Alderson downplays Mets financial issues

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Sandy Alderson late Thursday downplayed the significance of quotes attributed to him in a book in which he cooperated with the author.

In “Baseball Maverick,” a book by journalist Steve Kettmann, Alderson was quoted as saying about Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff and his impact on Mets spending: "Madoff wasn't even a topic of conversation in my interview for the Mets job. I didn't raise it. Maybe I should have. The bottom line is, I would have taken the job anyway. It just added to the challenge."

Adam Rubin/ESPNNewYork.com

Sandy Alderson again addressed Mets finances Thursday.

The book, according to an excerpt cited by Capital New York, also suggests Alderson would have more vigorously pursued Robinson Cano last winter if afforded more resources by Mets ownership.

“Some people want to interpret the last four years strictly in terms of what financial resources were available or not available to the Mets,” Alderson responded Thursday. “That’s a point of view that some people have. And people will extrapolate from whatever might suggest that as a continuing theme. From that standpoint, that’s never been an issue for me. I never talked about the payroll as an unfortunate limitation to us. I haven’t talked about it recently. I haven’t talked about it in the past. I don’t intend to. It’s not relevant to me.

“The last four years is a story of putting the franchise back into a competitive situation on the field with good players. I think we’re on the cusp of doing that.”

Alderson noted the payroll has risen $15 million since 2014.

“Look, our payroll is at $100 million right now, which is up about 20 percent from what it was last year,” he said. “I don’t think anybody has any complaints at all on our end.”

As for reportedly wanting to pursue Cano beyond a dinner to meet agent/rapper Jay-Z, Alderson said: “Robinson Cano was an entertaining diversion for us, but I don’t think we ever expected it was going to go anywhere. Jeff [Wilpon] and I had conversations about it. We decided to take a preliminary look at it, but I don’t think anybody had any expectations we were going to sign Robinson Cano. I certainly didn’t. And, from a strategic standpoint, it wouldn’t have been the right approach for us.”