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.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.