Though a strong showing earlier today against St. Louis by the recovering Johan Santana provides a glimmer of hope for the 2012 New York Mets, the 2-1 defeat dropped the Amazingly Destitutes to a 4-12 Grapefruit League mark.  With the club already in midseason form on the field, GM Sandy Alderson — having already used up his best lines on Twitter —- indicated ownership’s recent settlement with Madoff trustee Irving Picard was unlikely to result in new spending, quipping, “the last I heard, Albert Pujols was already signed.”  YOU’RE KILLING US, SANDY. From the New York Post’s Mike Puma :

“We’re going through a process of redirection and sort of reinvigoration,” Alderson said. “That takes a little bit of time and a little bit of patience. But I do believe having put [litigation] behind us and the likelihood of major investment in the team allows us a greater array of options.

“The immediate impact on our payroll is going to be negligible. [But] I do think the overall environment will be much more positive and allow us and fans to focus more on the team and less on the other externalities.”

Alderson indicated the decision to drop the payroll from $140 million in 2011 to about $90 million this year was more about evolution than uncertainty over what kind of payout ownership could be facing in a trial. He called last year’s payroll level “unsustainable” and cited the need for flexibility.