Beane ignores rumors, focuses on A's future

October 4th, 2021

OAKLAND -- Throughout his long tenure with the A’s, Billy Beane has grown accustomed to seeing his name thrown in the mix whenever a high-profile front-office job around baseball opens up. This offseason will be no different.

The Mets are set to revamp their front office, and reports in recent months have linked Beane to that situation as a possible candidate for New York’s vacant executive position. It appears to be somewhat of a natural fit. Beane shares a strong relationship with Mets president Sandy Alderson that dates back to their time together in Oakland’s front office, which began in the early 1990s.

During an end-of-year session with media on Monday, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations finally had a chance to address those reports.

“I’ve been around long enough,” Beane said. “I’ll take it as a compliment that this has been, with a lot of our staff, an annual thing. This is the time of year. I don’t even respond to newspaper articles. I haven’t followed that news. There’s no need to really respond to those. I’d be here all day, I think.”

Asked about a specific report that the Mets intend to reach out to A’s ownership to request an official interview and if that request has been received, Beane said he “wouldn’t even know” at this point.

“This has happened through my career,” Beane said. “It’s a credit to the organization and a reflection of the success. It’s all speculation. Normally, the process would involve them calling the owner, which has happened in the past. For me to be worried about this is really to lend credibility to it. It’s all just press reports.”

Beane, who started his front office-career with the A’s in 1990 as an advanced scout before working his way up to assistant general manager and eventually GM before his current position, is more focused on trying to better an Oakland squad that, despite going 86-76, just missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2017.

That focus will center around the club’s 10 upcoming free agents, many of whom were key contributors this past year. It’s a list that is topped by electric midseason acquisition Starling Marte and also includes Mark Canha, Josh Harrison, Yan Gomes and Yusmeiro Petit.

Exactly how many of those players Beane and A’s general manager David Forst will be able to retain remains up in the air. Factoring into this equation is the expected salary raises through arbitration of stars Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, as well as starting pitchers Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas.

“For us, the offseason starts right now,” Beane said. “I think the idea is, obviously, we have some significant players that are important to this club right now, going forward that still have service time with us. It really depends on the level of our payroll, to be totally frank with you.

“And where we are as a club, too. Sometimes moves aren’t made just because of payroll. They’re made because we need to make some changes for the long-term. Those discussions will be part of our next couple of weeks.”