In the days after Sandy Alderson stepped down as GM due to health reasons, I mentioned how the Mets should not just hire a GM, but also hire a President of Baseball Operations to set short-term goals for the GM and staff, all of which should be based on a clear, longer-term strategy.
Four of the five teams currently using this hierarchy (Red Sox, A's, Dodgers and Cubs) made the postseason this year. It's a successful structure because it separates the day-to-day networking, media updates, transaction management and paperwork from the big picture concepts, communicating with ownership and the restructuring and overseeing of all new and existing departments.
The other advantage to interviewing for a more senior-level position is that it more or less assures the Mets the opportunity to talk with current lower-level executives from with other teams.
In most cases, the President is older than the GM, has been in multiple front office positions for 10-15 years, and has at least a modest track record of success..
It's hard to say exactly who I would like to see fill the above two roles. However, my initial instinct is to hire Hoyer to run strategy, staffing and direction of the franchise, while letting him choose the GM -- potentially a lesser-know, up-and-comer like Nationals assistant GM and VP of Player Personnel Doug Harris, Diamondbacks Senior VP and Assistant GM Jared Porter, or Cubs Senior VP of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod.
To read more about several of the above candidates, check out this post I wrote in June, foreshadowing some of the names we would be hearing during the next few weeks.
In the end, I'm super intrigued by the idea of installing Hoyer as President and McLeod as GM, given their success in Chicago and considering they worked together with the Padres before joining Theo Epstein in Boston and moving with him to the Cubs.
These are two men ready to run a big-market team, and what a better read on a resume than to have brought a World Championship to the Red Sox, then the Cubs, and then the Mets. That would be amazing...
By the way, in addition to hiring a GM and CEO-type President/Strategist, I'd like to see the Mets add a recent player or two as special assistants to the above two offices, as well as significantly expand their Baseball Systems department and create an old-school, new-school dynamic atop their player development and scouting departments.
For instance, the Twins last year hired Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and Latroy Hawkins to provide insight and advice to team executives and current players in the clubhouse. Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek do a similar job in Boston. This is where recent stars David Wright and, say, Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey or Johan Santana could be of service, as they're recent enough to relate and help the modern player, but also experienced enough to advise the front office on player-related issues.
The Red Sox currently have eight people listed as members of their research, analytics and baseball systems department. The Mets have two. In general, the Red Sox list 33 people in management of their baseball operations and administration department, whereas the Mets list 18. This may be a matter of categorizing people and titles, but ask anyone around baseball and you'll hear them say the Mets are severely understaffed.
In regards to scouting and player development, the New York Post recently reported that former manager, now Mets special assistant Terry Collins may also assume a larger role in the next front office.
My understanding is that Collins will not be a fixture in the offices at Citi Field, but instead work in a role likely based in St. Lucie, where the team runs most of its minor-league operations.
The newest trend developing in other front offices is to pair an older, more traditional scout with a younger, evidence-based analyst to serve under the director of that related department. I can see the former half being a perfect fit for Collins, who is highly regarded around baseball and with the Mets for his ability to identify talent and guide them through the farm system.
Remember, before being hired by Alderson to serve as his big-league manager, Collins was hired in 2010 by Omar Minaya to be the organization's minor-league field coordinator. Terry once told me he will forever hold a special place in his heart for the young guy hustling to find his way in the game because, despite his 10-year playing career, he never made it to the big leagues.
The point being, in a game seemingly flush with people qualified to scout using analytics, the informative old-timer relying only on his eyes and instinct is less in supply, yet suddenly again being sought out in every front office. Collins, who is adored by Fred Wilpon, can 100 percent be that guy.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!