Despite having moved on from the organization, former New York Mets general manager and current Oakland Athletics senior advisor to baseball operations Sandy Alderson admits there’s still a rooting interest for him here in Queens.
As told to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the 71-year-old Marine and baseball-lifer spoke highly of what the future could hold for the Metropolitans, what one of his most regretful actions at the helm of the Mets was, and his return to work after a battle with cancer last year.
Alderson was contrite about his decision to let former Mets second baseman and 2015 postseason hero Daniel Murphy walk after the 2015 season, wishing aloud that he could “have that one back”.
“He’s a very good player and an excellent offensive player. We made him a [$15.8 million] qualifying offer and he signed a multi-year deal [in Washington],” Alderson told Martin. “I don’t think we predicted him sustaining that level of performance and he didn’t end up being part of our strategy. But I applaud him for what he’s done.”
As a Met, Murphy owned a .288/331/.424 slash line with 62 home runs, 402 runs batted in, 228 doubles, and a 109 OPS+ rating over seven seasons. Murphy famously adjusted his swing under former Mets hitting coach Kevin Long during the 2015 season, resulting in a historic offensive onslaught that postseason, leading the Mets to their first World Series since 2000.
After signing with the Nationals, the adjustments Murphy made under Long’s tutelage clearly took hold, and the transformation of Daniel Murphy from professional-hitter to MVP-candidate was complete.
Over his first two seasons in Washington (286 games), Murphy led the National League in doubles both years (47 in 2016; 43 in 2017) and carried a .334/.387/.569 slash line while averaging 24 homers, 98 RBI, and a 145 OPS+ rating. He was slowed by injuries (knee) last season and subsequently traded to the Cubs, but Alderson’s got justifiable cause for regret, indeed.
Nevertheless, just like Sandy, the Mets have moved on. The team’s talented core — many of whom were products of the Alderson era — plus the additions that new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has made this offseason in Wilson Ramos, Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, Edwin Diaz, et al., have undoubtedly improved this ballclub and even Alderson is intrigued.
“There are guys that are close, like Peter Alonso, that I want to follow. And Jeff McNeil was a revelation last year,” Alderson told the Post. “[…] Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, and Michael Conforto could be big contributors. I’ll certainly follow the Mets.
As for resurfacing at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings this past December, Alderson admitted he “went, in part, not because I was looking for a job, but to make sure people knew I wasn’t down and out”.
Sandy, to be frank, anyone even remotely aware of how you conduct yourself and your business knows that you, sir, are never “down and out”. Best of luck in Oakland. Thanks for everything.