In an exclusive interview with Barry Bloom of Mets.com, Sandy Alderson acknowledged that it was time for the team to turn a corner after five consecutive losing seasons.
“My goal was not to win 74 games as we did last year. I don’t recall specifically what I wrote down or had in mind. But we’re not there since we haven’t even hit .500. On the other hand, we have had other issues to deal with. This is what I told the fans over the last three years when they asked about the plan, what we are trying to do: acquire and develop talent, create payroll flexibility and win as many games as possible without compromising one and two.”
“So have we been successful in that regard? If you phrase it that way, we’ve definitely made progress. But now’s the time. We’ve acquired more talent. We have more payroll flexibility. Now’s the time to turn the corner and what allows us to turn the corner is eventually our young talent. We’re just about at that juncture.”
After last night’s loss to the Phillies, the Mets are 25-29 and on pace for a 75 win season. Asked about his own progress since he became the team’s general manager, Alderson responded:
“I think we’re much further along. We have many more young players and prospects. If you just look at the farm system, we’re in much better shape than it was. We have eliminated a lot of burdensome, onerous contracts. We would’ve liked to have won more games over the last three years, but honestly our priority was improving our farm system, getting younger at the major-league level and more flexible payroll-wise.”
Alderson is in the final season of his four-year deal with the Mets who have yet to pick up his option for 2015.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York believes that ownership is disappointed with the timetable for rebuilding, but that they would likely stay the course with Alderson because they have gone this far down the road.
But at the same time he writes, ”you have to start wondering if Alderson may be out after this season.”
Rubin concludes that the worse attendance gets this year, the more likely Alderson is gone, even if it’s not overly likely.