4. Signing Ben Zobrist
Coming off their World Series appearance in 2015, the Mets had a multitude of areas they needed to improve upon. It felt unlikely the Wilpons would open the checkbook for Yoenis Cespedes and Alderson was never a big fan of Daniel Murphy. Alderson also wanted a versatile player who could hold down second base until then-top prospect Dilson Herrera was ready. The player that fit this bill best was Ben Zobrist.
Coming off a great postseason performance for the Kansas City Royals, Zobrist was targeted by many different teams. It was surprising given the Wilpon's lack of resources that the Mets were in strong pursuit. He did fit the team well given his versatility to play both the infield and outfield. It felt inevitable that the Mets would sign Zobrist to a contract but were unwilling to go the length of a 4-year contract, thus Zobrist signed with the Chicago Cubs.
Though Zobrist was the World Series MVP in 2016, the three seasons to proceed were not great for the Cubs. Zobrist would hit just .232 in 2017 and only appeared in 47 games in 2019. Had the Mets made this commitment, there is no guarantee the Wilpons allow Alderson to sign Asdrubal Cabrera, trade for Neil Walker, and retain Cespedes all in the same offseason. Given the lack of resources throughout the Wilpon era, the Mets were better off with the short-term contracts they did sign in 2015-16 rather than giving Zobrist the 4-year contract.