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Heyman | Alderson deal runs through 2019 as job standing remains solid

Jon Heyman

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Dec 14, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during the MLB winter meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets gave GM Sandy Alderson an extension in late 2017 with his contract about to expire without revealing how long his new contract lasted.

But FRS Sports learned that Alderson’s deal was a multi-year arrangement – for two years that keeps him as Mets GM through 2019.

There are a few other teams that don’t specify the length of their GM contracts, but the Mets did an especially good job of keeping this contract under wraps until now, especially considering it’s a New York team with blanket media coverage.

FRS sources say it’s a two-year deal for $4 million per year.

The revelation comes at a time the Mets appear to be at a low ebb with six straight defeats after being swept by the last-place Orioles, with a couple voices in the media – at least the broadcast media – beginning to question Alderson’s viability as the team’s top baseball decision-maker.

However, inside their offices there is said to be no discontent with Alderson.

“Sandy’s good,” is the way one Mets official summarized Alderson’s standing with the Mets.

Actually, Alderson was a major hero only three years ago when the Mets made their fourth World Series appearance, but while things started positively this year with an 11-1 beginning, injuries, underperformance, a questionable pen, lack of hitting and inability to win at home has driven the team below .500 in a year where the NL East looks much improved, though strangely winnable. No one – not the favored Nats or upstart Braves or Phillies – is running away from things yet (though they are all well ahead of the Mets).

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Alderson is extremely well-respected throughout most baseball circles, and was exactly the type of executive who brought gravitas to the job when he was hired, following the team-owning Wilpons drastic financial setback when their longtime investment adviser Bernard Madoff was found to be a fraud and crook, leading to the evaporation of about a half a billion dollars of the Wilpons’ wealth. The team is said by sources to be on very sound financial footing now; disgruntled fans might suggest that a restrained payroll is a big reason for that, but the successes of Citi Field and especially SNY and other endeavors might be more meaningful factors.

Alderson helped guide the team back to success with a roster that was a mix of predecessor Omar Minaya’s players and new Mets, and trades for Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard were among the impactful moves engineered by Alderson, with Cespedes’ brilliant second half leading to New York’s 2015 World Series run and Syndergaard’s intimidating fastball and popular persona rounding out a brilliantly talented and young rotation and providing added hope for the future (Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz were draftees from the Minaya years).

However, with a payroll that’s low by big-market standards, the Mets under Alderson have disappointed over a year-plus due to a variety of factors. A lower-than-average payroll for a big-market team has put a premium on mid-level acquisitions in recent years, and none of them has had anything like the effect Cespedes had – perhaps not a shock considering the outlays.

Alderson originally came with the big backing of the main MLB office, especially then-commissioner Bud Selig, who had employed Alderson at 245 Park Ave. after his runs with the A’s and Padres, and has been presumed to have the type of cachet that means he can stay as long as he wants – even if the contract only runs through next year.

In any case, his heir apparent was identified long ago; next in line is presumed to be assistant GM John Ricco, a longtime Mets and MLB employee who is a holdover from the Minaya years and is extremely popular throughout the organization and the game.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.

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