The New York Mets search for a new head of baseball operations has evidently hit more dead ends. The Mets, who have been turned down by several high-profile candidates in recent weeks, appear to have whiffed on Milwaukee Brewers general manager Matt Arnold, who has withdrawn his name from consideration, per MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Arnold had been New York's leading candidate, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
As of Tuesday, the Mets had been waiting for the Brewers to grant them permission to speak to Arnold about the role. Teams seldom stand in the way of employees who have the opportunity to take a promotion, rendering that aspect more of a formality. It's unclear what, if anything, caused Arnold to take his name out of the running.
Arnold, 42 years old, has worked for the Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, and Texas Rangers during his career. He was mentioned by CBS Sports earlier this week as a plausible candidate for the Mets. Here's what we wrote at the time:
The Brewers gave Arnold a title bump last offseason, ostensibly to prevent teams from hiring him away as a GM. (Funny enough, Milwaukee did the same thing with David Stearns, possibly to keep him away from this specific Mets job.) Arnold's experience with cutting-edge, small-market teams in both Tampa Bay and Milwaukee give him the exec equivalent of indie cred. He has been mentioned in conjunction with the Mets.
The Mets have also been denied permission to interview Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. It's unlikely Shapiro would have left Toronto for what amounts to the demotion to president of baseball operations with the Mets, this still gives insight into New York's thinking. They're not limiting themselves to up-and-comers.
New York has missed out on their previous three targets after the Brewers denied the Mets permission to interview president of baseball operations David Stearns and both Oakland Athletics vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein withdrew from consideration.
According to Puma's report, Arnold may have looked to hire an individual from the Rays front office to become his general manager. The Rays seem likely to assign that title to Peter Bendix at some point, preventing him from taking the same job with the Mets. That means the most obvious candidate for the role would have been Bobby Heck. Puma has reported in the past that Mets owner Steve Cohen once recommended Heck to the previous ownership group as a GM candidate.
The Mets are in the market for new head baseball executives after a dismal first year under Cohen. General manager Jared Porter was fired prior to the start of the season after ESPN reported on his harassment of a woman journalist. Then, late in the season, interim GM Zack Scott was arrested on the suspicion that he was driving under the influence.