Mets’ GM search in second phase

Mets fans might have celebrated hollow victories over the weekend when the Yankees and Phillies were eliminated from the postseason on consecutive nights, the final out in each game coming on a called third strike. Alex Rodriguez one night; Ryan Howard the other.

Of course, rooting against the Yankees and Phillies is futile work, as it does nothing toward the improvement of the Mets.

However, the most important development lately has been the narrowing of the GM candidates to Josh Byrnes and Sandy Alderson.

Byrnes will interview with ownership, including Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, today, and Alderson will be on stage tomorrow. Both are highly regarded and will inherit a team with a high payroll and a myriad of issues.

Neither will be able to turn the program around in a year, and such a promise hasn’t been made by either in the first round of interviews.

Both GM candidates indicate Wally Backman is on their list of prospective managerial candidates, which parallels the Wilpon’s thinking. That is not to say Backman is a given, but he will get an honest shot. There are several things about Backman that concern me, most is the perception he is the Wilpon pick and he’s being forced on to the new general manager. My preference for Backman is to be promoted to bench coach and work under an experienced manager.

The new GM will inherit a team slightly below .500, meaning there is reason to be optimistic about improvement should all the pieces fall into place, notably the healthy returns of Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran, continued development from Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese, and an encore from RA Dickey.┬áThe Mets aren’t void of talent, and improvement should occur, but they are still behind the Phillies and Braves, but those teams have their own issues.

A GM decision could be made as soon the off day following Game 2, which is a travel day in the World Series. As written here before, the GM candidates have their thinking on the manager, so that process should turn around rather quickly.

The first order of offseason business might night be conducted by assistant GM John Ricco and Jeff Wilpon, and that would be the re-signing of reliever Hisanori Takahashi. The Mets have until Oct. 31 to re-sign Takahashi, otherwise he can become a free agent.

Takahashi did everything the Mets asked of him last season as a starter or in a variety of bullpen roles, but the left-hander prefers to start. The Mets could promise him a chance to compete for a starting job in spring training or they could overpay to keep him in the pen.

Reportedly, Takahashi is seeking a two-year deal and he’s worth it based on what he did in 2010.

6 thoughts on “Mets’ GM search in second phase

  1. Now, I liked Taka2, but he is not a starter. He falters as he gets to the 3rd time around a lineup.
    As a swing man/long man, he is fine. The problem is, he’s possibly looking for starter money, and that is where the Mets need to draw the line.
    Too many times they overpay for marginal guys (see Castillo, Luis; Perez, Oliver).
    Taka is like Darren Oliver, who filled a key role in 2006 for the team.

  2. The difference with Taki is that he can do many things. He was the closer down the stretch, a long relief guy and for a short time an effective starter.

    I understand your point about starting pitching. Yes we need that. But there are time pressures with Taki. I say get him unless he prices himself out. He is a much better pitcher than Ollie. He is old tho.

  3. Ed (3): I would hate to see Takahashi leave as he fills a key role. He is very much like Oliver was. He’ll be asking for, and deserves two years. I don’t think he’ll get so much per season that he’ll choke the Mets like the Perez deal.-JD