October is young and the search might carry on well into autumn, but it sure sounds like Sandy Alderson is the front-runner for the Mets’ opening at general manager.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote Saturday that the “Mets’ circumstances cry out for what Alderson offers — a combination of brains, stature, accomplishment and fortitude. Case closed.”
Steve Popper of the Bergen Record spoke to a baseball executive who called Alderson “the clear choice, maybe the only choice” to fill the Mets’ needs.
It’s a love fest in New York.
Alderson, 62, is currently running point on commissioner Bud Selig’s effort to clean up the corruption that surrounds youth baseball in the Dominican Republic. He was a Marine in Vietnam and graduated from Harvard Law. Most importantly, he built winning teams with very little resources during the 80s and 90s as president of the A’s.
Given the Mets’ $130 million payroll and the freedom to shake up the club’s farm system, Alderson might finally be able to bring playoff baseball to Citi Field.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.