The New York Mets look likely to retain general manager Sandy Alderson for two more years–a move that is rightly justified.
It’s the Fall of 2010 and Richard Lynn “Sandy” Alderson is named the general manager of the New York Mets. Having to pick up the pieces after the fallout from Bernie Madoff’s scandal that impacted team owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon, Alderson had his work cut out for him. If someone were to have told you that in five years that Mets would be playing in the World Series, you would have asked where to sign.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News recently reported that the soon to be 70-year-old Alderson will finalize a two-year extension with the club. He may not have been King Midas-like in all his transactions during his tenure in Queens, but it’s hard to argue that he’s the not the right guy for the near future.
Alderson, despite working with financial constraints in the nation’s largest media market, rebuilt a club that for a time was the laughingstock of the National League. Remember when #LolMets was a thing? Yeah, what a time to represent the orange and blue.
The R.A. Dickey for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud trade stands out as one of Alderson’s top moves. An aging knuckleballer for a man now referred to as “Thor?” That’s highway robbery in today’s game.
Let’s not forget, his savvy extends far beyond that. He flipped Matt den Dekker for Jerry Blevins, exchanged several B-level prospects for Addison Reed, and brought the useful Kelly Johnson aboard–twice. There was once a time when a decision had to be made if Ike Davis or Lucas Duda was to be kept as the Mets first baseman of the foreseeable future–it’s pretty obvious he made the right call there. Juan Uribe‘s impact in 2015 is well documented while the addition of Yoenis Cespedes remains one of the most significant in franchise history.
Okay, so Sandy isn’t perfect–sacrificing a first-round draft pick for Michael Cuddyer wasn’t the most prudent decision, nor was drafting Brandon Nimmo before Jose Fernandez. Frank Francisco‘s stint in New York was unsuccessful if we’re being kind while trading Angel Pagan to San Francisco for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez proved to be a flop.
Letting Daniel Murphy go was an obvious mistake, but was there anyone that could have predicted Murph’s career exploding into one of the game’s elite (put your hand down if you voted yes)?
Say what you will about the savvy sabermetrician, but his list of good certainly outweighs the negative. Yes, he inherited some young players that were previously brought in by former GM Omar Minaya that helped build the foundation of the franchise–Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia, amongst others. There’s no doubt they made his job easier, but they were far from guarantees at the time of Alderson’s arrival.
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Alderson constantly has faced intense heat from fans and media about the team’s payroll. That topic has always been a topic every year since the Madoff disaster impacted the franchise.
Hint: It’s probably going to be a huge topic this winter, too.
Operating with limited financial resources, Alderson built a winner in New York.
Maybe the dynasty centered around a fireballing rotation never did or will materialize as he had once envisioned (heck, we all envisioned it at some point), but he brought success and created memories for a franchise and a fan base that could only have dreamt of such things when he took the job.
It’s possible that he values power over defense a little too much. It’s possible that he prioritized the bullpen one year too late.
It’s also possible that perfection wasn’t part of the job. The man battled cancer in an effort to bring a championship to Queens for goodness sake. It’s only right he gets two more years to try again.