With Sandy Alderson taking an indefinite leave of absence for treatment on his recurring cancer, the Mets have now been put into a situation where they need to figure out how to best fill in for the role of GM.
Early indications have been that the team plans on having John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya work as a “three-headed monster” to adequately get the job done.
Ricco has been with the Mets organization since 2004 and been the team’s assistant GM since 2006, when Minaya was still the team’s general manager. That is notable as often times when a new GM comes to town, teams allow him to pick his people in command, but Ricco was one of the few who remained.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the plan is for Ricco to be allowed to make the final decision at the end of the day, with Ricciardi and Minaya giving him advice and words of wisdom as former GM’s with strong backgrounds in talent evaluation.
Many have pegged Ricco as the team’s future general manager once Sandy Alderson moves on from baseball, with the Wilpon’s developing an affinity for him over the years.
Ricciardi was the Toronto Blue Jays GM from 2001-20o9 and while his tenure started on a good note as he received a five-year extension in 2005, it ended poorly with his firing in 2009 with one year left on that extension on his deal.
When Alderson took over in the 2010 offseason, Ricciardi was hired along with Paul DePodesta, who has since left the organization, to serve as assistants to the GM.
Omar Minaya, meanwhile, has a very rich history with the Mets organization specifically, as he served as the team’s general manager from 2004-2010, in which he was responsible for orchestrating the 2006 team that missed World Series because of a loss in Game 7 of the NLCS that year.
The team was also good in 2007 and 2008 under his control, but failed to make the postseason each year as the team had collapses of epic proportions in the month of September each time.
Minaya’s demise with the organization started after that, though, as he made some bad acquisitions such as the trade for J.J. Putz and the signings of both Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay. He was also, responsible for the eight-year, $138 million contract signed by Johan Santana, which obviously was questionable at that length.
Nonetheless, it could actually be argued that Minaya is largely responsible for the team Alderson received credit for in 2015, as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Lucas Duda, Steven Matz, Jeurys Familia, Daniel Murphy, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, and more were drafted or signed under his watch.
This past offseason, the Mets decided to bring Minaya back in the same capacity as Ricciardi, with his focus, though, being on scouting and player evaluation likely because of the talent he left the Mets with before being fired.
So now for the debate. Is this really an effective way to manage an organization?
The fact is that getting three people to agree completely on how a team should be comprised and built is extremely difficult and, as a result, it would really be for the best if the Mets picked one man for the job and the other two filled in as the supporting cast.
That being said they all offer different skill sets that vary from their experience in the industry to player evaluation skills that could be useful to the organization.
With the MLB Trade Deadline barely a month away, though, the Mets will likely begin having trade talks soon, if they haven’t already, and will need to start negotiating.
However, there is a problem in negotiation if three people are in charge as it could be very difficult to get them to all agree on the same returning package.
Now, if what Puma said earlier is true that Ricco is really the guy in charge, then so be it, but if the Mets do not have one person that they can turn to for the “final call,” as Joel Sherman and Jim Bowden both point out, this three-headed monster could be an absolute disaster.