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Picking apart Sandy Alderson

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In case you didn't see it in the comments, Sandy Alderson hosted a live chat yesterday. While curt with his answers, there do seem to be a few interesting insights.

  • While he continually touches on the fact that we're only a couple of weeks into the season, he does admit that our pinch hitters kinda suck so far.

  • He seems a little tight lipped about the local TV contract with Cox, which doesn't expire till 2010, I believe. Doesn't mention anything about trying to restructure it or anything. I wonder how much of a sore spot that is, especially with the people who came in after it was done. It would have to be like, "You did what!?"

  • On Khalil: "I would love to sign Khalil to a long-term deal when we see more consistency in his performance." It's interesting to imagine what management thinks of Khalil. I know I'd be thinking two things in particular. First, I'd have to wonder if Khalil's going to be a superstar or just a solid every day player. And second, I'd really be curious to get into Khalil's brain because he seems like he might be the type of guy who'd be willing to just stick it out with a club and stay for less cash. A very no nonsense, focused, not about the money type of guy.

  • I think Sandy's being honest about the amount of money being spent on players right now.
    These expenses, which many teams don't have to the same degree, are very significant for us and affect the amount that we can spend on payroll and other aspects of our operation.
    The question here was regarding the amount that was being spent on players when compared to revenue. However, if you look at the debt to value ratios you'll see that the Padres are carrying a pretty large debt compared to the other teams. I'm not sure what the exact numbers are before they start getting penalized, but the number they're at is pretty high.

  • Another point he elaborates on is the idea of what'll happen next year:
    In order to pursue free agents, you need two things: quality players to pursue and the cash to pay them. Next year we will have the payroll flexibility to add some players, but the free agent class for next year does not look strong if you consider ability and age. The most important thing that we can do to improve the team is to improve our farm system. Devoting some of the money that is typically thrown at free agents by clubs would be better spent on building the player development system.
    Next year of course is when we'll be free of some significant contracts. However, like he says, there may not be much in the way of free agents next season. *cough* *zito* *cough-cough*.
All in all, I thought he did the best he could with the questions asked. If we had actually won Thursday night's game, there may have not been the underlying bitterness in many of the questions so we'll have to see about the next Q&A before passing any judgement on Sandy's elusiveness.