New York Mets owner Steve Cohen announced that if he takes control of the team Sandy Alderson will be brought back in a prominent role. Alderson who stepped away in 2018 due to health issues will be the President of the Mets and will oversee all baseball and business operations. This is a major announcement by the pending Mets owner and could shed some light on who will be retained if Cohen gets approved by the other 23 of the 29 owners.
Statement by Steve Cohen on Sandy Alderson:
“If I am fortunate enough to be approved by Major League Baseball as the next owner of this iconic franchise, Sandy Alderson will become president of the New York Mets and will oversee all Mets baseball and business operations.”(1/2)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 24, 2020
Sandy Alderson’s career began in 1981 with the Oakland Athletics as a general counsel. In 1983 Alderson was named the general manager of the A’s. Under his watch, the A’s minor league system was completely rebuilt. The Athletics were one of the best teams in baseball from the late ’80s into the early ’90s. The A’s appeared in the World Series three straight years winning it all in 1989. From 1986-1988 the A’s had the Rookie of the Year winners in Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Walt Weiss. All three players were Alderson’s draft picks. Alderson was a mentor to the A’s current general manager Billy Beane.
After leaving Oakland, Alderson worked for the MLB’s commissioner’s office becoming the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations. He held this position from 1998 to 2005. From there he became the Chief Executive Officer for the San Diego Padres from 2005-2009. The Mets hired Alderson as their general manager in 2010. With the Wilpon family heavily involved in the Bernie Madoff scandal, Alderson lowered the team payroll to under 100 million dollars.
Under Alderson’s watch the Mets rebuilt their pitching staff via the draft and the trades of Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey. In 2015 the Mets lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals and the following year, New York lost the wild card game to the San Francisco Giants. This Mets had back to back playoff appearancesfor the second time in team history. In July of 2018, Alderson took a leave of absence from the Mets due to an illness. Alderson never returned to the Mets.
One of the questions about the sale of the New York Mets has been answered. SNY, which is the cable television home of the Mets was not included in the sale of the team. Potential Mets owner Steve Cohen is reportedly very interested in purchasing the network. The Wilpon’s Sterling Equities owns 65 percent of the network. Time Warner and Comcast are the other owners of the remaining 35 percent. Contrary to earlier reports, the Wilpons are interested in selling the network.
Sterling Equities reportedly makes 90 million during a normal baseball season. The Mets have nine years remaining on their contract with SNY. SNY, which has 800 million dollars in loans mainly broadcasts the Mets. Losing the Mets would cripple the network.
Steve Cohen Approval
Despite the New York Mets and Steve Cohen agreeing on a deal, it is pending approval from 23 of the 29 other owners. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the New York Yankees are expected to approve the sale of the Mets. Martino also reports, citing multiple league sources that Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf may oppose Cohen buying the Mets. Reinsdorf has strongly denied that statement but the belief around baseball is that he will oppose Cohen. In announcing that Sandy Alderson would be his team president upon approval is a giant step to ensure that Cohen gets the necessary votes to take over the Mets. Alderson is one of the most respected baseball executives in the last 4o years.
It would be hard to see a scenario where Steve Cohen does not get approval. With Cohen already announcing his first hire, hopefully, for Mets fan’s sake this is not just another failed attempt by the Wilpons to sell the Mets. Alderson’s hiring could also mean bad news for current Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Van Wagenen has had a very questionable two-year reign with the Mets. Alderson’s philosophy is to build through the draft and the farm system. Van Wagenen has shown that he does not value his minor league players. With an expanded playoff format this year the Mets once again failed to qualify for the postseason.
Additionally, what does this mean for first-year manager Luis Rojas. Van Wagenen hired Rojas who was at best his second choice. A new general manager would want his own guy in charge. Rojas has had only 60-games to show he can be a worthy major league manager. Judging Rojas on this season with the injuries the Mets had and also a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on not just the sport but the world might seem unfair. The first step is Cohen’s approval.
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