By Zach Gewelb
The Mets’ tragic season continues.
In addition to the team’s struggles on the field and numerous injuries keeping players off the field, the Mets announced Tuesday that general manager Sandy Alderson is taking a leave of absence from the club to continue his fight with cancer.
Alderson was originally diagnosed in 2015 and said the cancer returned in April or May of this year.
“Since that time I’ve been undergoing treatment,” Alderson said during a news conference Tuesday. “I expect to have surgery later in the summer. My prognosis is actually good.”
Alderson will step away from the team immediately, and it is not known when or if he will return to his role as general manager.
“If I were to look at it on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted,” Alderson said.
With Alderson sidelined, the Mets will turn to some of Alderson’s closest advisors in the organization, John Ricco, Omar Minaya and J.P. Ricciardi, to run the team.
The trio will work to turn the Mets’ season around, thought it may be too late to do that. With Alderson’s future with the club uncertain, perhaps now is the time to start a long overdue youth movement.
The Mets loaded up on veterans in hoping of making a postseason push this year. Those dreams now seem to be unrealistic. After a red-hot 11-1 start to the season, the Mets have fallen well under .500 and are fighting to stay above the horrid Miami Marlins in the National League East standings.
With the playoffs out of the picture, the Mets should look to deal their veterans and jumpstart their rebuild.
Everyone outside of Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario should be available in a trade.
Asdrubal Cabrera can fetch a couple of solid prospects from a contending team — perhaps the Dodgers, who have lost star shortstop Corey Seager for the season due to injury.
Todd Frazier would give a contender a strong defender, professional bat and a leader in the clubhouse. Yoenis Cespedes, if he’s healthy, could bring back a nice package, though the Mets would likely have to eat some money to get a better prospect haul.
Their biggest trade chip is probably Noah Syndergaard. The ace has been sidelined for most of the season, but would give a huge boost to any playoff contending team. He would also bring back the best package — outside of deGrom, that is — in terms of prospects, due to the fact that the team who acquires him would control him through the 2021 season. It wouldn’t be out of the question to ask for three or four top prospects for a guy like Syndergaard.
While Alderson’s situation is something no one should have to go through, it could provide an opportunity for the Mets to turn the page and kick off the next era of baseball in Queens.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe