Sandy Alderson

No, Sandy Alderson is not too old for the Mets job

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Matthew Artus of the Star-Ledger is a bit concerned about the guy the Mets will presumably hire as their next GM:

Should the Mets coerce Alderson to become the Answer to all the questions left behind by Omar Minaya, they would also make him the oldest General Manager in the game by 4 years . . . When I look around the front offices of MLB now and see the young guns like Theo Epstein of Boston, Jon Daniels of Texas, or Andrew Friedman of Tampa Bay succeeding where the Mets perpetually fail, my first instinct emphasizes the age. It’s not because I need their agile frames to hit fastballs, but rather the youthful perspective that can ideally inject some life into a morose franchise.

Artus goes on to wonder if the Mets aren’t simply hiring a big name to appease fans as opposed to finding “the next great baseball GM.”

This seems off to me. Sure, the trend is to find a young guy with a fresh perspective, but a pretty strong argument can be made that every single one of the guys Artus names above — and indeed, every new GM in the past decade or so — is either a direct or at least an intellectual heir to Sandy Alderson.

Baseball’s young guns? In a sense, Alderson taught them all. He was the first of the new breed of  ivy league guys who rejected the old conventional wisdom and thought it a positive thing, as opposed to a threat, to surround himself with the best and brightest he could find. The Mets should hire someone from “the new breed?”  Alderson bred them for cryin’ out loud.  He’s Yoda to their Luke. He’s Ramius to their Tupolev. He’s Felson to their Lauria.

We should worry about this choice?  Damn, man, this is the first time in ages the Mets seem to be set on making the absolute best choice possible. Let’s give them credit for it rather than wring our hands.

Jake Diekman will miss at least half of the 2017 season

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers works against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning during game three of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 9, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.

Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.

The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.

The Blue Jays and Bautista have reached a one year deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on during batting practice prior to game five of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.

The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.