Is Sandy Alderson the right man for the Mets' GM job?

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Now that it appears as though Sandy Alderson is the front runner for the Mets’ GM job, Andy Martino of the Daily News has some questions for the guy.  He couches them in “hey, Alderson may be the best man for the job, I’m just askin'” language, but you can tell that he’s a bit concerned about these things. Let’s take them one at a time:

Question: After noting that Alderson’s Oakland Athletics teams were at the vanguard of steroidly goodness, he wants Alderson to talk about the degree to which he thinks owners and GMs were responsible for PEDs in baseball.

Answer: I think anyone in baseball over the past 20 years, including other candidates like John Hart, should have an opinion on that, as they were all a part of the problem in one way or another.  If that’s as far as Martino wants to take it, fine, but if the question is aimed specifically at Alderson for his connection to the A’s it seems a bit unfair. Really, it’s a question he probably could have and should have asked of any Mets GM or GM candidate for the past decade.

Question: Is Alderson, at age 62, too old to be a GM?

Answer: I think chronological age is a bit narrow here. In terms of energy for the job and how in-touch he is with the latest developments in the game. Alderson has long been ahead of his contemporaries.  At the same time, Omar Minaya and many others younger than Alderson have shown a distinct lack of energy and open mindedness for the job, wouldn’t you agree?

Question: Given that Alderson would be leaving his job overseeing operations in the Dominican Republic — a job which he said he’d “see through to the end,” — might Alderson leave the Mets before seeing the job through?

Answer: While the DR job may be important in many respects, let’s not fool ourselves here: that’s a time-biding job for most people who would fill it. If Alderson passed up the Mets job to stick with his duties in the Dominican, he’d probably forever be considered a non-candidate for other GM positions.  And commentators would likely label him not ready for prime time.  Beyond all that, there aren’t many general managers who leave their job of their own volition.  When Alderson leaves the Mets, it will be because he got fired or because there are no more worlds left to conquer. That’s usually just how it goes.

Question: Given that Alderson does not have a scouting background, he’d need to bring more talent evaluators with him. Would the Mets spring for such talent?

Answer: This is either not a question for Alderson, or else it’s a backhanded way of saying that Alderson is not qualified for this particular job based on his lack of a scouting background.  Ultimately, however, I think his track record speaks for itself. He has done the job on teams where resources were nowhere near abundant.  There is no reason to think that he couldn’t do it with the Mets. At least, assuming he’s allowed to do it without interfercene from above.

In some ways maybe I’m an Alderson fanboy. But really, if these are the worst criticisms/questions that anyone can raise about his candidacy, I think he’s pretty well suited for the job, don’t you?

Orioles re-sign Paul Janish to minor league deal

SARASOTA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Paul Janish #15 of the Baltimore Orioles poses during photo day at Ed Smith Stadium on February 28, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Orioles signed free agent shortstop Paul Janish to another minor league deal on Saturday, reports Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The contract includes an invite to spring training.

It’s hardly a surprising move for the Orioles, who have released and re-signed the 34-year-old infielder to multiple minor league deals over the past two years. A perennial Triple-A player, Janish slashed .242/.282/.303 with four doubles and a .585 OPS in two campaigns and 28 games with the Orioles. While he won’t be in line for a full-time role in the majors this season, he profiles as a solid defender and should give the team some infield depth alongside fellow veteran infielders Robert Andino, Johnny Giavotella and Chris Johnson.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.