Sandy Alderson is not making himself available for comment on what he will do if he becomes president of the Mets, and that’s understandable. The sale of the team to Steve Cohen will not become official until approved by other owners (and, by the way, the date of that vote has not yet been set).
But Alderson’s silence before his likely second act in New York does not prevent us from digging around among other sources for clues about how we will proceed.
In addition to the names we reported last week as possible general managers, Billy Owens and Bobby Heck, talk in the industry last weekend expanded to include MLB senior vice president of baseball operations Peter Woodfork and Arizona Diamondbacks senior VP and assistant GM Ameil Sawdaye. A few Alderson allies see Owens as a particularly strong candidate.
Woodfork is a former Diamondbacks executive who has been near the top of MLB’s hierarchy since 2011. Last winter, he was a candidate for the GM opening in Houston. Sawdaye is a top lieutenant to Arizona GM Mike Hazen. Before that, he oversaw drafts in Boston that brought Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Brandon Workman and many others to the Red Sox.
To those reported names we add two purely speculative possibilities, based on our coverage of Alderson over the years: MLB’s head of operations Chris Young and longtime Mets executive John Ricco. The former has known Alderson since their days together with the San Diego Padres, when Alderson was CEO and Young was a pitcher; they maintain a high degree of mutual respect. The latter was Alderson’s top choice to succeed him after his first tenure with the Mets.
We will surely hear more names in the days and weeks to come. At this early juncture, perhaps the main takeaway should be that we are developing a general picture of what the Mets baseball operations department will look like in the years to come: Alderson at the top, and one or two younger executives running the day-to-day.
, who ran many successful drafts under both Alderson and Brodie Van Wagenen, is likely to remain influential in that area.
As we’ve previously noted, Alderson and Cohen are expected to invest significant time and money into the organization’s infrastructure: Analytics, research and development, modern strength and conditioning and other back-end areas intended to make the team a perennial contender.