Re-Introducing Sandy Alderson

There was a time when Sandy Alderson needed no introduction. Back in 1997, when he stepped aside as general manager of the A’s to make room for Billy Beane, Alderson was the longest-tenured GM in baseball. 

But for a new generation of baseball fans, Alderson is far less recognizable than, say, Theo Epstein. After more than a decade of behind-the-scenes work – first as Padres CEO and then confronting identity fraud and drug use in the Dominican Republic – Alderson is re-emerging as a GM candidate, this time for the Mets.

Some consider Alderson the favorite for the position, even though he hasn’t been a GM since Ruben Tejada was a third grader. Thirteen years later, Alderson signings like Miguel Tejada and Miguel Olivo still appear on major league rosters, but don’t let that fool you – most of Alderson’s players retired long ago.

Dusty Baker and Willie Randolph, two players involved in Alderson trades, have since become major league managers. Joe Morgan, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson are among the Hall of Famers who played under Alderson.

The 62-year-old is well-established enough that even veteran GMs like Beane and Kevin Towers look up to him.

“Having seen what Sandy did in Oakland, he's always been kind of a mentor,” Towers told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2005.

And while Beane is the poster boy for “Moneyball” thinking, Alderson was a forward thinker in the A’s front office. He surrounded himself with people trained in quantitative analysis to make the most of the team’s resources.

The A’s, like the Padres, operate on a limited budget, so despite all of his time in the game, Alderson’s experience comes mostly from small West Coast markets. In fact he has a history of speaking out against massive contracts. Ten years ago, when Scott Boras negotiated a $252MM deal for Alex Rodriguez, Alderson was not pleased.

"On hearing it for the first time, a certain amount of disbelief set in on my part,'' Alderson told the Los Angeles Daily News at the time. ''I'm sort of stupefied by the whole thing. We have effectively doubled the previous most lucrative contract [Mike Hampton's] in two days. I don't like the exponentiality of all that. To me, it's incredible. I think every club is going to have to consider the impact on them.”

Even if he gets the Mets job, there’s a good chance Alderson will never sign anyone to a $252MM deal. But in New York he’d likely have more spending power and more exposure than he had in Oakland or San Diego – a new challenge for a veteran GM.

Full Story | 29 Comments | Categories: New York Mets

29 Responses to Re-Introducing Sandy Alderson Leave a Reply

  1. sf55forlife 5 years ago

    Mets better pass on him and go with Rick Hahn. It’s time the Mets entered the age advanced statistics.

    • adropofvenom 5 years ago

      Uhh, Sandy Alderson was Billy Beane’s mentor, I think he knows a thing or two about advanced statistics.

      PS: Omar Minaya had 2 full time statheads employed under him, of course, to what extent they were listened to is highly debateable. But it’s not like they’re foreign to the concept.

    • fonzieandventura 5 years ago

      He was the godfather to likes of Beane in Oakland. I would say Alderson fits fine in the new age. And I don’t follow the White Sox but nothing on that team by the numbers seems assembled by advanced sabermetrics.

    • Just_MLB 5 years ago

      Sandy seems like he has the cojones to tell Jeff to s-t-f-u. that alone is enough for me.

  2. $1529282 5 years ago

    Alderson seems like a good candidate for the Mets, though. He’s familiar with being in a position of management for teams with a spacious ballpark (Oakland, San Diego) and likely has an understanding of how to structure a team best-suited to that ballpark. He’s got experience and respect from other general managers around the league, and unlike years past, will have an easier time achieving his vision for his team thanks to a larger payroll.

    I think he’ll be able to structure a winning team for the Mets if he’s given the opportunity. The framework is there, it just needs some work. That, and a GM who won’t sign Oliver Perez for $36MM and Luis Castillo for $24MM.

    • Just_MLB 5 years ago

      how about a GM that trades David Murphy for Eric Gagne, signs Julio Lugo for 36 million, signs Mike Lowell for 36 million, signs John Lackey for 82 million ?
      how about Brad Penny, John Smoltz…

      theo or any other GM would’ve been ran out of town by 2008.

      • jwredsox 5 years ago

        And drafts Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester, Papelbon, Bard, Ellsbury, signs HRan, trades fan favorite Nomar, trades for J. Bay, doesn’t resign J. Bay, resigns Beckett the first time, Marco Scutaro, idk some play named Adrian Beltre (might have heard of him) gets Boston its first WC in 86 years, and gets another WC. Hard to see what people see in him.

        • Just_MLB 5 years ago

          my point is that as great as theo has been for the red sox, he would’ve been ran out of town in NYC. theo first off inherited a team that won 93 games the year before he got there….and won 90 games 3 of the previous 5 years. the mets from 2002-2004 had the worst record in baseball, no farm system, and going on there 3rd GM in 3 years.considering Omar had little to no experience in building a team, I think he did a great job turning around a sinking ship AND rebuilding their farm at the same time by not trading every prospect for a failed run at a pennant. my whole point was the poster above names the castillo and perez transactions as if thats all omar did. everyone quickly forgets how bad the mets were before omar got there and how quickly they turned around. from 2002-2004 they had the worst record in mlb…from 2005-2008 they had the best record in the NL…not saying theo couldnt do that…im saying that theo ( or any other GM ) could never get away with making bad signings or trades cuz the wilpons are NOT eating contracts….the media in boston had theo running around in a gorilla suit at the end of the 2005 season…the NY media would’ve had him jumping off a bridge dressed up as MR. Met hope that helps.

          • mikefichera 5 years ago

            We weren’t winning games. We were wasting our offseason signing players like Kelvim Escobar for a million dollars…and the guy never even threw a pitch. This is why he had to go.

          • Coples_Therapy 5 years ago

            You’re right, Omar Minaya is a better GM than Theo Epstein.

        • Epstein didn’t draft Youklis. He DID keep him from being traded to Billy Beane, but he didn’t draft him. Still, calls into question how much of your other points are correct.

          Still, Epstein’s a winner. Silly to say otherwise.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            no way am i disputing theo is a winner. he is a top 5 GM. he also inherited a top 5 team. when he came in. put those 2 together and u get 2 WS rings and a slew of postseason appearences.

            put theo or cashman in queens and they’re jumping off a bridge in 2 years.

        • Megatron619 5 years ago

          Bay was in the Manny deal, Nomar was traded for Orlando Cabrera and Mientkiewicz, who probablys still has the 2004 World Series Ball

        • Megatron619 5 years ago

          Bay was in the Manny deal
          Nomar was traded for Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz

  3. padreshobo 5 years ago

    Never felt like he put together a team built for Petco the entire time he was here.

    • Hubbs2 5 years ago

      The difference between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 for the fathers was minimal

  4. $1742854 5 years ago

    Sandy–come bring a champion to Minnesota!!!

  5. Tko11 5 years ago

    Supposedly he has a good relationship with Wilpon too…

  6. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Everyone seems to think that Alderson and the Mets is a fait accompli. I not convinced, it depends how much latitude the Wilpons give him in actually running the club. Alderson is not a rubber stamp and if he is offered the job with restaints, he could just walk away.

  7. hawkny1 5 years ago

    If its Alderson….signing him from year to year would make sense, just in case he is along for the ride, at 62 years of age. FWIW, Mets would be better off going with a youth movement, starting at the GM’s slot, and moving on down to the 25-man roster. To say that the Mets, from the ownership level to the team on the field has grown stale is, in MHO, an understatement. The organization has to stop trying to be the “little cousin” of the team in the Bronx.
    The club might start by moving their AAA team closer to their home field, say, to Hartford, Albany, Jersey City, etc… Richmond, VA, is closer to NYC than Buffalo, NY is… there is need for cohesion, ala, the regular Army and the National Guard, when playing 162 game regular season with only 25 players to call upon each night. The Mets have to learn how to use their 40-man roster effectively. Can’t do that with 15 team members in Buffalo, or Toledo, etc..

    • Megatron619 5 years ago

      What’s to say a 63 Year Old GM is bad
      Torre, LaRussa, Cox and Manuel are all 60+ and they’re still good managers

      • hawkny1 5 years ago

        Excuse me?
        We are talking GM’s here…not managers..
        Alderson is no Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, etc…..the latter are young, well educated, hard working…..very sharp…  can’t say the same about Sandy, not today…

        • dbreer23 5 years ago

          While he may not be a spring chicken, Alderson is more than qualified from an educational standpoint – earned a degree from Dartmouth, and after joining the Marines and fighting in Vietnam, he then earned a law degree from Harvard. He even serves as an adjunct at UC-Berkeley.

          Who’s to say that Alderson can’t be hired and then handpick his successor in 3-5 years – sort of like Hart/Shapiro in Cleveland (or Hart/Daniels, for that matter). That way, they can keep some cohesion in philosophy even as Alderson ends any possible tenure in NY.

  8. How the hell would you know exactly how sharp and educated alderson is? Guy went to harvard or princeton, im sure hes plenty sharp. To say that a GM needs to be “young” to draft and choose good talent is unfounded. I dont know how that makes any sense. If the guy knows baseball, he knows baseball regardless of his age.

  9. ruds 5 years ago

    Cashman has an elite budget. I don’t know that that makes him an elite GM. Theo has amassed a great amount of young, affordable talent. I can’t say the same with Cashman.

    • And you’re implying that Boston doesn’t have an elite budget? Funny.

      At the same time, it’s unfounded to fault a GM that works for a team with deep pockets. To say a GM is bad because he has a lot of money at his disposal is more opinion than fact.

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