According to a report in the Daily News, the Mets are planning to retain both general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins for the 2015 season.
Collins is already signed through the end of 2015, with an option for 2016, so he was going to be back anyway, unless the Mets decide to fire him and eat the money. Alderson’s contract is up at the end of this season and it appears as if he’ll get an extension, although the length of that extension is to be determined.
Collins and Alderson, who both joined the club for the 2011 season, haven’t exactly had a ton of success on the field at the major league level. The Mets are 297-339 in their tenure so far.
The Mets do have a promising farm system, as we’ve seen with the emergence of Jacob deGrom, who is a Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League. The Binghamton Mets, the team’s Double-A affiliate, won the Eastern League title a few days ago, whatever that’s worth.
I’ve been saying for some time that 2015 is going to be a make-or-break year for the Mets’ management.
Matt Harvey pledges to be back from Tommy John surgery and has already said that he plans to be on the mound – and win – the Mets’ 2015 season opener against Washington on April 6. Harvey, however, will probably be capped at 150 innings or so next year, so he might not be around in September. One would figure David Wright also returns healthy and bounces back from a down year.
Add in the mix of young pitching the Mets have in their system and perhaps a trade or two to strengthen the lineup in the offseason – Alderson has said the Mets won’t spend much in free agency this winter – and it’s not hard to see the Mets being better next year. A playoff team? That’s a little bit harder to envision, but 81 wins and a .500 record doesn’t seem like an unreasonable goal.
Alderson famously made a pledge this past offseason that the Mets should be expecting to win 90 games. That was out of the question for 2014 from the get-go, but it might not be much of a stretch for next year if everything goes right.
Collins and Alderson have had plenty of time to put the pieces in place. And to a large extent, the pieces are there. Lucas Duda is the everyday first baseman has had a solid year since Ike Davis was traded to Pittsburgh. Travis d’Arnaud has shown signs of being a regular behind the plate and being a guy that can hit for power. The outfield looks OK with Juan Lagares patrolling center and Curtis Granderson in one of the corner spots. Eric Young Jr. will still be around as well. The Mets have a bunch of Triple-A type players in Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to choose from for the other corner or as a fourth outfielder.
Add in a strong rotation headed by Harvey and an ever-improving bullpen with some of the pitchers squeezed out of the rotation picture and the Mets have the making of a solid all-around team. So there won’t be room for any more excuses for Alderson and Collins. I think 2015 will decide their fate. That doesn’t mean they won’t be back in 2016 if the Mets miss the playoffs next year, as injuries and other unforeseen circumstances could buy them some more time if things don’t work out. But when Harvey strolls out to the mound to pitch to the Nationals’ leadoff man on April 6, it’s going to be time to start judging the Mets for real. And if the team isn’t winning, a team with the talent to win, it’ll be time to start to wonder if a new field manager and general manager might change that.