The Mets announced that general manager Sandy Alderson has signed an extension of undisclosed length with the team. “I’m excited that Sandy will continue to lead the organization,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon says in a press release announcing the extension. Previous reports had indicated that Alderson was likely to sign agree to a new two-year deal following the expiration of his previous contract, which ran through the end of 2017.
“I feel that we have some unfinished business,” says Alderson. “Spring Training is around the corner and our quest to return to the postseason will continue.”
The 70-year-old Alderson is entering his eighth season as general manager of the Mets, having been first appointed to the post as the successor to Omar Minaya after the conclusion of the 2010 campaign. Alderson’s Mets have posted winning records in just two of his seven years at the front office’s helm, though one of those positive seasons was a 90-win effort that saw the Mets advance to the World Series against the Royals in 2015. The Mets advanced to the postseason the following year as well, though quickly ousted by the Giants in the National League Wild Card game.
While Alderson takes his fair share of flak from the Mets’ faithful — some of it deserved — an extension has been rumored to be in the works for awhile now, and he’s made plenty of quality moves to better position the team for success. Alderson was in the GM’s chair when the Mets traded half a season of Carlos Beltran for then-prospect Zack Wheeler, and he opted trade R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays in a package that netted Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud rather than extend Dickey on the heels of his NL Cy Young victory. Alderson was also the top decision-maker when the Mets traded for and twice re-signed Yoenis Cespedes. Other, lower-profile moves such as opting to keep Lucas Duda over Ike Davis when the Mets had a pair of young, MLB-ready first base options also proved shrewd.
Of course, like any top-level baseball executive, Alderson has had his share of misses in his tenure. Allowing Daniel Murphy to walk and sign with the division-rival Nationals stands out perhaps chief among some missteps for the organization, and the 2017 season in general devolved into somewhat of a circus due to rampant injury issues and poor communication (both with the media and, reportedly, internally as well). Among the most eye-opening issues was the fact that Syndergaard reportedly declined a request to undergo an MRI just days before pitching and ultimately being diagnosed with a partially torn lat muscle.
The Mets are oft-criticized by the New York media for their failures to spend like a large-market powerhouse, though much of that is out of Alderson’s hands. Newsday’s Marc Carig, for instance, recently reported that Alderson and his front office often had to enter the offseason “flying blind,” with little to no information from ownership as to the level at which they’ll be able to spend. The Wilpons drew plenty of criticism over the summer amid the Mets’ medical turmoils, with ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reporting back in May that Jeff Wilpon “meddles” to a considerably greater extent than most owners.
It remains to be seen exactly how long Alderson will remain at the helm, though Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported back in October that assistant GM John Ricco could be in line to succeed Alderson, whether that happens at the conclusion of the 2019 season or further down the line.