SAN FRANCISCO -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he didn't trade any players at Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline because he wants the Mets to finish 2012 strong.
So Scott Hairston, the most attractive Met for trade purposes, started in leftfield against the Giants Tuesday night. Tim Byrdak was in the bullpen. And no players were en route to the Mets, either, as Alderson decided against adding any talent to the big-league roster.
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"Without getting significant help for 2013, we were not going to move players simply to move them,'' Alderson said on a conference call. "We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement to the overall player-development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a seller. But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren't simply going to make a move just to make a move.
"We didn't need to dump salary. And we were not interested in the types of prospects that were offered to us and would have had a very marginal impact on our system.''
The Mets went into Tuesday on a two-game winning streak and with a 50-53 record. They were 46-40 at the All-Star break. That they have gone 4-13 since didn't convince Alderson either to break up the team or add to it.
"I'm not sure we ever totally changed course,'' Alderson said. "If you go back and review the chronology of the last month, you realize that things changed pretty rapidly from just before the All-Star break and certainly right after the All-Star break until just the last four or five days.
"So in terms of being aggressively buying for 2012, certainly things changed during that period of time, and very swiftly. At the same time, we continued to look for opportunities to improve the team both this year and in 2013. And in some cases even looking at rental players that would have only helped us in 2012. We didn't give up on the buying activity at all. But certainly we ended up with a more modest agenda.''
Alderson's agenda -- and that of manager Terry Collins -- is to win as many games as possible, even if it doesn't lead to a playoff spot.
"I think there's a lot of value in, for example, making a run, even if it's unrealistic," Alderson said. "I think there's a lot of value, for example, in finishing well over .500. I think there's a lot of value in finishing over .500. I think those things create a perception. What happened or didn't happen on the deadline may be largely forgotten if a team is able to create a positive impression the second half of the season.
"We're about changing impressions, changing perceptions. And you do that with wins and losses, primarily. I understand our fans are disappointed with what's happened the last three weeks or so, but it's not the end of the season.''
Alderson said he had talks with three AL teams about Hairston, who said he didn't sleep well Monday night. But the free agent-to-be was glad to stay.
"Right now, he's a very important part of our team,'' Alderson said. "And we do feel it's important to field as strong a team as we reasonably can for the rest of the season. We haven't given up on the season. We didn't move players off the team for a reason. We think we still have lots of good baseball in front of us. And Scott can be part of that."