade, probably not before the All-Star break but certainly during that period up through the end of July, we'll be looking. We'll see where we are.
Definitely, we expect to be in the race, and if we are, we will be active in the trade market.
What about a superstar?
Well, typically a superstar-type talent costs two things: money and prospects. And as I said earlier, I don't know that money will be an issue, certainly with a rental player or someone of that sort. Prospects [are] probably more of a concern for us. We've got a lot of good young players, a lot of good young players that are playing here in New York currently. But as young players, they can be inconsistent and perform well one time and not necessarily another. On the other hand, we have to see where we are at the time of the deadline or during the couple of weeks that lead up to it to really have a good sense of what our needs might be -- whether we need to fill in for a younger player or for a veteran player or for someone that's been injured.
We've had a lot of injuries at shortstop, for example, during the last month or so; that might be an issue for us. It's all going to depend on where we stand at the midpoint in July.
Again, if we're in the race, as I expect we will be, I expect us to be in that buyer's market and looking for help. Doesn't mean that we'll get what we need, but I certainly expect we'll be active in pursuing it.
You seem to keep a lower profile than the past tenants of your position. Is that intentional?
Well, I try to keep my profile in proportion to my importance, and frankly, the team is driven by the players and the manager, and I make my contributions with them or with the manager and my staff. I don't go out of my way to keep a low profile. On the other hand, I don't go out of my way to create a higher profile. I just think that the job is focused mostly on supporting the manager, the staff and the players.
Where was top pick Gavin Cecchini on your Draft board?
Gavin Cecchini was in the top six of our board. ... We expect him to play shortstop long-term. This is not somebody we drafted to be a utility player. There's been some talk about his speed and so forth. We look at him as a guy who can stay at short and hit, and also, as another dimension, be able to steal some bases. We're very pleased with him. He comes with great recommendations from his Team USA coaching staff. We followed him all year, and of course had him out to the ballpark -- in fact, he saw the no-hitter, the Johan no-hitter, at our ballpark with a group of our scouts. We're very pleased to have him. He was not a compromise selection by any means.