The chief architect of the New York Mets’ pennant-winning 2015 team is fighting cancer, the team announced Friday.
General manager Sandy Alderson will be undergoing chemotherapy beginning next week to fight the unidentified form of cancer, which was discovered last month when Alderson underwent surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center in Manhattan.
“The doctors believe and have told Sandy that the cancer is very treatable and are optimistic about a full recovery,” said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon in a statement Friday. He indicated the Mets would not offer any additional information about Alderson’s cancer or further updates on his treatment.
The chemotherapy session will likely last between eight and 12 weeks, Wilpon said, but Alderson will continue his duties as the team’s general manager throughout the process. Alderson will not be able to participate in the MLB winter meetings next week; the annual conference of executives from all 30 MLB teams brings about major trades and free agent signings for the upcoming season.
Alderson joined the team following the 2010 campaign and led the Mets through an extensive rebuilding campaign, trading away some of the club’s veteran stars such as Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey for blue-chip prospects such as pitchers Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard and catcher Travis d’Arnaud. He also oversaw home-grown talents such as pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Jeurys Familia as they rose through the team’s minor league system.
After six straight losing seasons, the Mets sprung to life in 2015 and found themselves in contention for a division title in July. Alderson pulled the trigger on a number of key trades for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson and relief pitchers Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed. All five players helped the Mets claim the National League Eastern Division title, then playoff victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs to win the franchise’s fifth National League Championship. The Mets ultimately lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.
One sign of Alderson’s health problems occurred days after the World Series when he fainted following a press conference announcing that Mets manager Terry Collins signed a contract extension. The surgical procedure last month forced Alderson to miss the general managers meeting.
Wilpon and the club wished Alderson a speedy recovery, but added that he and Alderson’s team would be in close contact in the weeks ahead to prepare the Mets for the 2016 campaign.