Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It is still too early to know who the next GM of the Mets will be, but the team is deep enough in its search process to have a sharper idea of who it won't be, and to put outside-the-box candidates in play.
The oft-repeated idea that the Mets are thinking of this search in the binary terms of analytics vs. old school is a bit oversimplified. Several names discussed internally - most notably the agents Casey Close and Brodie Van Wagenen - do not fall in either category. The New York Post's Joel Sherman first suggested that Van Wagenen might be a fit, and we can report the Mets have in fact discussed both him and Close.
The two are respected agents, well-spoken with the media and deeply connected in the game. Close was Derek Jeter's longtime agent, among many other clients, and CAA's Van Wagenen reps Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes and Tim Tebow.
To be clear: We're not predicting that Close or Van Wagenen will interview for or get the job. But the fact that the Mets even raised their names tells us something about how broad a net they are casting, and the type of candidate who could ultimately emerge.
What many Mets people believe the team needs is a credible face of the organization, and an experienced leader who can project confidence to the public, and collaborate with the many folks already in place, from Omar Minaya and Terry Collins to existing player development personnel.
When Sandy Alderson stepped aside in June, the Mets were left with a leadership void, both internally and in communicating a unified message to the media.
That was the appeal of Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro. But according to sources, Shapiro is unlikely to leave Toronto. That is a new and somewhat disappointing development for the Mets officials who were hoping to work with him. Some folks associated with the Mets hold out hope that Ben Cherington, the former Boston GM who works with Shapiro in Toronto, will end up being interested.
Also unlikely to get an interview is longtime assistant and former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, according to sources. The Mets do not view Ricciardi as a fit for the job.
Orioles GM Dan Duquette now appears likely to stay in Baltimore, but could become a candidate in New York if that falls through.
And despite continued speculation that John Ricco might end up with the job, we can report that Ricco as GM is profoundly, deeply, truly, madly unlikely to happen. Basically, he won't be in that job next year barring an extremely unexpected change. Have we laid on enough superlatives?
The same goes for Minaya, who continues to insist to friends that he has no interest in a second stint as GM. Having said that, he is a longtime Fred Wilpon favorite, and therefore in a slightly different category than Ricco.
Interviews for external candidates could begin late this month, or early next. And you shouldn't be shocked by any unexpected name that arises.