Ever since Sandy Alderson arrived in Queens, the plan has always been to rebuild the farm system while waiting out the crippling contracts of the past front office regime. With the last of the contracts—Jason Bay's and Johan Santana's—ending after the 2013 season, 2014 seemed to be the year where the Mets would finally spend and return to the playoffs. However, this plan unfortunately had to be put on hold after that very fateful day when Matt Harvey revealed that he needed Tommy John surgery. Harvey's injury threw a wrench into the plans for 2014 and ruined Alderson's dream rotation of Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee.
With that, the requirements for the offseason changed. No longer was building a playoff contending team an absolute necessity; instead, the Mets just needed to continue their rebuilding plan with an eye toward the 2015 season. The Mets certainly had plenty of holes to fill: two open spots in the rotation, two in the outfield, no shortstop, and a need for a veteran presence in the bullpen. On top of that, they had one too many first basemen.
To fill these needs, Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, Bartolo Colon, Jose Valverde, and Kyle Farnsworth were signed. All could contribute this season, with the first three the most likely to be significant. Even more importantly, none of these contracts appear to have the potential to be franchise-crippling.
As many Mets fans will tell you, though, there is still a gaping hole at shortstop and the first base situation has yet to be resolved. While a solution at both of these positions would definitely be preferred, it is not as great of a problem as it appears to be. If Sandy Alderson had been given a reasonable offer for Ike Davis or Lucas Duda, he would have accepted it in a second. But he didn't, and Mets fans should be thankful that he didn't force a trade for too low of a return. Having too many players at one position is never a problem, and Alderson has been successful with his trades of Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey, and Marlon Byrd.
As far as the shortstop situation goes, starting the season with Ruben Tejada is not the worst-case scenario. The only other viable alternatives—Didi Gregorius, Nick Franklin, and Stephen Drew—seem to come with their flaws at a heftier price. The Mets appear to have concerns about Gregorius's bat, specifically against lefties, and Franklin's glove. On top of that, the reported price tags for each—Syndergaard and Montero, respectively—are unacceptable.
As far as Drew is concerned, acquiring him would cost the team millions, and as David Cameron argues, Drew probably isn't even worth it. The one luxury of not being a contender this year is that the Mets have time to figure out their problem. Instead of jumping the gun and acquiring a potentially flawed shortstop for too high a price, the Mets can wait and continue to evaluate their other options and go after a better shortstop next offseason if they haven't found one by then.
Overall, Sandy Alderson did enough this offseason. He didn't do enough to turn the team into a contender because that was a seemingly unfeasible option (or at least unfeasible if the team didn't want to endanger their future success). He did, however, do enough to continue to set up the team for consistent future success. Unfortunately, that probably means another season of irrelevancy.