The Mets and Sandy Alderson appear weeks away from announcing a contract extension beyond his 2015 option, according to columnist David Lennon (Newsday, Aug. 7).
“We’ve always believed the only way he is ever stripped of the GM title is if Alderson chooses to leave Flushing on his own,” writes Lennon.
Matthew Cerrone: I’ve heard from people who know Alderson, who is 66-years-old, that he does not intend to work in an active role beyond 70. At the same time, they say it’s very important to him that he leave the entire franchise in significantly better condition than when he arrived.
I don’t support every choice he’s made, but for the most part I agree with his direction and philosophy. It’s taking longer than I’d like, but I’m reasonable and I’ve seen enough baseball to know the task at hand when he took over can take five or six years to complete.
So, here we are… He’s done what he was challenged to do by ownership, which is essentially reboot the franchise – from the majors down to the minor leagues. Thanks to Alderson’s staff and their collective discipline, they now seem to be in a position to begin winning more than they lose, with a team built on affordable, cost-controlled and home-grown players.
However, I’ve heard from MLB insiders that, while ownership was accepting of the ‘rebuilding phase,’ there is a growing sense of urgency to get this franchise back to being a playoff contender. That said, if ownership thinks he is the best person to take on this next phase, I’m cool with Alderson leading the charge, given how he’s handled the last few years.
The important question is: Does he have the resources and talent to add to what he’s created? Can he make it bigger, better, stronger and sustainable? To me, this will be the true test of his skills, because it’s ultimately why you and I watch his team.
The Mets continue to say he has what he needs. He essentially says the same, though I assume he would spend more on payroll if given a slightly larger budget. Of course, I could probably say this about every team and every GM. However, I’ve also heard from league insiders who predict, before he signs a new deal, Alderson will want assurances from ownership about what he’ll be capable of doing, and he’ll want to explore with them why information tends to leak to the press so freely from within their organization. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I’ve heard it from more than one place.
In either case, starting this winter, we’re going to find out in real terms what this management team is truly capable of, because their maturing, young talent on the field and all of their unbelievably-patient fans are starting to demand they finally start turning the corner.