The New York Mets are officially on the clock as it pertains to finding their next general manager. Yet Mets ownership raised eyebrows with comments they made Sunday about their former one, Sandy Alderson, who continues to battle health problems.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon talked to the press before the Mets concluded their season and, among other things, suggested the club's lack of spending -- on players and front-office staff -- was because of Alderson rather than ownership:
Jeff Wilpon says not spending on top free agents was "a total recommendation" of the previous front-office regime. But he will not commit to shopping at the top of the market -- the Manny Machados of the world -- this year. He says it depends on the next GM's views.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 30, 2018
That the Mets didn’t, among other things, spend for top tier free agents (beyond Yoenis Céspedes) and didn’t have more full-time analytics people (just 3) was a recommendation of the past regime, Wilpon said.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) September 30, 2018
So essentially putting this on Sandy Alderson.
Tim Britton of the Athletic has already rebutted some of Wilpon's comments:
Except that, according to multiple sources, the Wilpons did say "No" to Alderson when he asked for more full-time personnel in New York's three-man analytics department, opting to hire interns instead. The Mets have one of the smallest analytics staffs in baseball; that's Fred Wilpon's decision more than Jeff's.
Britton's version of things certainly makes more sense logically. What general manager wants less money to spend? And how is it believable in any way that Alderson, who helped usher in the analytics age, would want a small group of quants who are largely temporary? Neither comment makes sense.
Wilpon added that the club hopes to have a new point guard in place prior to the GM meetings in November, and that the new leader -- whomever it may be -- will make the call on current front-office staffers. That includes longtime assistant GM John Ricco, who will reportedly help conduct the first round of interviews. Awkward.
The Mets finished the season with a strong 38-30 second half. There's legitimate talent on the roster. But jeez, you already can't help but feel a little bad for whoever gets the GM job.
That'll likely remain the case until the Wilpons are no longer the owners.