Cohen plans to bring Alderson back to Mets

September 24th, 2020

If the sale of the Mets to Steve Cohen officially goes through, the team’s new prospective owner intends to hire Sandy Alderson as team president. The club’s current ownership has not commented on the news.

The move is contingent on the approval of the sale of the Mets from Sterling Equities to Cohen, the hedge-fund manager said in a statement on Monday. Earlier this month, the Wilpon family announced a signed agreement to sell the team to Cohen. The transaction, subject to the approval of the other Major League Baseball owners, is worth slightly more than $2.4 billion, according to a source -- a record for a North American professional sports franchise.

“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," Cohen said. "Sandy is an accomplished and respected baseball executive who shares my philosophy of building an organization and a team the right way. I am excited to have Sandy in a key leadership role with the Mets if my purchase of the team is approved."

The 72-year-old Alderson was the Mets’ general manager from 2010-18. He took a leave of absence from the club in July 2018 while battling a recurrence of cancer, and later stepped down as the club’s GM. Alderson said at the time that “if I were to look at it on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted.”

More recent history offers a fonder look at Alderson’s tenure. He and his lieutenants were responsible for much of the Mets’ current roster makeup, drafting or signing Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, Amed Rosario, Andrés Giménez, Seth Lugo, David Peterson and others. They reached the World Series in 2015, then made the playoffs for two consecutive seasons for just the second time in franchise history. Several mainstays of Alderson’s cabinet remain in the organization, including his son, Bryn, who is the team’s pro scouting director.

Alderson is best known as the architect of the Oakland A’s in the 1980s and '90s, building a roster around superstars José Canseco and Mark McGwire en route to the 1989 World Series title. Alderson is widely considered the father of the sabermetric movement detailed in the book “Moneyball,” which spurred a sea change in how front offices are run. Upon departing Oakland in the late-90s, he worked for Major League Baseball and the Padres before joining the Mets.

Since leaving New York in 2018, Alderson has worked as a senior adviser in the A’s organization.

The Mets’ current team president is Saul Katz, a member of the team’s ownership group and principal owner Fred Wilpon’s brother-in-law. Katz, however, has never been involved in the day-to-day running of baseball operations. Under Alderson, the Mets could still employ a GM who would report to him. Current GM Brodie Van Wagenen reports directly to ownership; he said earlier this week that he has not spoken to Cohen regarding his future.

"I've always had great respect for Sandy, and as I have said before, I look forward to having more conversations with the incoming ownership group as the process unfolds," Van Wagenen said.