The Mets are hiring Sandy Alderson to be their new general manager, has learned

The Mets made the choice after bringing back Alderson and former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes as finalists.

The official hire of Alderson, the architect of Oakland's late 1980s and early '90s dynasty, could come as early as Friday, as announcements are discouraged on days of World Series games.

Alderson, 62, brings instant added credibility to the Mets, who have had two straight losing seasons.

One of his first tasks will be to hire a manager to replace Jerry Manuel, who was fired along with GM Omar Minaya after a 79-83 campaign. While some Mets people have a soft spot for Wally Backman, it will be a major upset if Alderson, the Harvard- and Dartmouth-educated former Marine, accedes to the wishes of incumbent Mets people and hires Backman. Alderson and the Mets are more likely to hire someone with major league managerial experience, and that list could include current Mets scout Bob Melvin, Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle and former Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine and Melvin are finalists for the Brewers job. White Sox coach Joey Cora, another Brewers finalist, has Mets ties and is well-regarded but lacks major league managing experience. Chip Hale, who was the Mets' third base coach last season and is expected to be retained in some capacity, is well regarded and could have an outside chance.

Alderson hasn't been a GM since 1997, so names that are coming out now are highly speculative. But he was an originator of the Moneyball way, where managers are considered "middle management'' only, so Valentine might not fit his criteria for that job.

Alderson was a longtime GM of the A's, building the successful teams of the late '80s and early '90s, and more recently served as the Padres' CEO. He worked in several big jobs at the commissioner's office, as well.

Alderson appeared to have the backing of commissioner Bud Selig and, more importantly, Mets team owner Fred Wilpon from the start. Though he hasn't been a GM since 1997, Mets people say he was "well versed'' on current players.

The Mets were said to be very impressed by Byrnes as well. The Mets also interviewed White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Red Sox assistant GM Allard Baird, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White and Blue Jays executive Dana Brown. They also considered waiting on Rangers GM Jon Daniels, who has an "out'' in his contract. But in the end, they are said to have been very comfortable with either of their finalists and felt Alderson brings the right mixture of experience and gravitas. It probably also doesn't hurt that the hiring of such an accomplished man will bring good publicity, too.

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