It seems reasonably likely this will be the final season that Terry Collins is manager of the Mets. Collins acknowledged after last season that if he felt health-wise this coming October like he did last October, he would hang it up. And given his team's woeful performance in 2017 -- even if a decimated roster is the primary culprit -- it seems probable the Mets would make a managerial switch during the offseason and portray it as Collins voluntarily stepping aside.
However, it's not just Collins who is in the final year of his current contract. Sandy Alderson's contract is set to expire after the season, too.
In recent years, Alderson has battled cancer and he turns 70 in November. So, if the Mets were coming off a World Series appearance this upcoming October, it would seem a logical point for him to step aside on a high note. But, given the Mets are now a whopping 10 games under .500 for the first time since Sept. 1, 2014, would Alderson really hang it up after this season?
Terry Collins talks with Sandy Alderson at Citi Field. (Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)
It just doesn't feel like his style to walk away at a time when his legacy would have less luster because of this season's underperformance. It would seem far more probable that Alderson would attempt to turn things back in the right direction before finally stepping away.
This will be a challenging offseason to navigate no matter who is at the helm. Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Rene Rivera, Addison Reed, Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins all are free agents after this season, at least assuming the Mets decline Cabrera's $8.5 million option and instead pay a $2 million buyout. And with Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith the only prospects on the immediate horizon, Mets executives will need to work vigorously next winter to retool the team.
John Ricco, who was originally hired away from the MLB commissioner's office back in April 2004, would seem the logical heir apparent if the Mets choose internally for their next general manager, even with former Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi currently on Alderson's staff.
Ricco actually served as interim GM after the firing of Omar Minaya in 2010. He then remained on board as a deputy to Alderson overseeing contracts and MLB rules.
Regardless, right now the team's focus undoubtedly is just on Friday night's game in San Francisco against the similarly reeling Giants. Still, there is an expiration date at some point on Alderson's tenure with the Mets. And it will be interesting to see what direction the Mets go after he's gone.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.