General manager Sandy Alderson admitted Tuesday that he was "a little surprised" at the Rockies' stunning trade of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who had been a Mets trade target as recently as a few days ago.
But Alderson refused to elaborate on trade negotiations, which eventually led to the Mets watching as the Rockies sent Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and prospects.
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"Well, our conversations involved more than an inquiry on our part," Alderson said. "It went further than that. But beyond that, I just can't comment."
According to sources, the Mets had come away from talks with the Rockies with some doubt about their intentions of moving the shortstop.
The Rockies moved Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto for Reyes and pitching prospects Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco.
Before the 2011 season, Colorado and Tulowitzki agreed to a contract that guaranteed him $132 million over seven seasons from 2014-20. The deal included a $14-million team option for 2021 with a $4-million buyout.
According to a report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Tulowitzki's preference was not to play for the Mets, a request the Rockies ultimately obliged.
Tulowitzki's trade also led to questions about his teammate, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Rockies are said to have put Gonzalez on the block. But a source said the Mets aren't interested in Gonzalez, put off by myriad factors including cost and his extreme home and road splits.
Nor do the Mets have interest in any potential reunion for Reyes, whose hefty contract might make him available even after Friday's 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
The Mets regard Reyes as an imperfect fit, given his cost and performance, according to a person familiar with the team's thinking. He is signed through 2017 with $44 million owed after this season.
According to a source, even though the Blue Jays had floated word around the league that they were motivated to deal Reyes, the Mets never made a move in that direction.
The Mets continue to monitor the outfield market.
"We're still talking," Alderson said. "I've been hesitant to make predictions in the past and continue to be hesitant to do so. So there's still a few days to go. We'll continue to talk and see where it takes us."
The Mets have been linked to outfielders such as the Reds' Jay Bruce, the Padres' Justin Upton and the Brewers' duo of Carlos Gomez and Gerardo Parra.
Rival executives say that prices are high, though they could drop as the deadline approaches.
But the Mets' next addition would likely not be in the bullpen, even though the addition by trade of Tyler Clippard came as the club lost Jenrry Mejia to a second PED suspension.
"I'd be surprised if we go after somebody else at this point," Alderson said. "We were able to accomplish an upgrade in experience [in Clippard], which was the essential thing we were looking to do."