Sandy Alderson emerged from the six-candidate scrum to be the Mets’ next general manager, but he wasn’t the only winner to come out of this process. As always, there were some losers in this derby, and we take a look at some below:
Sandy Alderson: Some may question his sanity, given the dysfunctional state of the Mets. But Alderson has never shied away from difficult tasks, and if he can fix the Mets, it would make a nice bookend to a GM career that began with three straight World Series appearances – and a ring – with the A’s.
John Ricco: The Wilpons determined that Ricco wasn’t ready to succeed Omar Minaya, but he's definitely seen as a potential GM down the line, and probably with the Mets when Alderson’s tenure is over. Ricco already has a good relationship with Alderson after their time spent working together in MLB offices, so his voice will continue to be heard.
Josh Byrnes: Yeah, we know. He didn’t get the job. But after his firing in July by the Diamondbacks, Byrnes’ reputation received a major boost by his callback as a finalist for the Mets. That means he finished ahead of four other bright, young executives – Rick Hahn, Logan White, Dana Brown among them – and Byrnes should be at the top of the list for the next job that opens.
Fred Wilpon: Hiring Alderson means fewer potential headaches for the Mets’ principal owner, who has dealt with plenty during the past four years. Alderson won’t tolerate the nonsense that has plagued this team recently, and Fred will be happier with less time at the podium explaining what went wrong.
Saul Katz: Virtually unknown by the fan base, “Uncle Saul” – he’s Fred’s brother-in-law – Katz was described as a pivotal voice in the GM search. He never speaks at news conferences, but usually sits in the front row, and insiders say he has plenty of input during the high level meetings.
Omar Minaya: Hiring Alderson was the only move that would possibly keep him with the Mets in some capacity, even though that situation remains very much up in the air. He’s friendly with Alderson, and could wind up staying.
Bud Selig: Gets a trusted ally in the Mets’ front-office that gives a shaky big-market team it’s best chance to restore respectability – and get back on prime time TV. Fred Wilpon already followed the commissioner’s lead on just about everything from the slotting system to contracts, and that will now continue with Alderson at helm.
Jeff Wilpon: Early in the process, I was told that Alderson won’t tolerate any meddling from ownership – period – and that is likely to mean a diminished role for the Mets’ chief operating officer. Jeff’s primary responsibility is still overseeing the Mets, but Alderson should have more “autonomy” than Omar Minaya ever did, and Jeff’s role might be relegated to approving the budget and signing the checks. Giving an assistant GM a shot at the top job would have kept him more in control.
Wally Backman: The Mets probably could have forced the popular – but volatile – Backman on a rookie GM, but Alderson is unlikely to go this route. Backman just doesn’t fit the profile for Alderson, whose philosophy is to have a manager that simply follows the blueprint of the front office.
Jon Daniels: Timing is everything, and as far as Daniels is concerned, the Rangers picked a bad time for the first World Series trip in franchise history. Not only was Daniels unable to interview for the Mets job – a dream shot for the Bayside, Queens native -- he lost the chance to use that as a negotiating chip for a new deal in Texas. Daniels is sure to get a great contract extension anyway, but the Mets’ GM job just opened at the wrong time for him.
The rest of the NL East: The Mets’ days as a division doormat could be coming to a close. Alderson won’t make this franchise into a World Series contender overnight, but the Mets already are a better team than they were yesterday, and with the resources to rebuild, it shouldn’t take long.