Sandy Alderson may be one of the best general managers in baseball.
While an argument could be made for Theo Epstein – yes he did put together rosters that ended the two most famous curses in baseball, but a case can be made for Alderson.
When Alderson took over the Mets in 2010, he wasn’t just fighting against curses, he was fighting a fan base who didn’t believe in the team, wanted the owners to sell, and was generally an angry group of people.
Coming off the Omar Minaya regime, the Bernie Madoff money situation, and drastic payroll cuts, Alderson was forced to deal with a limited budget.
He was hamstrung with these budget restraints, policy shifts regarding no long-term contracts, and Met fans were left to watch a team lose year after year during a long rebuild.
Despite these pressures, the Mets found themselves in a playoff race in 2015 due largely to the underachieving, Matt-Williams-led Washington Nationals.
Of course, at the trade deadline, the Mets were able to turn prized pitching prospect Michael Fulmer into Yoenis Cespedes who helped turn the Mets from legitimate, to among baseball’s elite, making a World Series run that fall.
By the way, the general manager has managed to acquire the slugger a total of three times from the initial trade, to re-signing Cespedes twice when arguably no one in baseball thought the Mets could.
He was part even of the front office that drafted the player in Michael Fulmer who turned into Yoenis Cespedes with a pick the Mets received in compensation for the New York Yankees signing Pedro Feliciano.
However, the groundwork for a championship level team had been laid in the years leading up to the World Series run of 2015.
As the trade deadline approached in 2011, the Mets were floundering at or around .500 with one tradable asset – Carlos Beltran.
Alderson managed to convince shrewd GM Brian Sabean of the Giants to deal prized pitching prospect Zack Wheeler, then just 21 years old, for a Beltran rental for a playoff run.
Alderson wasn’t done prying away pitchers from contending teams.
In December of 2012, Alderson dealt away fan favorite and Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey for the Blue Jays for Travis d’Arnaud – who may finally be realizing his potential as the Mets starting catcher, and of course a couple of “throw ins”.
One, Wuilmer Beccera who at age 22 is already on the Mets 40-man roster and of course, Noah Syndergaard.
Although statistically and metrically, neither player seemed to be “good players” their presence was the exact right addition to help guide the aptly named “Replace Mets” to the playoffs last season.
Of course, Alderson also managed to add the best outfielder bat on the market at the trade deadline in Jay Bruce. The GM brought Bruce back this winter creating competition for outfield playing time.
The outfield log jam seems to be the tonic for motivating Michael Conforto who is starving for at bats and making the most of his limited work.
But wait, there is more. The executive made a late season under the radar type move in adding Fernando Salas last season. Salas was resigned this offseason, and to start 2017, the seventh inning guy, has been tremendous in an increased role with Familia out of action.
But wait, there’s more!
However, this regime has been devoid of the disaster free agent (the Jason Bay type) which is remarkable.
The closest looked like Curtis Granderson who got off to a rocky start but since, has been a steadying influence and productive player in New York.
So do you agree, is Alderson one of baseball’s best GM’s?