In a rather surprising declaration, New York Magazine, a lifestyle magazine serving New York City and the surrounding area, named New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson the best general manager in MLB. On the surface it seems like an outrageous assertion to make, but could there be some validity to it or is this merely a short-sighted comment by a biased New York centric magazine?
Obviously, based on win total alone, Alderson being the best GM in baseball is a laughable claim as the Mets have averaged just 75 wins over the last three seasons since he took over the team. However, it’s pertinent to mention that Alderson inherited a team with bad contracts on the payroll, limited payroll flexibility, a lack of talent on the roster, and a mismanaged farm system. Alderson has also taken big steps forward towards fixing many of the issues that he inherited as he’s waited out those bad contracts, made the farm system respectable and useful, and started to replenish the talent on the roster.
One specific area where Alderson has excelled is on the trade front. He traded Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler who could pitch at the front of the Mets rotation for many years to come. He cashed in on 2012 Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and acquired two elite prospects that could become cornerstones of the franchise. He also traded two late-season rentals for a top second base prospect and a late-game reliever who could both end up playing key roles for the Mets in the future.
Alderson hasn’t been afraid to play the long game and show patience in a place where it’s not easy to be patient, and there are signs that point to that patience finally starting to pay off in 2014. Does that make him the best GM in MLB? Probably not, but it makes him an admirable GM. And if the moves he’s made this offseason and over the past few years start to pay off, then a year or two down the road Alderson could end up being considered one of the best GMs in baseball; the potential is definitely there.