When it comes to the New York Mets it is not difficult to have a litany of complaints about front office personnel and high ranking officials within the organization. Whether they be valid points or fictitious thoughts concocted by the fan base this is New York and losing is never acceptable. However, General Manager Sandy Alderson has done something to this franchise that we have not seen since the 1980’s when Frank Cashen took over a beleaguered Mets organization, he has changed everything about it.
Yes, it is hard to agree with that if you are solely judging Alderson by the Mets’ win-loss record. Cashen was plagued by the same difficulties early on when in 1982 the Mets won 65 games then in 1983 they won 68 before winning 90 games in 1984.
Cashen was able to do something that Alderson has yet to show us, which is trade for impactful major league talent. Alderson has proven he is a very successful evaluator of young talent.
The list of prospects Alderson has traded for is tremendous. He has taken a farm system that was as barren as they come and transformed it into one of the most plentiful systems in all of baseball.
Trading two months of Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler three years ago is something I’d never believe if I didn’t know it actually happened already. Then trading reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud after the 2012 season has proven to be a near genius move. Dickey has a 4.46 ERA with the Blue Jays over the past 2 years meanwhile, d’Arnaud is proving to be the catcher scouts projected him to be and Syndergaard has blossomed into one of the top pitching prospects in the game.
His hitting philosophy, which is frustrating at times, will start to show more results once players who were drafted by Alderson have been developed throughout their professional careers only knowing one way to hit. Taking pitches and waiting for the right pitch to hit will not always work in the major leagues.
Imagine this scenario for a second, the Mets are facing a pitcher who is locked in and looking untouchable however, the Mets have a lineup of 8 players who work the count. For this particular hypothetical we will say the pitcher averages 19 pitches an inning because the Mets are using their hitting philosophy wisely and are tough to get out. With that said if the Mets do their job this game they can chase a pitcher after the 6th inning with an 114 pitch count. Of course this will not always happen but it very much so has the potential to happen starting in the next few years.
Of course everything Alderson has done has not been met with such high praise. The recent DFA of outfielder Chris Young and his .205 batting average is one of the failures Alderson has endured during his tenure as GM of the Mets. In his defense, even though it is hard to defend such a poor signing, the Mets were never going to win this year. Finding stop-gap players and signing them to one year deals so they do not block younger players in the farm system is the smart move.
You may not agree with the signing of Curtis Granderson and his performance in the 2014 season but Granderson is the type of leader you need on a young New York team. Granderson is wise and exemplifies an attitude that young players in the big leagues should all have, hard work pays off and to never forget that baseball is a team sport.
Bartolo Colon is another signing many Mets fans groaned about but Colon is teaching young Met pitchers lessons without ever saying a word. Watching Colon pitch is like watching an artist paint over a blank canvas. Pin-point control, smart pitching and never letting your emotions get to you no matter what the situation is what Colon has done all year. It is no coincidence that Wheeler and Jacob deGrom have begun to show the same characteristics more and more as the season progresses.
Alderson is an intelligent human being, a Harvard Law graduate and United States Marines veteran of the Vietnam War, he knows the Mets are on the brink of becoming something they have not been in a long time, a winner. With a few smart moves this offseason the Mets can be legitimate contenders for 2015 and beyond. Yes, it is hard to be patient with owners who are deceiving and a public relations team that has no clue, but despite that we are also seeing the team prosper with growth and youth.
Alderson will most likely be extended as general manager of the Mets in a short period of time. There will be fans who hate this move but Alderson deserves it.