The New York Mets are on the prowl for a new leader of their baseball operations department. It won't be former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein, however, according to a report from SNY's Andy Martino.
Per Martino, Epstein and Mets owner Steve Cohen had a conversation about the job, but agreed that it was not the "right opportunity" for Epstein.
As our own Dayn Perry chronicled earlier this week, the Mets' opening stems from failures on the part of past hires. Jared Porter was fired before he could oversee a game after ESPN reported about his harassment of a female reporter. Interim general manager Zack Scott, meanwhile, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence late in the season. It seemed unlikely that Scott would have retained the position full time anyway.
One factor to consider as the Mets proceed, presumably with an eye on wooing a well-regarded executive like Billy Beane (Oakland Athletics) or David Stearns (New York Mets): the presence and influence of Sandy Alderson, New York's team president. As Perry noted:
One weighty consideration is Alderson's presence and how said presence will affect the search for a new baseball ops lead decision-maker. As team president, Alderson in a conventional structure could wield power over baseball ops decisions if he chose to do so. Maybe Beane would be comfortable with that arrangement, as he mentored under Alderson in Oakland and by all accounts still has a close relationship with him. But what about Epstein? Given his laurels and high demand across an array of sectors, Epstein has a great deal of leverage. Would he accept anything less than total control of baseball ops? Would he be willing to work under Alderson even if promised total control of baseball ops?
The Mets have a slew of other matters to address this winter, including hiring a new manager to replace Luis Rojas. The Mets also have a number of key players heading toward free agency, with starters Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard chief among them.