With the New York Mets beginning their first round of interviews to fill their general manager void this week, multiple names have been connected to the team as people that have interest in the job and other that don’t.
Minnesota Twins GM Thad Levine and Toronto Blue Jays vice president of baseball operations Ben Cherington both declined to interview for the Mets GM job. Cherington also declined to interview with the Giants, and according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is looking for an organization that he can build from the ground up.
Before Wednesday, the candidates we did know were interviewing for the position were Kim Ng, Gary LaRocque and Doug Melvin, names that were leaving Mets fans underwhelmed.
On Wednesday, came the news that Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom had already interviewed for the Mets GM job. The 35-year-old has already worked 14 seasons in baseball and is seen as a strong combination between analytics, scouting and development.
There was also the news on Wednesday that the Mets have shown interest in Cleveland Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff, though it’s unclear whether he will ultimately interview for the position.
What we also know about the Mets is they have one of the smallest analytic departments in baseball – former Mets FO exec Adam Fisher stated 3 full-time members earlier this year which was confirmed by recent article done by Marc Carig and Eno Sarris of The Athletic – and they’ve recently turned down chances to make it bigger.
Tim Britton, also of the The Athletic, reported that Sandy Alderson was told “No’ repeatedly when he asked for more than the full-time analytics department that consists of only three.
That decision, along with the meddling and overreaching nature of Jeff Wilpon, has steered viable candidates away from the Mets GM vacancy as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic perfectly stated today, “The Mets’ job should be one of the most attractive in the game, drawing widespread, heavy interest. But executives throughout the sport believe the Wilpons exert greater day-to-day influence than many owners, and the team has yet to make a strong commitment to analytics even as other clubs continue to ramp up their research and development staffs.”
Ken hits the nail on the head.
The Mets play in a large market, have arguably one of the best rotations in baseball and starting to build back up their farm system combined with possible young core players like Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and Brandon Nimmo.
Absolutely, the Mets GM job should have a long list of the best up-and-coming executives in baseball fighting over the job but instead they have owners reluctant to give in to modern baseball, put themselves back atop the list of spending or let the people they hire to make baseball decisions actually do them.
If the Mets are committed to winning in the short and long-term the next GM and/or president of the team won’t have to look over his shoulder every decision time to see whether owners will go along with what he’s doing.