The Mets season is over. Sure, there are 12 games left in the season but it’s time to look ahead to 2022 and what lies ahead for the Mets.
One of the biggest question marks heading into this off-season is what the front office is going to look like. The Mets have had four general managers (GM) over the last year and it looks like they’ll be hiring a fifth general manager really soon.
Acting GM and Team President Sandy Alderson is the going to be the man in charge of hiring the next GM. A recent article on SNY.com stated that Alderson will be back for 2022, even though the 2021 season has been nothing short of a disaster. Met fans should be worried about that since it has seemed that Alderson and the Mets front office has done very little right since taking control of the team in October 2020.
Met fans are very familiar with Alderson. He was the Mets GM from the 2010 season through the 2018 season. He had his ups and downs, but a lot of the downs were blamed on the owners of the team, Fred and Jeff Wilpon. He left the organization prior to the 2019 season and was replaced by Brodie Van Wagenen. When Steve Cohen bought the team from the Wilpons in October 2020, Van Wagenen and the rest of the front office were fired and Cohen tabbed Alderson as the man in charge. Since then the Mets organization has made one mistake after another.
It started with the hiring of Jared Porter and the team’s GM. Porter was hired as the GM on December 13 and he wouldn’t even make it to February. He was fired due to a scandal involving sending an erotic text messages to a female companion when he worked in the front office of the Chicago Cubs. Strike one for Alderson.
Alderson’s replacement for Porter would be Zack Scott. Scott was originally the Assistant GM but was promoted to acting GM after Porter’s firing. It wasn’t too long before Scott found himself in trouble as well. On August 31, he was arrested for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI). He was immediately placed on administrative leave, and it appears he will not return to the front office anytime soon. Strike two. That has left Alderson as running the show since early September.
Beside the personal issues with the General Managers, the Mets have had other missteps in the front office. It starts with several misses during the off-season.
The Mets had a plan to spend big in the off-season and bring in some major names. One player on their radar was catcher J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto was said to be seeking a 5-year deal with the price being somewhere near $100 million. Realmuto is regarded as the best catcher in baseball and the Mets could have used a major upgrade at the position, since the only catcher on the roster at the time was Tomas Nido.
Instead, the Mets viewed Realmuto’s price as too hefty. Part of that was because the team had money it wanted to spend at other positions. The Mets elected to sign catcher James McCann to a 4-year $40 million deal. Realmuto eventually signed a 5-year $115 million deal with the Mets division rival, Philadelphia Phillies.
If you compare McCann and Realmuto’s production, there’s no question the Mets chose option B. Realmuto’s WAR for the 2021 season is 3.3, while McCann’s is at 0. Defensively the two catchers are in close comparison but offensively, Realmuto is far superior. Strike 3.
However, Met fans could understand Alderson and the Mets reasoning for not going after Realmuto. Afterall, there were several other players out on the free agent market that the Mets could sign that would be high priced.
That list included outfielder George Springer. Springer had spent the first seven years of his career with the Houston Astros and is one of the top outfielders in baseball. The Mets had a need at centerfield as they viewed Brandon Nimmo as more of a corner outfielder.
Springer’s asking price was high. It was reported that he was looking for a deal in excess of $100 million. The Mets were the front runners to sign the outfielder all off-season and had listed Springer as a priority. He ended up signed a six-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays worth $150 million.
It was a crushing blow to Met fans who could live with the fact that the best catcher in baseball was no longer an option, but only if they got one of the best players in the game. After Springer’s deal with the Jays, none of that was true. The Mets had now missed out on two key free agents in the off-season.
They wound up signing outfielders Kevin Pillar, Jose Martinez and Albert Almora Jr to fill the need in the outfield. Neither one of those players are anywhere close to the talent Springer is. Strike four.
Still, the off-season wasn’t over yet. One of the top pitchers in the market was still out in free agency and the Mets, again were listed as front runners. Trevor Bauer had won 75 games in his career and was looked at as top pitcher in baseball. He was looking for a short-term but expensive deal.
The Mets again were in on Bauer and reportedly made him a massive offer, but again lost out. Bauer signed a three-year, $102 million deal. If you’re keeping score at home, the Mets had lost out on the best catcher, outfielder and starting pitcher on the market. Not exactly what they had in mind. Strike five.
A January trade for shortstop Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco and a Lindor contract extension was huge for the club and the front office should get credit for that. Even though missing out on Bauer would end up be a blessing in disguise because of his off the field problems the Mets missed out on a player they had listed as a goal of obtaining before the off-season started. Taijuan Walker was signed in his place, which was a good move and in the long run is a way better option than Bauer. However, the Bauer miss proved that the front office continually did not get their man.
However, you can’t underestimate the fact that the Mets off-season had a lot of swings and misses and the front office did not set out accomplish what they set out to do. This off-season included with the misses at General Manager added with the Mets botching the drafting of Kumar Rocker (strike 6) plus there were other miscalculations make you alarmed for the future if Alderson is running the show in the future.
This doesn’t even mention the fact that the team folded like a cheap suit late in the season and the front office left a lot to be desired when it came to improving the team at the trading deadline.
Then this week news came out in an article written by Andy Martino of SNY.com that stated that Sandy Alderson is in favor of keeping manager Luis Rojas for the 2022 season. Rojas has clearly been overmatched this season and has shown time and time again that he is not ready for a big-league manager role in a city like New York. He is at some fault of one of the worst collapses in team history. Yet Alderson wants to keep him on?
It makes me concerned about Alderson moving forward. His second tenure has been nothing short of a disaster. I know Steve Cohen trusts Alderson but the damage that has been created in 2021 fall at the feet of Alderson. He is responsible for it. Since that’s the case I am not confident in the future of this team at all. I believe it’s time to move on from Sandy Alderson and start with a fresh new outlook for 2022.