5 questions Mets president Sandy Alderson must answer as GM Meetings begin

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Sandy Alderson treated light blue background
Sandy Alderson treated light blue background

The GM Meetings, which serve as a precursor to the Winter Meetings, begin on Tuesday.

Here are five of the questions Mets president Sandy Alderson needs to answer...

What's the situation with the front office search?

The fact that the Mets arrived at the GM Meetings without a new president of baseball operations or GM in place is why Alderson is the front office representative answering these questions.

And the longer the Mets go without adding a top baseball executive, the longer the narrative (fairly or not) that this search has been a failure will persist.

So where does the search stand?

And are the Mets planning to hire a president of baseball operations, GM, or both?

In the event the Mets are not close to a hire, is Alderson comfortable handling all of the decision-making for now in an offseason where there could be lots of movement early with the CBA set to expire on Dec. 1?

What are the Mets looking for in a new manager?

By moving on from Luis Rojas, the Mets created a gaping hole in the dugout at the same time they are trying to fill a void in the front office.

And aside from Bob Melvin, whom the Mets were interested in but who preferred the West Coast and landed with the San Diego Padres, it's basically been crickets when it comes to potential Mets manager candidates.

Sep 11, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin (6) stands outside of the dugout during the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at RingCentral Coliseum.
Sep 11, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin (6) stands outside of the dugout during the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at RingCentral Coliseum.

The above makes sense when you remember that the Mets haven't yet made their president of baseball operations or GM hire. Ideally, one of those hires will choose the next manager.

At least the Mets aren't battling with lots of other teams for a new manager.

Aside from New York, the Oakland Athletics -- who let Melvin walk for nothing and could be entering a rebuild -- are the only other team with a managerial opening.

Are the Mets prepared to exceed the luxury tax?

We've gone over why the Mets need to not only exceed the luxury tax this offseason, but likely go well past it.

Basically, they already have lots of money committed to the payroll for 2022 before even taking into account the potential of bringing back key free agents and/or adding external ones.

Before last offseason, Mets owner Steve Cohen said the team would be willing to exceed the tax when appropriate.

The time has now come to exceed it, so are the Mets ready?

Have there been any talks with Javier Baez or Marcus Stroman?

Toward the end of the season, Baez made it clear that he was very open to returning to the Mets.

Things seem a bit murkier with Stroman, who was the Mets' most (only, really) reliable starting pitcher in 2021.

Jun 17, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) punches his chest during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.
Jun 17, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) punches his chest during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.

Of all the Mets' free agents and all the external free agents, it can be argued that Baez and Stroman are among the best fits for the Mets.

So, have the Mets had any talks with either player?

What are the main areas of need?

I think the Mets need to address the starting rotation, third base, and corner outfield above all else.

But what do the Mets think?

Additionally, how many of New York's current players (including Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith) are going to be relied on to be key cogs in 2022?

As far as third base and the outfield go, how will the Mets weigh the potential debut of some of their top prospects (including Mark Vientos and Brett Baty) against adding big names via free agency and/or trade?