We talk a lot about Terry Collins, but what about Sandy Alderson?

With the way the Mets season has gone thus far, fans continue to call for Terry Collins to be fired. But, at the end of the day, the Mets lack of success has been mainly because of the team’s failure to execute as well as the bulk of the injuries they have endured. Whether it’d be their starting pitching getting shelled, or the inability to get a big hit late in games, the finger can be pointed in many directions. But, rewinding to the team’s success in 2015 and 2016, there is someone who did not get the praise that he deserved, and that’s general manager Sandy Alderson.

Alderson was signed by the Mets after the 2010 season, and when he first came to New York, did not have much success. But, fans could see that this team had potential, and that there was a method to Alderson’s madness with trades he made. First, let’s look at some of the great players Sandy Alderson has acquired during his time with the Mets.

First was the trade where Alderson acquired Zack Wheeler in 2011, and the Mets gave away Carlos Beltran, who was on his way out with the Mets anyway. To sum it up, Beltran only lasted the half season with the San Francisco Giants, and the Mets still hold onto Zack Wheeler, who if he could just stay healthy has potential to be a great middle of the rotation pitcher. That trade was a win for the Mets.

Arguably the best trade Alderson made was when he sent the knuckleballer, RA Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, who was coming off of a Cy Young award year with the Mets, in exchange for Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud. Noah Syndergaard, who while he has been hurt most of 2017, has the potential and at times has been the ace of the staff. Fans know this guy has the stuff and the work ethic to be the best, and he very well may at just 24 years of age throwing fastballs that touch 100 MPH. Of course, Travis d’Arnaud was headlined in that trade. While he has not been great for the Mets, he still has been their starting catcher for the bulk of his time with the Mets. The Mets won this trade as they received a guy who now is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a starting catcher, both still on the team. Dickey did not exactly return to his Cy Young season form, and now is with the Atlanta Braves. Seeing Syndergaard’s success, it can be assumed the Blue Jays wish Syndergaard was still with their club.

Fast Forward to 2015, the Mets were developing these young players they’d acquired, but it was time for the team to start winning. With some solid pieces, the 2015 Mets were missing one part to their team, a big time bat. As the team approached the trade deadline, Alderson showed fans he saw they had an opportunity to win the NL East, and acquired veteran utility players Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves. This gave the team more depth, and made their lineup look better instantly. Then towards the end of July, Alderson made a trade in which he received Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers for then 2 minor league pitchers, including Michael Fulmer who has been great for the Tigers. Cespedes has been the team’s best and most feared hitter ever since, and this trade really jumpstarted the team, leading to an NL East title and a World Series appearance. Fans applauded Alderson for this trade, as it showed them he wanted and believed this team could win. He was right, and they were pretty close to winning a World Series. This season shows how good of a general manager Alderson can be, and he even got the team some bullpen security, acquiring Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed, who now is the team’s best relief pitcher. 2015 was a great year for Alderson in the front office.

Another trade Alderson made was sending Dilson Herrera to the Reds in exchange for Jay Bruce during the trade deadline in 2016. While Jay Bruce struggled last season, he has been arguably the Mets best hitter in 2017. Who knows where the team would be without him this year. Yet again, a solid trade by Alderson in which he was looking to better the team, showing he cares.

In addition to these trades, Alderson has developed pitchers Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and of course Matt Harvey who at one point the MLB universe thought he’d be the best in the game. So throughout his tenure, Alderson has built a winning team through a slew of trades and developing pitchers.

Obviously, this piece would be perceived differently here in 2017, as the Mets are struggling. Those pitchers mentioned above who have been great up until this year are either getting shelled on the mound, or on the DL. The biggest gripe fans have with Alderson this year is that he has yet to call up Amed Rosario, one of the team’s top prospects who many feel would have a major impact for the team. Where in 2015 and 2016, Alderson had veterans and young players contributing, this year none of that has worked. Veterans don’t appear to be giving it their all, and all their young pitchers have had moments where they’ve greatly struggled. There have not been many positives to take away from the 2017 season so far.

But, we also should acknowledge that Alderson has lost Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner. Murphy, a solid Met, and Turner a nice utility player are now 2 of the best hitters in the National League now. These are definitely some moves Alderson wishes he had back.

You can say what you want about Sandy Alderson this season, but overall he has bettered the Mets, and brought them back to being a competitive franchise. Even though this season appears to be a wash, the Mets should still have major expectations as long as they don’t sell most of their players going into the 2018 season. Look for Alderson to do what he has done best with the Mets, and that’s trade veteran players for high end prospects, who could have a major impact in a Met uniform. But, one thing fans can’t deny whether you love or hate Alderson is that he has made some great trades, and he also has shown that he wants this team to win. That’s why the 2017 Mets are such a disappointment, because they were built to win now. Now, Alderson faces another tough task to get this team back to it’s competitive ways in 2018, and that starts with their young staff being healthy, and pitching well. The Mets have only made it to the playoffs back to back season’s twice, and one of those runs was a team put together by Sandy Alderson (2015-2016). 2018 will be a big season for the legacy of Sandy Alderson as general manager of the Mets.

Note: Some of the trades mentioned were not described in great detail, and did not include every player involved. If you’re looking for the full trades, feel free to look them up! 

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