Last year was pretty terrible for the New York Mets. The club was considered a postseason contender at the beginning of the season, but it failed to climb above the .500 mark after April. Although there were some bright spots like Michael Conforto and Jacob deGrom, most of the team’s top talent either got injured or underperformed.
Still, it’s a little surprising to see the team’s front office — the same front office that lifted the franchise from irrelevancy in 2011 to the National League pennant in 2015 — rated so low in a recent FanGraphs poll. The Mets were ranked 28th out of 30 teams in the crowd-sourced survey that asked readers to rank every major league front office on a scale from one to five. Only Baltimore and Miami finished with a worse rating.
Sandy Alderson and John Ricco haven’t been brilliant in all their dealings, but I’d still say they’ve done a better job over the last few years than teams like San Diego, the Angels, or an Atlanta front office that hasn’t yet done anything since the previous group was just ousted for cheating.
Other teams ranked ahead of the Mets are rebuilding franchise like Philadelphia and the White Sox. While both of those baseball operations departments have collected a bunch of prospects recently, the easy part of rebuilding is trading everyone away. Taking those pieces and building a winner is the hard part, and that’s something that Alderson has already done.
In a nutshell, the Mets are underrated because of recent poor on-field results, but it’s nothing to get too worried about. Like FanGraphs author Jeff Sullivan says in his story, a lot of those surveyed might be biased towards what they just saw happen. Plus, by surveying baseball outsiders, the poll is admittedly more about perceived front-office quality than actual quality. Alderson and company will have plenty of opportunity to improve that perception when the winter meetings get rolling next week in Disney World.