Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It is too soon to say what type of general manager the Mets want to hire. Over the past few weeks, the organization has batted around names of potential candidates with a variety of backgrounds. There are many voices involved, from Fred and Jeff Wilpon to Omar Minaya, to John Ricco, and no consensus yet.
As the Mets weigh their options, here's an opinion from someone (uh, me) who has covered the organization for the better part of a decade: Hire a GM with deep experience and credibility in the game. Focus more on gravitas than scouting versus analytics, or any other particulars of philosophy. The best executives are the moderates who draw from all belief systems, anyway.
New York presents unique challenges, as does this job. The baseball media is more aggressive than in any city other than perhaps Boston, and the next Mets GM will inherit a pre-existing infrastructure of high-ranking executives, and a manager hired by his predecessor.
He or she will need to solve a complicated roster puzzle, figuring out what to do with a strange mixture of high-end starting pitching and injured, expensive position players.
To meet these challenges, the Mets need a proven executive, rather than a brilliant youngster like Arizona's Jared Porter, or Milwaukee's David Stearns.
A pair of former Red Sox GMs, Dan Duquette and Ben Cherington, fit the team's needs perfectly [disclaimer: Duquette's cousin, Jim Duquette, is an SNY analyst]. Cherington is said by friends to be happy in his current job as vice president of baseball operations for the Blue Jays, but several Mets officials are hoping that he emerges as a serious candidate.
Duquette could be getting ready to move on from a largely successful tenure with the Orioles. Prior to revitalizing that franchise - a project so successful that the Toronto Blue Jays wanted to make him their team president, and the Orioles wouldn't let him go - he had a major hand in building the curse-breaking Sox team in 2004.
Another widely respected veteran executive, Josh Byrnes, is unlikely to become a candidate. Byrnes has been connected to the Mets because he finished second to Sandy Alderson in 2010. But he has told colleagues that, while he enjoyed the interview process the last time around and Minaya is a close friend, he is unlikely to leave his job in the Dodgers front office.