Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets have interviewed more than the five candidates known in the first round of their search for a new head of baseball operations, and plan to speak to one or two more before determining finalists, according to major league sources.
The team is being extremely secretive about this initial phase of the process, refusing to confirm or deny that they spoke with any individuals. But according to other league sources, the known list of Kim Ng, Gary LaRocque, Chaim Bloom, De Jon Watson and Doug Melvin is incomplete.
Jeff Wilpon and John Ricco, who are conducting the first round conversations, have spoken to a few others as well. This could come into play if there are any surprises among the finalists. Per sources, the first round is winding down, with one or two more people expected to interview this week and possibly next.
As we reported Monday, Ricco will largely step aside during the second round, and Fred Wilpon will enter the process.
The team is looking for one person to run baseball operations, rather than split responsibilities into player development and the major league roster. The sense I get in talking to people who have spoken with Mets officials is that the team is not thinking so much in terms of old school versus analytics, but is seeking a person who can present a cohesive, compelling plan for the franchise for many years to come. The Mets aren't looking for stats or scouts per se, but overall vision and direction.
Agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Casey Close could yet emerge as candidates. Among those who have already come in for formal interviews, Bloom is probably generating the most buzz among rivals as a smart member of the overachieving Tampa Bay Rays. But the only people whose opinions will ultimately matter are Fred and Jeff Wilpon, and the former has not yet participated in an interview.