Don't expect New York Mets president Sandy Alderson to follow in his predecessor's footsteps by swinging an eye-popping trade.
Alderson, who the team re-hired earlier this month after a two-year absence, made it clear Sunday the Mets plan to be less active on the trade market this offseason. Instead, he'll be looking to make improvements in free agency while trying to hold onto the prospects remaining in their feeder system.
"We're going to sort of recommit to our farm system and try to stay away from (moving) our really good prospects in significant trades," Alderson told MLB Network Radio's Jim Bowden and Dan Duquette. "There are only two currencies in baseball: Players and money. And right now, especially (in) the upper levels of our system, we don't have the players. We have some money at this point. And so, you know, we're going to sort of balance those two things.
"We expect to be somewhat active in the free-agent market, as opposed to the trade market. We don't want to give up our young guys."
MLB.com ranked New York's system 20th out of 30 clubs at the midway point of last season. Only three of their top 30 prospects are among the top 100, with MLB.com ranking their No. 1 prospect, Ronny Mauricio, 57th.
New Mets owner Steve Cohen has made no secret about his desire to spend money this offseason. The franchise has been linked to most of the biggest free agents available, including catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder George Springer, and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer. Star Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor has also been mentioned as one of the team's trade targets.
New York's only acquisition so far this winter has been right-hander Sam McWilliams on a one-year deal. Former All-Star starter Marcus Stroman also returned to the team after accepting its qualifying offer.
MLB's hot stove has been slow to heat up this winter, but Alderson indicated he's not planning to sit still for too much longer. He said the Mets are already speaking to multiple players on the market and they have no plans to wait until after Wednesday's non-tender deadline before moving.
"We're certainly not being cautious about it," Alderson told Duquette and Bowden, according to Newsday's Colin Stephenson. "We're in active conversations with a variety of people. So, we're not waiting for the market to develop at this point, we're trying to be a little more aggressive.
"We've got a number of holes to fill. We've got some depth that we need to create. So I think there are a lot of ways that we can approach this. But we're hopeful that we will be active players (in free agency)."