I have been hearing how Sandy Alderson will be held accountable for the Mets’ performance this summer and I don’t believe that to be the case, regardless of what happens with David Wright and R.A. Dickey.
Alderson is getting A’s across the board, because those handing out the grades aren’t the fans or the press, or even his colleagues. Grading Alderson are the Wilpons, who are passing him with gold stars because he is doing exactly what is expected of him.
Alderson was brought in here at the urging of Wilpon’s friend, Commissioner Bud Selig, with the purpose of bringing some stability by slashing payroll for a floundering franchise.
To that degree, he has done his job.
Alderson acted to clean up the Mets’ toxic contracts by cutting Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and despite it being too late, finally Jason Bay.
He also traded Carlos Beltran for prospect Zach Wheeler, and got rid of Francisco Rodriguez, who embarrassed the team by getting into a fight with his father-in-law outside the family lounge at Citi Field.
Best of all for the Wilpons, is he took the Mets into the 2012 season with a $100 million payroll, some $43 million less than in 2011. A good part of that was because of the decision to let go of Jose Reyes, thereby shedding the Mets of another potentially burdensome contract for a player with an injury history.
Doing so might help the Mets extend the contracts of Wright and Dickey, that is, if the team wants to make that call. As of now, talks seem stagnant.
The Mets have a myriad of holes and issues, with few immediate answers. On the plus side are young pitchers Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and Wheeler to give them a promising rotation from which to build.
Losing Wright and Dickey would be damaging to the Mets on the field, but they will benefit from compensatory draft picks. At worst, the Mets restart their rebuilding program, but they would further reduce payroll.
There are voids in the bullpen and outfield, and also questions in the rotation and at catcher.
Clearly, they are several years away, and based on that Alderson should be strongly judged.
However, the criteria the Wilpons are using to evaluate Alderson is in reducing payroll and toward that end, he is passing the test.
Alderson has already been evaluated by the people whose opinion of him matter most.