In a move that was anticipated for weeks, the New York Mets officially hired Sandy Alderson as their next General Manager on Friday. The Mets signed Alderson to a four-year deal with a club option for 2015.
Despite the Mets interviewing candidates like Rick Hahn, Allard Baird, and Josh Byrnes, Alderson was the Mets' guy from the beginning. Alderson is a Bud Selig guy and the Wilpons are Selig guys, so this was a match from the beginning.
Outside of hiring a manager, here are the four things Alderson needs to do right off the bat.
They need to be gone at any cost.
2. The same can be said for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez has about $15 million remaining on his contract when you consider his $3.5 million buyout for 2012, but after what happened this year there is no way the Mets can bring him back.
3. Pick up the $11 million club option on Jose Reyes. I am a firm believer that Reyes will never be the player he was from 2005-2008, but the Mets need him to regain some trade value. It would do Alderson no good to get rid of him when his value is at an all time low.
4. Change the culture. This might be the most important. The culture around the Mets’ organization is a disaster right now.
Alderson must figure out a way to reconnect the team with its fanbase. In my 25 years of following New York baseball I have never seen the Mets fans as disconnected and infuriated with the organization as they are now.
Alderson has the ability to do all four with the Mets. He brings structureto the Mets and most importantly, he sounds like he has a clear plan of what he wants to do.
When asked the question of whether or not the Mets will be players in the free agent market, Alderson said, “We will be aggressive in the free agent market this year? Not likely”.
That small answer tells me that Alderson has an idea of what is going on at Citi Field and realizes that building through high priced free agents that only fill one spot on the roster isn’t the way to go. That was Omar Minaya’s philosophy and it never worked.
Now, all is not perfect with Alderson. There are some questions that surround him.
First, the guy hasn’t been a GM of a Major League team in almost 12 years. I am sure being a GM is like riding a bike, but will his way of doing things that worked 20 years ago still work today?
Second, the guy is 63. Is he in it for the long run or is this just a short term job for Alderson? If it is a short term job, then he needs to groom someone to take over when he leaves like he did with Billy Beane in Oakland.
I think these are certainly fair questions, but I think Alderson was the right hire for the Mets. The Mets need order and stability right now and Alderson certainly brings that.
One last footnote to this. 3-1 odds that Bob Melvin is the next manager of the Mets.
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