When Alderson was hired in 2010, this was an excerpt from his conference:
"When asked if 2011 will be a “caretaker year,” Alderson said he plans to put the best possible team on the field, even with the limited payroll flexibility. He hopes to put the Mets in the position where they can be aggressive in the market every offseason, but doesn’t see that happening this winter."-NBC Hardball
Aggressive doesn't mean "Spend on huge free agents, pursue every top free agent, and win through free agency", as many here would tend to believe. Aggressiveness through free agency can be just as detrimental as standing pat, making lateral trades, or trying to search for bargains. Look at how the Marlins played out this year, in addition to the Angels (Winning record, but nothing to show for it). The Mets even had a frigging book written about them called "The Worst Team Money Can Buy". Maybe you should be more versed about the history instead of being extremely short sighted and quick to insult a situation that you clearly don't know everything behind.
While Alderson has never formally said there was going to be a 5 year rebuilding plan, perhaps more, he has implied that this is going to take time to restructure. One may point to the draft and say that many of the picks weren't taken, and while that holds true, I think we have to wait and see how the extra money is going to be allocated. We don't know if they planned on spending some of that money on research, on facilities in the minor leagues, on improvements, paying off debts that the TEAM needs to pay off.
You say it's unacceptable that a New York team can't afford to sign Scott Hairston? That's fine. The thing is, they CAN afford to sign him, they just choose to (most likely) not spend their resources on a player who has a career year at age 32, who can't hit right handed pitching, who doesn't have the best OF defense, and will serve far better for an AL team if the need is there. Whether or not he should have been traded is a useless argument now. It's done.
What they can do is be creative in trades and free agency to get a player comparable to Hairston for less money. Wait and see. Don't expect Tori Hunter, Cody Ross, or someone along those lines, but don't be surprised to see people like Lucas Duda, Jon Niese, Daniel Murphy, or Bobby Parnell wearing a different uniform next year for a OF piece.