MLB: Assessing the NL East GMs at the midway point

Jul 1, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. (13 reacts after getting a single against the New York Mets during the eight inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves pinch hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. (13 reacts after getting a single against the New York Mets during the eight inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Taijuan Walker: One of Sandy Alderson’s smarter moves. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Taijuan Walker: One of Sandy Alderson’s smarter moves. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Mets, Sandy Alderson, -1.3

Like the Phillies, the Mets brought back an oldie but goodie to run their front office, restoring Alderson to the position he had held for much of the previous decade before being ousted in favor of Brody Van Wagenen. A solid septuagenarian who makes Dombrowski look like a prodigy, Alderson also ran the Oakland A’s in the pre-Billy Beane days of the 1980s and 90s.

Alderson made early headlines with the deal in which he obtained shortstop Francisco Lindor (+0.5) from Cleveland. The Mets may be in first place in the NL East, but that deal isn’t the reason. It cost New York two major leaguers (Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez) plus two minor leaguers, and has produced a net impact on New York amounting to just +0.5 games.

In sum, Alderson has ventured into the trade market for 10 bodies with a fairly striking lack of success. Aside from Lindor, those newly acquired faces – notably Cameron Maybin, Joey Lucchesi, Shawn Reid-Foley, Jordan Yamamoto and Billy McKinney – have impacted the Mets to the collective tune of -2.6 games. Whoops…wrong direction.

Alderson has made 17 forays into the open market for talent with two solid successes. Those were the signings of starters Marcus Stroman (+1.0) and Taijuan Walker (+1.4). As the team’s Nos. 2 and 3 starters behind Jacob DeGrom, they have yielded a combined 12-9 record and 2.40 ERA.

Reliever Aaron Loup (+0.4) has also proven a productive pickup. Even factoring in those three successess, the sum total of Alderson’s free agent signings has advantaged the Mets to the tune of just +0.6 games.

The Mets have needed Loup in the pen because they cut ties with three relievers who have gone on to make positive contributions for their new teams. Those three – sorely missed in New York – are Brad Brach (+0.5 for Cincinnati), Chasen Shreve (+0.6 for Pittsburgh) and Hunter Strickland (+0.3 for the Rays, Angels and Brewers).