At the end of the 2010 season, the New York Mets were in shambles. They had multiple massive contracts for bad players, they were in the middle of a downward spiral of losing seasons and had a farm system that was a disaster. Due to the Bernie Madoff scandal, finances were abysmal and the organization under Omar Minaya’s direction had become the butt of every joke and the laughing stock of baseball.
The team was in desperate need of a change, not just any change, however. The team needed the type of change that would be long term financially responsible and replenishing of talent. That was a very large task. Enter Sandy Alderson. His experience with small budget, small market teams such as San Diego and Oakland made him a perfect fit to work with a strained budget in New York.
Upon his hiring, Alderson set forth a clear plan to accomplish three things: get the team under a manageable team salary of $100 M or less, put out a competitive product on the field and rebuild the farm system. The question that begs to be answered is whether or not Sandy Alderson’s plan has worked.
Fast forward to 2014. Phase one of that plan is the team salary. The Mets are ranked 23rd in team salary with a modest $82.2 M. At the time of his hiring, there was an outcry of disbelief that the team would be able to be successful and remain under $100 M in team salary.
They have consistently remained around and even under that mark throughout his tenure. In addition, they are no longer considered a joke, but have been taken very seriously as young and upcoming contenders across the league.
The next phase is have they been competitive? That may be harder to answer. Currently the team sits in 3rd place after winning their last eight of ten to close out the first half of the season, but that hardly means they’ve been competitive under Alderson’s guidance. In the past three seasons prior to this year, they’ve finished 77-85, 74-88 and 74-88. Even now, they are 45-50.
In other words, they have not finished above .500 in any season under Alderson and they still aren’t. Does that necessarily mean they haven’t been competitive? Not actually. Each of those seasons has had a long term losing streak that knocked them out of contention.
Despite these, the team overall played .500 or better the rest of the way. Barring injuries, slow starts and bad managerial decisions, the Mets have not performed too bad in the past few seasons. To some degree, they have performed admirably with what they have had.
Finally, phase three of building the farm system. There was a time long before Alderson where the team had a dreadful farm system. No one wanted what the Mets were selling. After several controversial trades and solid drafts, the team has replenished the farm system immensely.
The Mets have come to see that youth perform to fruition. Just last season they successfully hosted the All Star Game and had their own homegrown talent starting it.
At this point if any team comes calling, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and a myriad of others would be brought up in conversation. The team has a semi-successful veteran starter in Bartolo Colon that can be traded without the the rotation taking a major hit.
This year’s future stars game was started and closed out by Mets up and comers. The team has a plethora of talent that are starting to create log jams in the organization. That all spells success.
That success is directly contributed to Sandy Alderson. Has the plan taken a longer time than expected? Absolutely. Is that really Alderson’s fault? Not at all. Overall, his plan is working and will continue to work. The next eventual step to that plan is long term success and a possible championship.
That is the goal of every franchise. The Mets are a lot closer to it now than they were in 2010. Thanks entirely to Sandy Alderson.