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These are 8 names to know for Mets' GM job

MLB.com @feinsand

The Mets' front-office trio of John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya have some major decisions to make in the coming weeks, namely whether to deal either of their two aces, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The club is in the middle of a difficult season, enduring another stunning twist two weeks ago when general manager Sandy Alderson took a leave of absence to deal with cancer, effectively ending his eight-year run as general manager.

The Mets' front-office trio of John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya have some major decisions to make in the coming weeks, namely whether to deal either of their two aces, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The club is in the middle of a difficult season, enduring another stunning twist two weeks ago when general manager Sandy Alderson took a leave of absence to deal with cancer, effectively ending his eight-year run as general manager.

So while there is a lot of buzz regarding player personnel, the biggest long-term decision might be naming a GM. According to sources, the team is likely to look outside the organization for its next GM, though internal candidates will also be considered.

Aside from deGrom and/or Syndergaard, there are several other players likely to be on the move, including pending free agents Jeurys Familia, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Bautista. Any deals -- or lack thereof -- in the coming weeks could shape the Mets' future. But it remains to be seen who will be making these decisions beyond this season.

Who might be given the opportunity to turn the franchise around? Here's a look at eight candidates who could get a look:

Ricco, assistant GM, Mets
Although the source indicated the Mets are likely to look outside the organization for their next GM, it's impossible to discount Ricco as a legitimate candidate. He's worked under each of the past three Mets GMs and is a Wilpon family favorite, so even if he doesn't get the job, he's likely to remain with the club if he chooses to.

David Stearns, GM, Brewers
Eight years ago, Jon Daniels -- a Queens native who grew up rooting for the Mets -- was considered a potential candidate for the club's vacant GM job before Alderson was hired. Now, it's another New York City native (and childhood Mets fan) who could be the Mets' dream candidate. Stearns has done a marvelous job building a contender in Milwaukee, and even if a return to Gotham intrigues the 33-year-old, it seems far-fetched to think that Brewers owner Mark Attanasio would allow his GM to leave.

Jared Porter, assistant GM, D-backs
As part of the Theo Epstein tree that has produced a wealth of front-office talent, Porter has been a part of four World Series championship clubs with the Red Sox and Cubs. Porter joined Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen (another Epstein disciple) in Arizona in November 2016, taking over as the D-backs' senior vice president and assistant GM. Porter is well-respected among scouts, coaches and player development folks, his experience in several areas making him an ideal GM candidate.

Chaim Bloom, senior vice preisdent of baseball operations, Rays
A finalist for GM openings in Milwaukee and Philadelphia, Bloom has established a stellar reputation during his 13-year run with Tampa Bay. When Andrew Friedman left for Los Angeles in 2014, Bloom was promoted to the Rays' VP of baseball operations, adding the senior VP title in '16. Erik Neander holds the GM title, though the duo works in concert when it comes to the club. For Bloom, the opportunity to run his own team -- especially a big-market club in close proximity to his native Philly -- would be an interesting possibility.

Tim Naehring, VP of baseball operations, Yankees
One of Brian Cashman's most trusted lieutenants, Naehring has developed a reputation as one of the best talent evaluators in the game. The former Red Sox infielder would join Jerry Dipoto as the only former big league players in a GM position, though it remains to be seen whether Naehring would even be interested in leaving the Bronx after spending more than a decade working for Cashman.

Ben Cherington, VP of baseball operations, Blue Jays
The former Red Sox GM has been connected to other jobs, namely the Braves' opening last fall. Cherington has been serving as the Blue Jays' VP of baseball operations for the past two years, and while he seems satisfied in his role, a move back to the GM chair can't be ruled out. Cherington was the GM for Boston's 2013 World Series championship club, but he left after Dave Dombrowski was hired as president of baseball operations.

Jason McLeod, SVP of player development/scouting, Cubs
Yet another Epstein disciple, McLeod has been part of the Cubs' brain trust since November 2011 as the club's senior VP of player development and amateur scouting. McLeod has been considered a future GM for a few years, though he signed an extension with the Cubs that runs through 2021. During his time in Chicago, he's overseen the selection of first-rounders Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber in consecutive years.

Josh Byrnes, SVP of baseball operations, Dodgers
The former D-backs and Padres GM nearly landed the Mets' gig in 2010, finishing as the runner-up to Alderson. Byrnes, the Dodgers' senior VP of baseball operations for the past four years, was Epstein's assistant GM from 2003-05, helping the Red Sox break their 86-year curse. He's been a candidate for other GM jobs in recent years, including the Angels gig that went to Billy Eppler in late 2015.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

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