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.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.