MLB: Alderson looks to go shopping at winter meetings |

MLB: Alderson looks to go shopping at winter meetings

AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Sandy Alderson intends to come back from the winter meetings with at least one present for Mets fans – even though he isn’t planning to splurge.

“The bottom line is I hope that we come back with some new players,” the team’s new general manager said Friday. “I can guarantee you we’ll come back with some new players. I can’t guarantee how high-profile they will be or how many, but If nothing else we’ll pick in the Rule 5 draft just to say we brought a player back.”

Hired to replace the fired Omar Minaya, Alderson heads into his first winter meetings in charge of the Mets starting Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

“I do think we could be competitive. We have a lot of holes to fill. They’re not all front-line positions that need to be filled,” he said. “It’s the backup outfielders. It’s the extra infielder. It’s the backup catcher. It’s the bottom half of the bullpen. It’s the tail-end of the rotation.”

Despite New York’s consecutive losing seasons, he’s satisfied with the basic core.

“In terms of front-line position players, we’ve got a good team,” he said. “The rotation is a little short and our bullpen is a little short right now. We need more depth.”

NOTES: The Mets will start interviewing hitting coach candidates in the next few days and hope to hire a new scouting director and minor league field coordinator to replace Terry Collins, who replaced Jerry Manuel as manager. … The Mets plan on having LHP Oliver Perez, a bust in two seasons since signing a $36 million, three-year contract, pitch at spring training ahead of his deal’s final season. Alderson and Collins hope to watch him pitch winter league ball in Mexico – “particularly if he’s pitching in Cancun,” Alderson quipped. … Alderson plans to have lunch with Minaya to discuss a possible role in the organization. … Alderson anticipates Johan Santana will return to the mound sometime next season following surgery. Alderson doesn’t intend to discuss a contract extension for Jose Reyes before spring training. He said New York has not yet offered contracts to free agent pitchers Jeff Francis and Chris Young.