Speaking on Tuesday as he made his official return to the Mets as team president, Sandy Alderson discussed why he came back, what his overall vision is for the franchise, and his offseason plan to build a contender.
Explaining that new owner Steve Cohen's vision is aligned with his own, Alderson said he sent Cohen a memo a few months back, explaining that the two are "very well aligned" in terms of strategy and potential execution.
As far as what that strategy will be, Alderson -- who has already interviewed his first candidate for head of baseball operations -- said it "shouldn't take a long time" to put the front office together and that he has already been in touch with agents for free agents.
While Alderson believes the market this offseason will be slower to develop due in part to the situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, he said the Mets "have become a very attractive landing place" for people to work and for players to play and that the team has "core strengths" to build on.
"We have some real strengths. I think from an offensive standpoint there are definitely some first-division, championship pieces. Jacob deGrom is by definition an ace, he's the definition of Cy Young, if you will. There are things that we do well. There are things that we don't do well. We need to shore up some positions.
"Our pitching staff is thin, our depth at Double-A or Triple-A is thin or thinner. The bullpen has been inconsistent. We have needs behind the plate, our team defense (is lacking). And honestly I'll take some responsibility for how our team defense exists today from the emphasis that we put on offense years ago.
"So there's a lot of things that we need to do, but I think there is a foundation there. And I think if we can add the right pieces this year -- and Steve has indicated that we'll have the opportunity to do that -- we can be pretty good, pretty quickly. And that's my goal for 2021."
As far as his overall vision for the Mets, Alderson said he wants the franchise to be "iconic."
"We don't want to just be know for winning, we want to be known for how we win. And I think that's the difference between a great franchise and (between) a sustainably successful franchise and one that's hit-and-miss. ... If we want to be an iconic franchise, which I think we are capable of doing, we have to write more good stories than bad. And occasionally we have to write a really epic story. That's what excites me about these next few months and years. I think we have the chance to do that."
When the 72-year-old Alderson was asked how long he planned to be at the helm, he said he committed to a couple of years and that it's open-ended.
For now, Alderson will get to work assembling his front office and putting together a team that can easily be a contender in 2021 if the right pieces are added.