The Mets have seen all three of their big-name targets eliminated. How deep does the barrel need to be to find someone to take the job?
On the surface, the Mets should find themselves with a deluge of pleas to receive an interview for the open President of Baseball Operations position.
Citi Field is great. The city, the market, and the unique relationship between the fans and the team all still stand on the Mets’ side.
So why is it that the Mets have seen three of the most attractive candidates for a powerful and prestigious job in their front office renege on the opportunity?
We know the reasons given publicly. The Milwaukee Brewers refused the Mets a chance to interview David Stearns, Billy Beane doesn’t want to move his family to the East Coast, and Theo Epstein wanted a piece of the Mets to take the job.
Mets: It’s All A Smokescreen
It’s all a smokescreen, though, because if any of the three wanted the job, they could have it in a New York minute.
If Stearns wanted the job, why would the Brewers, knowing he wanted out, want to have a disgruntled employee working for them?
Why didn’t Epstein save the request to own a part of the Mets until the final hours of negotiations instead of leading off with what Steve Cohen took to be an offense and lack of respect?
And finally, even knowing he would be joining and rekindling the close relationship with Sandy Alderson when the two created Moneyball in Oakland, why did Billy Beane say no to the Mets?
It’s telling to note the words of Alderson when he spoke to the New York Daily News about the Mets search to fill as many as three top positions in their front office in late September.
This, when the Mets were putting the final touches on another disappointing season.
“I’m selling Steve Cohen, I’m selling New York, I’m selling the opportunity to realize on the potential of a storied but not yet iconic franchise,” Alderson said. “I think there’s a tremendous amount to offer someone coming to the Mets.”
It appears, then, that Sandy Alderson is about as good a salesman as he’s been as a talent scout for the Mets.
How Deep Does The Barrel Need To Be
It’s beginning to look like the new Mets sound a lot like the old Mets.
The real fear is the Mets will come up with a clone of Brodie Van Wagenen, a man who came to the Mets with no previous front office experience and no choice but to learn on the job – and we all know how that turned out.
In two weeks, the world of baseball will undergo a significant change, and if the Mets don’t hire someone within that timeframe, they’ll be left on the outside as 29 teams are free to engage in the free-agent and trade markets.
Two weeks ago, this column devoted space to the varied and complex on the Mets plate between now and the opening of camp in Port St. Lucie come February.
Those decisions include but are not limited to:
- Thirteen free agents to decide on, a list that includes key players like Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Javier Baez, Michael Conforto, and Kevin Pillar.
- The Mets also have eleven players eligible for arbitration, including Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and Seth Lugo, requiring complex and potentially divisive outcomes.
- A manager to replace Luis Rojas.
- A decision on Acting GM Zack Scott, whose trial for a DUI has been held over until November 8.
- Carrying forward Steve Cohen’s commitment to rebuilding the Mets minor league system.
Is Steve Cohen Facing Peer Collusion
Additionally, things can get worse if the Brewers block on the Mets to meet with Stearns is a precursor of an unspoken bond among team owners to unite against Steve Cohen, a man who is floating on an island with no friends in that exclusive club of owners.
Where and who do the Mets turn to now? As a courtesy to the incoming baseball operations hiree, the Mets are in limbo until the hiring is executed.
Much like when it comes time to ask for a date to the prom when a young man is rejected by his first three choices, and the dance is two weeks away…well, you get the picture.
The Mets can’t afford to drop the ball on this one.
If it means waiting until the right person comes along and losing ground as teams begin their offseason in earnest – then so be it because that alternative is far better than hiring someone – anyone – just to fill the position.