By Zach Gewelb
Mets fans who have been dreaming about the end of Sandy Alderson’s tenure as the team’s general manager have to keep dreaming, as the club announced it has signed him to an extension last week.
Terms of the extension have yet to be revealed, but the extension comes as a bit of a surprise considering Alderson, 70, led the Mets to a 70-92 record in 2017, their worst mark since 2009. Add the fact that Alderson is getting up there in age and it’s easy to see why Mets fans may be upset about the move. But, as Alderson said in a team statement, he still has plenty of work to do.
“I feel that we have some unfinished business,” Alderson said in a statement. “Spring training is around the corner and our quest to return to the postseason will continue.”
Adding more fuel to the fire, the team announced it would be bringing back former General Manager Omar Minaya — who held the position before Alderson — as a special assistant to Alderson. Minaya’s clubs compiled a 577-557 record and his 2006 squad won 97 games and was one win away from earning a trip to the World Series.
Minaya’s tenure was decidedly average. He constructed good teams, but players he brought in via free agency or trades generally under performed. Nevertheless, he joins Alderson as the club attempts to bounce back from a dismal, injury-riddled 2017 campaign.
“Omar has a long history with the Mets,” Alderson said in a team statement. “He has served the club well in many different areas. Omar will be a resource on scouting and player development, will consult on player acquisitions and will serve as a community ambassador. We are very happy to have him back in the organization.”
The decision to bring Alderson back is not as crazy as it seems. While he’s led the Mets to just two winning season in his tenure, he just hired a new manager. Had there been any doubt regarding Alderson’s future, he would not have been the man to make the decision to bring Mickey Callaway in from Cleveland.
This is Alderson’s show, for better or worse. Much of his tenure has been defined by payroll limitations and injuries to his star players, so the lack of success can’t be placed solely on him. Armed with a new training staff, there is an expectation for a healthier 2018 campaign in which the Mets will see full seasons from Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard, among others.
If their star players can remain healthy, the Mets have a real chance to compete for a playoff spot. But Alderson is responsible for giving the team enough depth in case another barrage of injuries hits the club, something he failed to do last year.
Whether Mets fans like it or not, Alderson is the man for the job and will see things through for the time being.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe