New York Mets extend GM Sandy Alderson three years

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The New York Mets recently announced they had given general manager Sandy Alderson a three-year contract extension through 2017.

Alderson, who took over as GM after the end of the disastrous 2010 season, was tasked with rebuilding the organization from the ground up. Alderson has succeeded in doing just that, despite the financial constraints of the majority owners, the Wilpons.

Their financial issues stem from the Bernie Madoff scandal. While the Mets have not had a winning season since 2008, Alderson has infused the Mets with good, young pitchers, highlighted by Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, and relievers Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia.

Alderson traded for catcher Travis d’Arnaud, and brought along outfielders Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker to go along with veterans second baseman Daniel Murphy and team captain, third baseman David Wright.

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Wildcard epic

Alderson has completed the first part of his task, rebuilding the organization, making them ready for contention. Alderson deserves to see his mission through and return the Mets to the playoffs next year. To do that, Alderson needs a big bat or two to bolster the Mets anemic offense.

When Alderson took over the Mets were riddled with terrible contracts from Omar Minaya’s six-year tenure. Lefty pitcher Oliver Perez was in the final year of a three-year $36 million contract, second baseman Luis Castillo was also in the final year of a four-year $25 million contract, and closer Francisco Rodriguez in the last year of a 3-year $37 million deal but with an option for 2012 worth $17.5 million if he finished 55 games.

Alderson released the underperforming Perez and Castillo during Spring Training, while he traded Rodriguez away to Milwaukee during the 2011 All-Star break for salary relief.

Alderson has restructured this team largely through trades. Star outfielder Carlos Beltran was considered by many to be washed up after missing half of the 2010 season because of knee surgery.

Big trades

After Beltran’s standout first half of 2011, Alderson traded the aging veteran to the San Francisco Giants, netting top pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler. After knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey’s 2012 Cy Young season, Alderson made the bold move and traded Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays along with catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas (aka the non-elite prospect) in exchange for top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, catchers John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud, and a player to be named later.

Buck was later swung to Pittsburgh with outfielder Marlon Byrd for reliever Vic Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera. Syndergaard is considered by many to be one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, ranking the tenth best prospect in all of the majors, d’Arnaud was ranked the best catching prospect at the time of his debut in August of 2013, while Black and Herrera both made big contributions to the 2014 team.

The Mets need to do more to truly become a contender and that falls squarely on Sandy Alderson and the front office. Thanks to Alderson’s efforts, the Mets have a stockpile of good young pitching (the Mets ranked sixth best in the NL in ERA). Using that as a strength, the Mets should be able to acquire a bat to boost the meager offense.

According to the Mets finished tied with the Houston Astros for 21st in baseball in runs scored, with 629 runs scored, 26th in OPS with .673, ahead of only Atlanta, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and San Diego, and 27th in slugging percentage and total bases.

Potential options

While Alderson and the Mets should not actively look to deal pitchers like Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, and pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard, Marcos Molina, and lefty Steven Matz, they must not be afraid of the big trade. That means looking at players like Colorado Rockies players Troy Tulowitzki (SS) and Carlos Gonzalez (OF), or perhaps a minor miracle to acquire Miami Marlins slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

The team is ready to compete thanks to Alderson’s efforts, but now is time for the next step.

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