David Stearns has already had an eventful first week as the first-ever president of baseball operations of the New York Mets.
Two days before he was officially hired, he sent general manager Billy Eppler to fire manager Buck Showalter after two seasons with the club. Then just three days after his introductory press conference, Eppler surprisingly resigned from his position. Shortly after, reports emerged that Major League Baseball was launching an investigation into Eppler’s alleged use of the phantom injured list, which sidelined players who weren’t necessarily hurt, though Mets owner Steve Cohen appears to be avoiding the brunt of any potential repercussions.
Regardless, Stearns has yet another major position to address in his front office with the GM spot open as he begins to settle in with his new club.
The search has already begun for a manager with his former Milwaukee Brewers skipper Craig Counsell still deemed the favorite until proven otherwise. He’s also evaluating the rest of Showalter’s coaching staff, which includes pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and bench coach Eric Chavez.
When it comes to the GM role, however, it isn’t exactly a given that Stearns will immediately fill the position. A report from Tim Britton and Will Sammon of The Athletic indicated that people within the organization believe Stearns “has not yet made a decision on whether to hire a GM or on the time frame,” meaning the team might not make a hire at the position at all this winter.
If Stearns’ comments from his introductory press conference suggest anything, it’s that the Mets’ next GM — whenever that hire might happen — will be a candidate that can be molded by Stearns and grow with him. Those are the parameters he wants in his next manager.
There certainly is more than enough time this offseason for him to execute a proper search and find the right man for the job if he goes down that route, but he certainly has the experience to keep the front office afloat for a year himself. He was the Brewers’ general manager from 2015-21 before his promotion to POBO, helping build an irrelevant club into a perennial playoff contender.