Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets will soon announce that general manager Sandy Alderson will sign a two-year contract extension that will lock him up through the 2020 season.
Alderson, who turns 70 next month, has been at the helm of the Mets since the 2010-11 offseason. In that time he has overseen a paring down of payroll but, until this season anyway, an improvement of performance, taking a fourth place team to third, then second and then first in the division, winning the NL pennant in 2015 and the Wild Card in 2016. This year injuries and sub-par performance pushed the Mets back into fourth and led to the dismissal of manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen.
Talent-wise, the team is at a crossroads. What was once thought to be a dominant rotation that would last years has been beset with injuries and the development of minor league hitters has been uneven at best. At the same time, the presence of Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard and other veterans, along with the ascendence of Michael Conforto, put the team on more of a win-now footing than a rebuild footing. The decisions facing the Mets this offseason will not be easy ones.
They will, however, have an old hand making them, now and for the foreseeable future.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.