Sandy Alderson believes the Mets have the potential to improve by 10 wins

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After finishing at 79-83 in 2014, the Mets had two clear needs this offseason to emerge as legitimate contenders: A corner outfielder and a shortstop. They got off to an interesting start by signing Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract (and surrendering their first-round pick for 2015 in the process) in November, but nothing of note has happened since unless you count John Mayberry, Jr. They have come up empty-handed in their efforts to acquire an upgrade over Wilmer Flores at shortstop and they still have a surplus of starting pitchers. Still, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is confident about their chances in 2015.

During an appearance on MLB Network’s “High Heat” with Christopher Russo today, Alderson said that one of the reasons they have been fairly quiet this winter is because he believes they have players in place who give them the potential to improve by 10 wins from 2014. He also made an interesting comparison between Cal Ripken, Jr. and Flores. Check out the full video below:

One of the other reasons they were “fairly quiet” this winter could be that they don’t have the money to bring in other players, but fine, we’ll roll with that. So where are those 10 wins going to come from? Well, they appear to be banking on the addition of Cuddyer and the return of Matt Harvey combined with improvement from their young players and rebounds from David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Could everything click to get them to 89 wins and a playoff berth? Maybe, but there’s also the chance for regression from players like Lucas Duda and Jacob deGrom. It works both ways. By failing to address their obvious need at shortstop, the Mets haven’t really distinguished themselves from a large group of teams who figure to be in the mix for a Wild Card spot.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).