Depth of MLB’s Executive Talent Pool Could Save the Mets

ATLANTA – Do you know what could save the Mets in their agonizing search for a baseball chief of operations?

Industry.

You know who should blame the Mets if they can’t find a suitable person from the industry?

themselves.

The best thing the Mets have done for themselves now is that the massive growth of front desks around the game – with larger groups, a diverse set of skills and a diverse background – has created a pool of talent from which someone will surely a) be willing to lead the Mets, even in this stage, and b) will succeed in the job.

All the Mets have to do now is find that person.

“It’s a way, a different way,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Saturday, ahead of the World Series 4 championships in Trust Park, of how front offices have evolved in 41 years as a non-participant in the organization. “Not even on the same planet as it was before.

“It’s all good, though. It’s good information. There are a lot of hard-working guys out there.”

Many people of all faiths, with a myriad of areas of expertise, can set themselves on a leadership path at a young age. Three of the most successful CEOs of the past two decades—John Daniels, Teo Epstein, and Andrew Friedman—received their first shots running baseball operations in their twenties and succeeded relatively quickly.

Ken Davidoff, the owner of the Mets website, who is still looking for a head for the team, wrote that he has a wide range of talent to choose from.
Ken Davidoff, the owner of the Mets website, who is still looking for a head for the team, wrote that he has a wide range of talent to choose from.
AP

One significant difference, versus the Mets? The three men spent time in their organizations (Daniels with Rangers, Epstein with Red Sox and Friedman with Devil Rays then) before being promoted. They knew the culture in place, and people in the workplace knew them. The Mets’ outside recruitment wouldn’t hold this advantage, and the internal promotion of Ian Levin or Tommy Tanous would carry a stench of resignation due to the Mets’ longstanding efforts not to promote from within.

Mike Puma of The Post reported Friday that lower-ranking officials — such as Cardinals assistant general manager Randy Flores, Rays vice president of player development Carlos Rodriguez, Twins GM assistant Daniel Adler and Braves GM assistant Ben Sestanovich — are on the Mets’ radar, The team’s regional sports network SNY has mentioned Red Sox GM assistant Raquel Ferreira and Brewers VP of baseball operations Matt Kleine as other possibilities.

They can go on (and they certainly are), and I can keep naming names, to fill enough space to cover a few pages of The Post’s sports section. Look at some of the people who gave interviews for recent editorials. Oakland’s Billy Owens, a Mets nominee a year ago, has played as vital a role as anyone in keeping athletics relevant on slim budgets for decades. Royals J.J. Picollo and Scott Sharp, who worked under Dayton Moore to establish an elite organizational culture (and win the World Championship over the Mets in 2015), all competed for the Angels opportunity last year that went to Perry Minassian. And on and on and on.

Can Steve Cohen identify the person who could be the best, with no previous skeletons in sight, and then develop that person to reach the full potential of both the employee and the club?

A year into his ownership, Cohen hasn’t given his team’s rabid fan base much cause for hope. The hope instead stems from the growth and expansion of Major League Baseball into all sorts of dynamic areas of thinking, raising average IQs exponentially (even if some of those IQs inadvertently make the game less watchable).

The richest owner in the game doesn’t need a bailout, yet he’s here, he doesn’t need money but a savior. At least choose the right industry to discover one.

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