The New York Mets continue to seek a new general manager. The interview process has thus far seen them connected to a varied group: Some new-school types; some grizzled vets; and so on. Call it casting a wide net, not knowing what you want in a GM, or not being able to find someone willing to work under the Wilpons, but their reported candidates have been all over the map. As such, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Mets have been connected to someone whose GM days seemed well behind them. Yet Wednesday added a stunning candidate to the mix: Former Pittsburgh Pirates GM Dave Littlefield.
Source: Dave Littlefield has interviewed for the Mets’ GM job.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 17, 2018
Littlefield was the Pirates GM for more than six years, beginning in July 2001. Under his watch, Pittsburgh peaked at 75 wins -- and that was a one-year aberration, as they won 72 games or fewer in all of his other seasons. What's more is Littlefield developed a reputation as one of the worst GM in recent history, in baseball or otherwise.
Let's roll that beautiful bean footage on some of his most memorable mistakes:
Left enough decent prospects unprotected that five of the top six picks in the 2003 Rule 5 draft were Pirates: Chris Shelton, Rich Thompson, Frank Brooks, Jeff Bennett, and Jose Bautista. This despite the Pirates having 40-man roster spots available and, you know, being a bad team who seemingly needed young talent.
Took on what was left of Matt Morris's contract in exchange for Rajai Davis despite a low payroll at the 2007 trade deadline ... then cut Morris after five starts the next spring.
Drafted Bryan Bullington (No. 1), Brad Lincoln (No. 4), and Daniel Moskos (No. 4) in the top five within a six-year span.
Traded Aramis Ramirez, Jason Kendall, and others without getting worthwhile returns.
Reportedly turned down a Ryan Howard for Kris Benson trade ... because the Pirates already had Brad Eldred.
Every GM has erred, of course. Messing up is the warp and the woof of the job, and it's easy to wonder what the person was thinking with the benefit of hindsight. Heck, Littlefield can even boast a few big hits -- like drafting Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. "Few" is the operative word there, however, as the body of his work suggests he wasn't too good at running a team.
That isn't to say Littlefield provides no value to a team; he's worked for the Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers since being dismissed by the Pirates. Littlefield just doesn't seem like someone who should be a legitimate GM candidate in 2018 -- particularly not of a big-market team who has some legitimate talent on hand.
As such, it's not good sign for the Mets that this is where their GM search has landed.