Joel Sherman reports that that new Mets GM Sandy Alderson wants to bring Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi on board. Both of these guys, you’ll recall, worked under Alderson in Oakland before going off on their own GM frolics. Depodesta’s was, in hindsight anyway, pretty successful with the Dodgers, even if they still don’t realize it. Ricciardi’s in Toronto, not so much, but not terrible either. Whatever you thought of them as top dogs, though, both are smart baseball guys and rarely do you go wrong by assembling a team full of smart people.
Sherman also says that Alderson is likely to go with an Oakland A’s-style manager: low key, low profile, and totally subservient to the front office. This would seem to eliminate Wally Backman from consideration. That won’t make a lot of Mets fans happy — the fascination with Backman seems to be taking on epic proportions — but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring him in as a third base coach or something. Whatever happens, I have this feeling that Alderson will navigate that PR minefield just fine.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
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.