Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With Fred Wilpon now involved in the GM interview process, it is becoming more clear how the Mets will proceed in choosing a new leader for their baseball operations department. According to major league sources, the team is likely to make a hire before the GM meetings in early November -- and could zero in on its selection as soon as this week.
The Mets have not authorized anyone to discuss this search on any level, but the following information is gathered from sources with direct knowledge of their process, granted anonymity to speak freely.
"This could move pretty fast," said one person involved. "I think they would like to have clarity on which direction to go by the end of the week."
According to sources, the pace will be determined in part by the Mets' selection. If they hire agent Brodie Van Wagenen, the process could take a bit longer, because of the complexities of leaving his position at CAA.
Tampa Bay's Chaim Bloom would have to negotiate a title and role that would be a definite promotion from a secure and comfortable situation with the Rays. Former Brewers GM Doug Melvin, currently a senior advisor with that team, would be the most straightforward negotiation. He would simply have to agree on a salary, and leave the Brewers. Van Wagenen interviewed Monday and Melvin Tuesday. Bloom is expected to interview Wednesday.
Per sources, here is some new insight into the elder Wilpon's thinking about the three: He purposefully wanted to hear from three candidates with different backgrounds, so he can consider where to take the franchise. While he is personally partial to a more traditional approach to the game, he is also said to be looking for a person with "energy," who can lead the Mets for years to come.
This is consistent with what we've reported throughout. Contrary to public perception, this is not a decision between "old school versus analytics." That's a false divide anyway. This is a search for a leader.
As one person who leads an MLB team's analytics department puts it, "These days, it's not about stats or scouts. It's about getting good people to understand sound strategies, and base decisions off proper logic, rather than feel."
In the view of many in the industry, the most oft-repeated concerns about each candidate are overstated. Brewers colleagues praise Melvin for his open-mindedness about new trends. Rivals who know Bloom say that he has strong player development skills.
Van Wagenen's case seems most interesting, at least on the surface, because he represents several prominent Mets. But this seems much more of a concern for Scott Boras, who on Monday criticized Van Wagenen's candidacy.
It's hardly revolutionary, or even particularly outside-the-box for a pro sports team to hire an agent. This arrangement is working well for former agent Bob Myers and his Golden State Warriors. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Pistons and Los Angels Lakers are some of the other franchises who have done this.
If Van Wagenen gets the job, his clients could either continue with the CAA team, which includes several other respected agents, or seek new representation, as is always their right.
Also worth noting, rank-and-file Mets people say that they would be comfortable working for any of the three finalists. To many folks both inside and outside the organization, Van Wagenen's candidacy is particularly intriguing.