Sandy Alderson: The Architect of NY Mets Supremacy
- Updated: March 15, 2016
Sandy Alderson is the architect behind the amazing Mets run we’ve all been enjoying since Matt Harvey debuted back in 2012. Curtis Granderson, Bartolo Colon, Yoenis Céspedes, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, and ultimately taking the team to the World Series in 2015 have made him possibly the best GM in Mets history, only second to Frank Cashen.
One of his latest moves came during this past offseason when he traded Jon Niese for Neil Walker, improving the Mets defense up the middle at the cost of an arm that was really no longer needed. When asked to compare Walker to Daniel Murphy, he had this to say:
Murphy is an outstanding hitter, great contact, some power for that position. We all know that his reputation as a defensive player is limited. Walker is a similar player and maybe an upgrade for us defensively. From an offensive standpoint, he’s a switch hitter and gives us a little more versatility in that respect. We’re happy to have Neil and I’m sure we’ll miss Murph over the course of the season.
I have to admit that his description of Murphy’s defense made me chuckle. Put on the spot to talk about Murphy and he put it in the nicest way possible – Kudos Mr. Alderson.
Another high point of the interview was when he was asked if he really thought Yoenis Céspedes would be back in Queens and he came out with a big, “Not really.” He also had the following to say about the process:
I understood how we were approaching it and I certainly understood what they were trying to achieve potentially with his contract. I didn’t think we anticipated we’d end up where we did, but you have to put yourself in a position to take advantage of opportunities that arise.
Signing Alejandro De Aza was most likely the low point of Alderson’s offseason, but it proves that he was doing the best with what he was given while providing depth for the outfield. De Aza platoons center field with Lagares, and your corners are looking mighty nice. But Sandy didn’t break the bank with De Aza either, and maybe that was his plan all along. Make the conservative bet so there is a backup plan in case something goes wrong, but you still have a few bucks in your pocket to make a splash.
Low and behold, you actually have a player that wants to stay in New York, agree on a deal that works for both sides, and you have your clean-up hitter be one of the best in the business – the same guy who put the team on his back and rode everyone into the playoffs and ultimately the World Series. Brilliant!
Sandy Alderson took a team that made it to the World Series in 2015 and made them better. He improved the defense up the middle with Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera. Created a superior outfield by bringing back Céspedes to go along with Conforto, Granderson, and Lagares’ gold glove. The bullpen has been improved with the additions of Antonio Bastardo and Josh Smoker, and in July we will see the return of Zack Wheeler, who if he comes back the same or better before Tommy John surgery, will be a steal for the cost of an aging Carlos Beltran.
On the subject of Mets third baseman David Wright, Alderson hopes to see him on the field for 130 games. Knowing the captain is dealing with spinal stenosis, and the experience of dealing with Matt Harvey’s first season back since TJ surgery last season, Alderson will be very cautious as to how much he will actually play in order to keep him on the field longer than off. But that is now made possible by the addition of depth to the infield.
With Cabrera and Walker now taking over infield duties up the middle, Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores are great assets off the bench, and so far this Spring Training, they’ve both proven they their bats and their defense will not be an issue as in seasons past. Wilmer was especially impressive at third base in my opinion, giving me hope that when Wright has to rest his back, he will be a great replacement.
2016 is potentially shaping up to be the brightest in Sandy Alderson’s career and we as Mets fans will hopefully be reaping the rewards. With the best rotation of baseball at the helm, I have a feeling it’s going to be really hard to steal the NL East from the NY Mets.