Seemingly out of nowhere last week, the Mets discovered that they had a general manager vacancy after Billy Eppler’s hasty resignation just three days after David Stearns was introduced as the organization’s first-ever president of baseball operations.
While the Mets will undoubtedly be working to find a replacement for Eppler, the timeline for such a hire remains murky. The top priority is to find a manager after Buck Showalter was shown the door after two seasons and with an abundance of evaluations waiting for Stearns as he takes over the team’s front office, the hiring of a GM might not come this offseason.
With full autonomy, Stearns will likely have his pick of the litter whenever he does decide to aggressively pursue a candidate to fill the position. The 38-year-old is widely considered one of the top young minds in baseball and with team owner Steve Cohen’s resources, the Mets should be an attractive landing spot as they continue building a long-term contender.
Here are seven early potential candidates Stearns and Co. could consider:
7 potential Mets GM candidates
James Click: Click spent the 2023 season with the Toronto Blue Jays as vice president following a three-year stint as Houston Astros general manager. While at the helm of the powerhouse American League club, Click’s Astros won two American League pennants and the 2022 World Series. After turning down a one-year offer from the Astros, Click surprisingly left the organization. He previously spent 15 years with the Tampa Bay Rays, which included a stint as vice president of baseball operations where he worked alongside Chaim Bloom.
Matt Klentak: Klentak spent six years as the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies from 2015-2020, acquiring some of the major pieces — most notably Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler — that helped the organization win the National League pennant two years after his departure. He currently serves as a special assistant to the Milwaukee Brewers, the former home of Stearns.
Ben Sestanovich: If you can’t beat them, get them. Sestanovich is currently the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Braves, where he has worked under GM Alex Anthopoulos since 2019. He’s helped the Braves develop into a juggernaut in the National League, featuring one of the greatest regular-season lineups the game has ever seen in 2023. Sestanovich spent a decade working with the San Diego Padres before his move to Atlanta.
Chaim Bloom: Bloom’s stock fell mightily during his four seasons as general manager of the Boston Red Sox. Once a rising superstar who created a contender with the small-market Tampa Bay Rays, he made an ALCS with the Sox before cap issues forced him to trade Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2022, he saw Xander Bogaerts opt out of his deal and sign with the Padres. Following a last-place showing in 2023, Bloom was fired.
Carlos Rodriguez: Another Tampa Bay Rays product, Rodriguez completed his fourth season as club vice president and second as assistant general manager in 2023. Alongside GM Erik Neander, his focus in Tampa has been on major league operations and international operations.
Bill Firkus: Even with his Houston Astros currently in the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins, Firkus was dismissed as assistant general manager on Monday. He was one of the longest-tenured members of Houston’s front office where he worked under disgraced general manager Jeff Luhnow, who was fired after it was discovered that the club illegally stole signs during the 2017 season. Firkus worked with Stearns when he was assistant GM of the Astros.
Sara Goodrum: Goodrum was also dismissed by the Astros on Monday after serving as director of player development for two seasons. She also worked in Stearns’ front office with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2017-2021 where she worked her way up to minor-league hitting coordinator.
Sig Mejdal: Mejdal is the assistant general manager of the Baltimore Orioles where he, alongside GM Mike Elias, has overcome stingy ownership to build a young, exciting team that defied the odds to win the American League East this season.