PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - The Braves needed a starting pitcher after Kris Medlen injured an elbow ligament on Sunday pitching against the Mets. By Wednesday morning, Atlanta had signed free agent Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1-million deal.
Mets fans hoping the sudden signing would spur general manager Sandy Alderson to react by calling agent Scott Boras and immediately signing shortstop Stephen Drew will probably be disappointed by what Alderson had to say on Wednesday.
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Alderson, when asked about the Braves' move, assumed the questioner was making the exact leap many armchair general managers did: When are the Mets going to get as bold as Atlanta did?
"You mean in terms of our shortstop situation?" Alderson said. "Were you going to ask that as the next question? . . . I don't think has any significant bearing on us."
The Mets have a "shortstop situation" because underwhelming Ruben Tejada is the favorite to win the Opening Day job. Drew, who hit .253 with 13 HRs and 67 RBIs for the World Series champion Red Sox last season, is still available.
"I'm not interpreting in terms of, quote, our situation," Alderson said.
Some will interpret the Santana signing as an indication to the Braves' players that management is all in to win.
David Wright, the Mets captain, refused to get involved in whether his employers should be more aggressive in spending money. But he did heap praise on the Braves, who are expected to have a $110-million payroll with the Mets at about $87 million.
"It's a great move," Wright said. "It's a luxury for one of your best starters to go down and a few days later you can just sign one of the premier free-agent starters that's still out there. So it's a great move. They've been making great moves since I've been in the big leagues. This is no different."
Tejada, who hit .202 last season, spent a good chunk of the year in Triple-A and was criticized by Alderson for his work ethic. Alderson said last week he didn't want to put Tejada under a "microscope" so early in spring training, especially since the 24-year-old missed time with a hamstring injury.
On Wednesday, Tejada went 0-for-3 with a botched sacrifice bunt attempt and handled all five balls hit to him, including a throw home to nail a runner on a grounder. He will play a lot in the next few days.
"We will continue to look at how he's doing," Alderson said. "But it won't be a judgment based on one game or two games or three games. We've got a lot of spring training left. But in the meantime, we'll continue to look at what our options may be."
Wilmer Flores played shortstop on Tuesday in his first start at the position since 2011. After bobbling a potential double-play grounder on his first chance (but getting an out), Flores handled his other three chances cleanly.
"I thought he was fine," Alderson said. "I'm not smart enough based on the first-inning bobble to know that he can't play shortstop."
Manager Terry Collins said he wasn't concerned about the Santana signing.
"I don't worry about anyone else," Collins said. "I've got enough on my plate. I'm not like a lot of guys. I don't sit there and mope over the Internet about who's got who. I worry about what I got."