The Mets, after several attempts to fill the top spot, are now focused on hiring a GM. Ironically though, Steve Cohen stands in the way.
The Mets search for a President of Baseball Operations has turned up empty with a continual flow of “No” answers from prospective candidates.
As a result, multiple reports now indicate that the Mets are making a mid-stream change to fill a secondary front office need, and a search has begun to find a suitable hiree as their General Manager.
Ideally, the Mets can fill the position before the general managers’ meetings convene in Carlsbad, Calif., on November 8.
Still, with Steve Cohen’s propensity for listening to a wide variety of opinions before making business decisions, there’s no guarantee that will happen.
Adding to the complexity is the vast list of candidates the Mets are reportedly interested in for the GM position.
According to industry sources, a list includes Cardinals assistant general manager Randy Flores, Rays vice president of player development Carlos Rodriguez, Twins assistant general manager Daniel Adler, and Braves assistant general manager Ben Sestanovich.
Internally, there is still a chance that Zack Scott will be tabbed to fill the position, but that is dependant on the outcome of his trial for a DWI incident, now set for November 8.
And Then Along Comes Christie…
In a quirky turn of events, The New York Post and New York Daily News reported that former New Jersey governor Chris Christie is advising Mets owner Steve Cohen as he searches for a person to run the team’s baseball operations in the front office.
The Daily News reported Cohen has talked to Christie and members of his hedge fund, Point72, to find the right person for the job.
The inclusion of Christie and Cohen’s hedge fund advisors re-opens the question – what in the hell do these people know about baseball, and further, is Steve Cohen the ultimate reason behind the long list of refusals to take either job among “baseball people”?
Mets: This Really Isn’t That Difficult
Joining the Mets franchise is already stamped as the ultimate challenge facing all comers due to the pressing need to overhaul the team on various fronts.
Add to the mix Steve Cohen, his ongoing and seemingly failing need to learn the business of baseball, and the mysteries surrounding the question of why so many are reluctant to join his team lessen considerably.
On the surface, baseball executives should be lining up at Cohen’s door with pleas for an interview and the prospect of leading a team in baseball’s largest market.
The Emperor Has No Clothes
But that is not the case, and more and more, their reluctance traces back to Cohen and not the Mets.
Cohen’s off and on use of his Twitter account to vent his emotions and “thinking” also contributes to the wariness of prospective candidates who have seen Cohen publicly rebuke his Mets players, as they wonder if they might be a future target as well.
Hiring for either of the Mets front office positions should not be this difficult. The resumes of names mentioned are strong, and the fact they have been successful with other teams should be enough, but in the case of the Mets organization, it’s not, and that is cause for deep concern.
A year or so ago, Mets fans were elated with the prospect that Steve Cohen’s billions would rescue a franchise left in ruins by the dysfunctional and financially challenged Wilpon family.
But as we are learning, not a penny from that treasury has been spent to acquire a major league catcher, center fielder, or starting pitcher. Nor has the need to overhaul the Mets farm system moved forward.
Thirteen Mets players are free agents when the World Series ends, a list that includes key players like Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Michael Conforto.
Sixteen more await their fate as players eligible for arbitration, a list that includes Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, and Jeff McNeil.
All of this, and the Mets, with Steve Cohen at the helm, can’t even hire a president, general manager, and team manager to begin the process of preparing for the 2022 season.
Steve Cohen: A Fish Out Of Water
Like many of you, perhaps, I never thought it would be like this. Yet here we are, stuck in an immovable quagmire of inaction from a man who made his fortune with a gut-wrenching decision-making prowess, albeit in a world far removed from baseball.
Like the Wilpons before him, Steve Cohen is an immovable object, and all we can hope is that this is only a hiccup, and soon he will realize this is baseball and not stock-market numbers subject to change at any given moment.
More and more, though, it’s looking like Steve Cohen is a fish out of the water, and he has no business in the business of baseball.