ATLANTA — The Mets’ hunt for the head of baseball’s operations appears to have turned into a search for a general manager, with the team’s focus perhaps shifting more to rising CEOs than well-known names.
It’s an extensive research that can’t be guaranteed to be completed by the time the general managers meetings take place in Carlsbad, California, on November 8, but owner Steve Cohen remains actively involved in the process, according to sources.
Among the names on the Mets’ radar are Cardinals assistant general manager Randy Flores, Rays vice president of player development Carlos Rodriguez, Twins assistant general manager Daniel Adler and Braves assistant general manager Ben Sestanovich, according to industry sources.
Additionally, Dodgers GM assistant Jeff Kingston declined to be interviewed by the Mets for this position.
Big fish like Theo Epstein, Billy Beane and David Stearns were hunted early in the process by the Mets, but for various reasons they won’t come up. But Cohen spoke with Epstein, and team boss Sandy Alderson had an initial conversation with Ben to gauge his potential interest, according to sources. One of the purposes of those conversations was to receive recommendations from Epstein and Benn regarding potential appointments.
The Mets did not receive permission from the Brewers to interview Stearns, the chief of baseball operations. Stearns’ senior lieutenant, Matt Arnold, turned the Mets’ interest in him into a contract extension from the Brewers. Also, Giants assistant GM Scott Harris withdrew his name from consideration after the Mets showed interest. The Mets was denied permission to speak with Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro for the job, and Cardinals GM Mike Girsch declined the opportunity to interview.
Like last year, the Mets kicked off the off-season with the idea of hiring a head of baseball operations and a general manager. But that focus could have shifted, making it possible only GM would be hired. In the latest season, Alderson hired Jared Porter as general manager, but was fired after about a month on the job when it was revealed he had sent inappropriate photos and text messages to a female journalist during his time with the Cubs. Alderson appointed GM assistant Zach Scott to the job on a temporary basis, but Scott was placed on administrative leave in September after a DWI arrest in White Plains. Scott is awaiting trial on December 8.
Cory Oswalt, Jose Peraza, Jose Martinez, and Robert Stock all rejected appointments by the Mets to Triple A Syracuse and elected to become free agents.