LOS ANGELES -- The Mets’ desire to hire an experienced president of baseball operations has, for the second consecutive year, hit a significant snag. A’s executive vice president Billy Beane, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns and former Red Sox and Cubs executive Theo Epstein are all no longer under consideration for the Mets’ top baseball ops job, according to a combination of sources and media reports.
Mets officials have not revealed if they intend to continue searching for a president of baseball operations or, like last year, shift their focus instead to a general manager.
In either event, the Mets’ inability to interview top candidates echoes the issues they endured last November, when their lack of success in that arena forced them to pivot to a GM search. The team ultimately hired Jared Porter, who was subsequently dismissed over allegations of sexual misconduct, then Zack Scott.
The New York Post was first to report that like last year, the Mets were denied permission to interview Stearns, a New York native who is under contract with the Brewers. The Athletic followed with a report that Beane had withdrawn from consideration. A source previously confirmed that Epstein, following a video conference with Mets owner Steve Cohen, also removed his name from the search.
The withdrawals of those three leave the Mets with a dearth of obvious candidates boasting experience as presidents of baseball operations. The Mets could hire a GM from another team -- such as San Francisco’s Scott Harris or Cleveland’s Mike Chernoff, for example -- and promote him to a president position, though they struggled to find suitable applicants last year. Or they could hire a young assistant GM and make him GM. In Major League circles, executives under contract elsewhere are generally allowed to interview for positions that would be considered promotions.
No matter the strategy, it is a process that could take several weeks more to complete, delaying an offseason that will also require the Mets to hire a manager and make several impactful player acquisitions.
Cohen and Mets president Sandy Alderson are overseeing the search. Their goal is to hire a top baseball operations executive and have Alderson pivot to the business side of the organization, though Alderson has indicated a willingness to keep a hand in baseball ops in an advisory role. He is currently serving as the Mets’ top baseball executive, overseeing a pair of recently promoted assistant GMs: his son, Bryn Alderson, and Ian Levin.