7/31/2013 7:30 P.M. ET
Conversations don't lead to Mets Deadline deal
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Though they worked the phones and negotiated right up until Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Mets, in the end, never came particularly close to making a deal.
General manager Sandy Alderson said he "had a lot of conversations" and was "certainly prepared" to deal veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd if the right package surfaced. But the offers he received did not entice him nearly enough to sacrifice competitiveness down the stretch.
"We've made it clear over the last couple of years that how we perform in the second half was important to us as an organization," Alderson said. "So players contributing to that performance in the second half had a certain value to us, both short-term this season and getting into longer-term. And if the market didn't reflect that value to us, we wouldn't make a deal. I think based on the fact that we did not make a trade, suffice it to say that the market didn't reflect that value."
Heading into the Deadline, Byrd was an obvious trade candidate due to his strong season -- a .282 average and 17 home runs entering Wednesday's play -- and low salary. The Mets also had incentive to trade him, given that Byrd will be a free agent after this season.
But given the quality of offers that came across his desk, Alderson assumed that rival clubs viewed Byrd more as a platoon bat than the everyday, middle-of-the-order player he has become with the Mets. So rather than give him up for a marginal chip, the Mets decided to keep a player critical to what Alderson called "maybe the most productive outfield in baseball" over the past month.
"From our standpoint, we weren't prepared to make a move just to make a move," Alderson said. "Nor were we prepared to make a move that would have perhaps significant short-term impact on the Major League team, and possibly only modest impact on the organization long-term."
For Byrd, the non-move means he has two months left to establish value in New York before looking to sign a new contract this winter. It was less than a year ago that Byrd was playing winter ball in Mexico, looking to resurrect a career damaged by the dual shadows of poor production and a performance-enhancing drug suspension.
He has since molded himself into a coveted player.
"If it happened, that [would have been] part of the business," Byrd said of potentially being traded. "But it didn't happen. I'm still here, I can be a part of this great organization and keep moving forward these next two months, see what we can do, see if we can make a push."
For Alderson, standing pat means little in the grand scheme of his plan. Though the GM did not spend much time discussing deals for players other than Byrd, he did have preliminary talks regarding hitters under team control in 2014 and beyond. Alderson may revisit those conversations this winter, perhaps looking to package some of his young pitchers for an impact bat.