The conversation between Mets owner Steve Cohen and Theo Epstein never got off the ground. But why not give it a second try – he is the best.
The Mets search to fill the President of Baseball Operations is at a standstill as Steve Cohen weighs his way through secondary options.
We know the “conversation” between Cohen and Epstein was brief, and supposedly it ended with a mutual understanding to not pursue anything further.
We know the “interview” was conducted impersonally on Skype instead of face-to-face.
We know that Theo Epstein has a cushy job as a consultant to MLB and Commissioner Rob Manfred.
We know that Epstein charged out of the gate with a demand saying his next job in baseball will include a piece of the team he is working for, which left Cohen chagrined.
We know the Mets are under the gun to fill the position because in two weeks when the World Series is concluded, all other teams will be off and running implementing their offseason strategy, with trades and free-agent signings while the Mets are at a standstill.
And finally, with all that, we know that Steve Cohen can be very persuasive. He makes up for what he lacks in charm with guile and determination to get what he wants.
So, if Cohen concludes (and he should) that Epstein is what the Mets need at the helm, then why not engage in an all-out campaign to bring him on board.
Why can’t Cohen, for instance, place a call to Epstein asking for a sitdown – a real one this time – to discuss in detail why the Mets want him, the perks Cohen is willing to concede, as well as the financial backing Epstein will receive from him, luxury tax or not?
Epstein’s success in Boston and Chicago, together with the fact he’s a mere puppy at 47, suggests to me he doesn’t want to be a “consultant” to anything or anyone, and he knows his current gig is beneath him.
Mets: The Biggest Sale Cohen Will Ever Make
Cohen needs to put the “Alderson Thing” behind him as well, telling Epstein in no uncertain terms that “You are my guy,” and Alderson will report to you if he even stays on at all.
Regarding Epstein’s reported demand to own a piece of the Mets, Cohen can agree but with the proviso that stock in the Mets is tied directly to the success has, or doesn’t have.
Language can be written into Epstein’s contract guaranteeing a piece of the Mets, but only after the first year of Epstein’s tenure.
Without argument, the Mets represent as big a challenge as there is in baseball. Epstein has met similar challenges twice, and if he’s all everyone says he is, he’ll grasp onto the Mets as an opportunity to further his legacy in baseball.
The conversation must be drawn on the premise that if Epstein wants the job, it’s his.
The first question to Epstein from Cohen, and the only one that matters, is this. “Okay, put yourself in the position. Now, tell me three (specific) things you would do your first week on the job to improve the Mets”.
Epstein says he doesn’t want the job. Cohen says, yes, you do – and I’m here to make it happen.
Presently, the list of candidates for the job is now said to include:
- Billy Owens, A’s assistant GM.
- Michael Hill, former Marlins president of baseball operations.
- John Ricco, Mets senior vice president, and special advisor.
- Bobby Heck, Tampa Bay Rays special assistant to the GM.
All worthy of consideration? Sure, but none of them come anywhere near matching the credentials of Theo Epstein.
Cohen knows that, so why is it necessary to beat around the bush?
Go get him, Steve…