It’s incredible what a few months can do for a Major League Baseball franchise’s image.
The New York Mets officially introduced Jared Porter as the 14th general manager in franchise history on Monday evening, rounding out the very top of the organization’s front office while continuing to exhibit the culture change and perception around the club.
Once a frugal franchise, the Mets are becoming a legitimate destination for some of baseball’s top up-and-coming minds after Steve Cohen took over as majority owner. Porter landed the general-manager role at just 41 years old following front-office stints and four World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Jared came extremely well recommended from a variety of sources and through our interviews, those recommendations were born out,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said. “He’s absolutely immersed himself in what we’re doing and I’m very pleased to have him and I look forward to many years of connection and collaboration.”
Porter described the Mets as “incredibly appealing” in their commitment to putting together a contending team as soon as possible, which made the decision to join a club playing in what he labeled as “the greatest city in the world,” an easy one.
“The ability to invest in people and invest in new technologies and invest in infrastructure… I feel very fortunate to be in a position where those resources will be provided to us,” he said. “What we’ve talked about the most is just a cultural shift for one. Adding good people… improving on the organizational culture. Adding depth to the roster.”
He brings a wealth of knowledge in both player development and analytics — two of the Mets’ leaner departments under the Wilpons — that will help provide a foundation of sustained success.
“It really brings everything together,” Porter said. “Touches on how we play every night. Touches on how we evaluate players, develop players.”
Those upgrades are expected to provide the finishing touches on a roster that already carries plenty of promise with a core on the cusp of making a postseason push. Even before Porter’s hire, the Mets have been active on the market, bringing on reliever Trevor May to bolster the bullpen while reportedly agreeing to a deal with catcher James McCann.
McCann’s potential addition is the first step to bolstering Porter’s top target of up the middle at catcher and center field.
“Roster depth is important. I think it’s critical to have a real deep 40-man roster to get through a full 162 [game season],” he said. “From a position-player standpoint, I think up the middle is really important.”
The Mets have been linked with the likes of center fielder George Springer, who would catapult the team to a major threat in the National League.
Alderson was quick to point out, however, that there will be ebbs and flows to the market that will dictate how the Mets build off the signings of McCann and May.
“We’d like to build on that momentum, but as Steve said, we’re not going to spend like drunken sailors, either.” “We’re definitely in the market and definitely talking.”
Regardless, adding Springer would start Porter and the Mets on the right foot when it comes to meeting Cohen’s wish of winning a World Series within three-to-five years.
But Porter isn’t focusing on that kind of deadline.
“I don’t want to put a number or timeline on it. Hearing comments like that motivates me and excites me,” he said. “It shows a strong commitment from ownership who wants to put a strong product on the field for the fans of New York… I want to provide that kind of atmosphere.”