After nearly a month of waiting for Mets’ brass to search for a new general manager to replace Omar Minaya, Mets fans can finally exhale. The team is taking a huge step in the right direction.
In a surprising move considering the usual poor choices on behalf of the Wilpon family, the Mets heavily pursued well-known veteran baseball executive Sandy Alderson, who ironically has spent the past few seasons monitoring Major League Baseball’s activity in Latin America. Alderson is famous for being the boss of Billy Beane in Oakland, where the franchise’s careful and sabermetric approach to building a team resulted in the book, Moneyball. In other words, Alderson knows how to run a franchise.
Alderson’s experience will help the Mets select a manager in an off-season that is not exactly the best when it comes to managerial choices. It will be interesting who the Mets will even interview for the vacant skipper job, which I assume will at least include Wally Backman. I’m not sure if the Mets will consider Bobby Valentine, but the rumors have swirled around him for quite some time now without much to show.
Alderson signed a 4-year deal and Mets fans will be demanding change early and often. In his interview at CitiField today, he said that he is the type of general manager that wants action and does not take his time. Depending on the moves that he decides to make this off-season, I still expect the Mets to take a season or two to rebuild the team before making a serious run at the postseason.
Alderson will have some major decision to make with the core of this team. As Carlos Beltran’s contract nears its’ end and as Jose Reyes shows that he has already reached his peak, Alderson will need to decide now if he wants to keep these players in Flushing or ship them out. The only player that appears to be totally safe, in my opinion, is David Wright. Wright’s great numbers this season shows that he belongs on this team to maintain balance in the lineup. Jason Bay’s lackluster first season at CitiField was ended abruptly by concussion problems after he ran into a wall, but the Mets will most likely leave him right where he is considering the magnitude of his contract and the fact that there are multiple years left on it.
What the Mets do with Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez will be the most interesting. Perez is under contract for the upcoming season and cannot be sent down to the minors without his permission, despite his subpar numbers in recent years. Castillo is never healthy, and always is dealing with an injury. He has even asked during the season that he receive some days off during the week to alleviate the pressure on his leg, which the Mets cannot afford to do. Many writers and fans have begged the Mets in recent years to at least look at veteran workhorse of a second baseman Orlando Hudson, but the team hasn’t even seemed to look at him. Perhaps Alderson will pursue him, as he is a free-agent this off-season and the Mets could use him at second base.
Alderson’s work begins immediately, but first and foremost he will join the rest of the team’s executives in the search for a general manager.