For his next act, Sandy Alderson is going back to where it all began.
Alderson, the former Mets general manager, joined the Oakland Athletics as a senior baseball operations adviser, the team announced Tuesday. After serving as the A’s GM from 1983-1997 — and being succeeded by his protege, Billy Beane — Alderson rejoins Beane, now executive vice president of baseball operations, in the Oakland front office.
“His mentorship and friendship have been invaluable to me over the course of my career, and I look forward to the expertise and perspective he will add at every level of the organization,” Beane said in a statement. “[GM] David [Forst] and I couldn’t be more excited to bring him back to Oakland.”
Said Alderson: “I am really excited to return to the A’s and the Bay Area. I look forward to being as helpful as I can to Billy, David, and the rest of the baseball operations staff.”
Alderson led the Mets’ baseball operations from October 2010, when the club hired him away from the league office in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff investment scandal, until June 2018, when he stepped away because of a recurrence of the cancer that initially struck in 2015. His contract expired in October, and the Mets hired player agent Brodie Van Wagenen as GM.
On Saturday — while receiving the Arthur and Milton Richman “You Gotta Have Heart” Award at the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards dinner — Alderson announced that he has been cancer-free for four months after chemotherapy and surgery last summer.
In eight seasons under Alderson, the Mets had a losing record six times and won the NL East once (2015). They made the playoffs twice: in 2015, when they lost to the Royals in the World Series, and in 2016, when they lost to the Giants in the NL wild-card game.
The Mets’ farm system in that time was generally middling, but the front office did sign and develop current Mets Brandon Nimmo (Alderson’s first draft pick with the team), Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil and Seth Lugo, among others. The Mets also developed Omar Minaya-era draft picks Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, and traded for then-prospects Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud.
Ricco’s new position
Longtime Mets executive John Ricco has a new role and a new title.
The Mets announced Tuesday that Ricco was promoted to senior vice president/senior strategy officer, a newly created position in which he will report directly to chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and be involved in the team’s business and baseball operations departments.
Ricco, who was Mets assistant GM since 2004 but was passed over for the top job when the club hired Sandy Alderson in 2010 and Brodie Van Wagenen last fall, will work on special business and finance projects, including significant construction projects the Mets are planning for their spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and other minor-league facilities, the team said. On the baseball side, Ricco still will be involved in the Mets’ arbitration efforts, with oversight on the payroll.
“This new role will give me the chance to broaden the scope of my executive experiences, while remaining a contributor to the operations areas I know and enjoy,” Ricco said in a statement. “I am intrigued by the possibilities and excited about the challenges ahead.”
Wilpon said: “I’m extremely grateful that he’s remaining with us. He brings a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics and we know he will have a lot of success in his new role.”
The Mets now have two assistant GMs: Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge, both hired in recent months by Van Wagenen.
Mejia gets minor-league deal with Red Sox
Former Mets closer Jenrry Mejia agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. Once served with a purported lifetime ban for three positive PED tests, Mejia was conditionally reinstated by Major League Baseball last summer. The Mets released Mejia in November . . . Infielder Neil Walker, a Yankee last season and a Met in 2016-17, signed a one-year deal with the Marlins.
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