New York Mets team president Sandy Alderson provided the update of a pivot within the organization’s approach to constructing their new-look front office on Monday afternoon.
After an initial hope to hire a president of baseball operations and general manager to perform under Alderson — with all three reporting to new owner Steve Cohen — the Mets will now just be searching for a general manager.
Alderson cited a lack of access to the potential president of baseball operation candidates, forcing the change in direction.
“The structure of a president of baseball operations and a general manager is in part an attempt to bring more talent into the organization,” Alderson said. “With the position of president of baseball operations, typically, one would get access to individuals who are currently GM’s under president of baseball operations. In some cases, we were looking at potential lateral moves. We respect the fact that individuals are under contract with other clubs… There might be circumstances that might suggest that a lateral move might be possible. In each of those instances, that wasn’t the case.”
“An inability to get access to individuals for lateral moves, for another it was a strong family issue that prevented a candidate from moving forward,” Alderson said. “We’re happy where we are, we canvased the possibilities and have begun to focus on the GM position.”
Alderson admitted that the Mets have interviewed a “half-dozen” general-manager candidates and is in the process of deciding if a second round of talks are needed before presenting the final candidates to Cohen.
“We’re not concerned about a timeline,” Alderson said, adding that he would like to find the right guy “sooner rather than later.”
Without a president of baseball operations hire, the 73-year-old Alderson will assume the responsibilities of running the day-to-day baseball operations along with his role as team president — a heavy workload for the veteran executive who is returning to the team that parted ways with him as general manager in 2018.
“It’s something I had to think about but it’s born out of the circumstances,” Alderson said. “I hope that we are able to hire someone who will be able to handle most of the traditional general manager role. I would expect that I will be a little more involved in decision making and mentoring.”
This comes after the Mets reportedly struck out or never got an opportunity to speak with potential candidates, including Milwaukee Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, while they passed on a chance to speak to Cleveland Indians general manager Mike Chernoff and Oakland Athletics GM David Forst. Speculation also tabbed the Mets with having an interest in Theo Epstein, but Alderson confirmed that the team did not reach out to him.
The only known candidate that has interviewed with the Mets is former Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill. It is unknown if it was for the vacant general manager position.
Among notable potential candidates is MLB executive and former Mets pitcher Chris Young along with Tampa Bay Rays special assistant to the general manager Bobby Heck.
Heck has piqued the interest of Cohen, a source told amNewYork Metro last week and was confirmed by multiple reports on Monday.
“[We’re looking for] somebody who has some modicum of experience in this particular area, baseball,” Alderson said. “But also someone who has the ability to provide solid inspirational, if you will, leadership. That’s about communication, that’s about empathy, that’s about understanding how organizations function. Emphasis on teamwork, collaboration… sort of a humble approach to leadership as opposed to one that has to do with title and responsibility.”
Among other notable revelations, Alderson also confirmed that manager Luis Rojas will return for a second season in 2021.