If you’re into a good redemption story, the possibility of Billy Beane returning to the New York Mets — the team that drafted him as a highly-touted prospect in 1980 before his playing career went south — as their president of baseball operations and building a World Series contender would certainly be up there with the best of them.
While initial reports tabbed such an acquisition as unlikely, SNY’s John Harper reported that Beane would be “very much open to the idea,” of joining the Mets as their president of baseball operations (PBO).
As the Mets begin navigating through the early parts of their offseason, finding a PBO is perceived to be the first priority that needs to be checked off the list — thus installing one of the key decision-makers that will help bring on a new general manager and manager.
Beane is a name that has been linked with the Mets since owner Steve Cohen took over last year, though he and team president Sandy Alderson could not fill the PBO vacancy.
The 59-year-old Beane is the current executive vice president of baseball operations for the Oakland Athletics — an organization he has spent the last 31 years with, first joining as a scout in 1990 before he was named general manager after the 1997 season. He was promoted to executive vice president in 2015.
Beane has built the reputation of building contending baseball teams under the strict financial limitations that come with a small-market club like the Athletics. Since he took over as GM for the 1998 season, Beane’s Athletics have posted records over .500 16 times and have made the playoffs on 11 occasions.
Much of that has to do with Beane’s ability to identify talent to ensure that a steady stream of homegrown products at least keeps the team competitive. Four members of the Athletics’ starting lineup this season that won 86 games were drafted by the team, including stars Matt Olson and Matt Chapman.
If Beane were to join the Mets, he would hire a general manager to handle day-to-day operations, per Harper.