The news many Mets fans didn’t want to hear – a three-year extension for GM Sandy Alderson and with it a new contract for manager Terry Collins – was announced this afternoon.
And, that’s a good thing.
“We are excited about the direction the team is headed and look forward to Sandy continuing his efforts to build the Mets into a postseason contender,’’ Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said in a conference call. “Sandy and his staff have built our minor league system into one of the best in baseball, and will continue to balance player development along with making key additions that will help us reach our goals.’’
The minor league system has been greatly improved with the drafting of Zach Wheeler and Jacob deGrom, and trades for Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Vic Black and Dilson Herrera. (Note: Matt Harvey was drafted in the Omar Minaya regime).
Alderson, hired after the 2010 season, is signed through 2017 while Collins’ option for 2015 was picked up. Alderson hired Collins at that time.
“Terry Collins has done an excellent job for us this season,’’ Alderson said. “The team has played hard throughout the year and this is a reflection of Terry’s energy and his passion for the game and for the Mets. We look forward to his leadership again next season.’’
Both were given “Get out of jail free’’ cards after the news Matt Harvey would miss the season. Despite that, a weak offense and myriad of other issues, the Mets are 76-80 this season after 156 games compared to 71-85 at the same time in 2013, an improvement of five games.
If they finish .500 by winning five of their remaining six games, it would be the first time in the Alderson-Collins tenure.
Just how could the Mets not bring them back, especially considering their mantra has been to make improvement?
There have been the usual grumblings of not spending – they had an $85-million payroll this season – but that’s better than the wasted money spent on the contracts for Jason Bay, Francisco Rodriguez, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.
Alderson rid the Mets’ of the clubhouse cancers Perez and Castillo; traded Carlos Beltran for Wheeler; and R.A. Dickey for Syndergaard and d’Arnaud.
On the downside, there were the free-agent signings of Chris Young ($7.25 million over one year); Frank Francisco (two years, $12 million) and right-hander Shaun Marcum (one year, $4 million plus incentives).
Nonetheless, despite not breaking the bank, Alderson has the Mets in better position than when he was hired.
Collins does make some head-scratching comments, such as suggesting New York isn’t that far from Washington, which only makes sense if your measuring stick is miles and not player talent.
The Mets surpassed Philadelphia and Miami in the NL East and enter tonight’s game tied with Atlanta for second.
Be honest, you would’ve taken that in a heartbeat if that were offered coming out of spring training. The Mets still have a lot of issues after this season, but they aren’t the hopeless mess they used to be, even with their murky financial picture.