Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins return

WASHINGTON -- New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has signed an extension through the 2017 season, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon announced Tuesday.

"We are excited about the direction the team is headed and look forward to Sandy continuing his efforts to build the Mets into a postseason contender," Wilpon said. "Sandy and his staff have built our minor league system into one of the best in baseball, and will continue to balance player development along with making key additions that will help us reach our goals."

The Mets also announced that manager Terry Collins is returning for 2015, after a team option was exercised.

"He's done an exceptional job for us, I believe," Alderson said. "He's energetic. He's passionate. His work ethic is second to none. And I think this translates extraordinarily well into his leadership of the team. I think our team continues to play hard, has from the beginning of the season. I have no doubt it will continue through the next six games. It's been a pleasure to watch how the team has responded to Terry. I'm very pleased he's going to be back with us. We're fortunate to continue to have Terry into 2015."

Entering the season's final week, the Mets are 301-341 (.469) in four years under Alderson and Collins. The Mets (76-80) can reach .500 for the first time in their tenure if the club wins at least five of its remaining six games.

Limited by a payroll of roughly $85 million, Alderson nonetheless has rebuilt the farm system through drafting and trades.

His signature deals involved acquiring right-hander Zack Wheeler from the San Francisco Giants for rental Carlos Beltran, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and right-hander Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto Blue Jays for reigning Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and reliever Vic Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera from the Pittsburgh Pirates for rentals Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

"We have more talent coming into the system. The talent that we have, I think, is being well-developed," Alderson said. "We've seen evidence of that at the minor league level and major league level. I think we've acquired some players from outside the organization through trades that again reflect well on our amateur and professional scouting staff."

Alderson's signings have been less successful. Among the forgettable free-agent contracts during his tenure: outfielder Chris Young (one year, $7.25 million), closer Frank Francisco (two years, $12 million) and right-hander Shaun Marcum (one year, $4 million plus incentives).

"Free agency is a crapshoot. On the other hand, you expect to hit a certain number of times," Alderson said. "That's an area where hopefully we will continue to be active, but also be more successful than perhaps we've been in the past.

"From that standpoint, I think the overall direction of the team is pretty good. But we need to translate the progress that we've seen in the organization and across the franchise into more wins. But I don't think we're that far away. I really don't believe that this is going to take a giant leap to get to a playoff-competitive level. And I hope I'm right about that."