It appears increasingly unlikely that the Mets will obtain permission to hire Oakland Athletics executive vice president Billy Beane or Milwaukee Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, league sources tell SNY.
As a result, those sources suggest that the Mets could pivot to a search for a young general manager-type who could assume the GM title in New York, or -- if necessary to get permission to hire that person -- president of baseball operations.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the lack of optimism around Stearns and Beane on Friday, and we are hearing the same from league sources.
In the end, the first phase of the Mets’ search was complicated not by a willingness to work for the Mets as much as by baseball’s rules about who a team can interview and when.
Industry chatter was that both Beane and Stearns were at least open-minded about the possibility of talking to Steve Cohen. As SNY reported, Cohen did speak to Theo Epstein, but neither saw a fit.
The Mets have not yet been formally denied permission to speak to Stearns, but that is the expected outcome. It was previously thought that Stearns had just one year remaining on his contract in Milwaukee, but it is now believed that the Brewers hold a vesting option on him for 2023.
While the terms of that option remain unconfirmed, it is enough to change the industry perception of the Mets’ leverage with Milwaukee. League sources say that Stearns would have been intrigued by the position, but Stearns himself did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
As for Beane, while he has told several friends in the industry that he was also intrigued by the Mets job, the current sense is that he is unlikely to leave Oakland. The questions about Beane had always been whether he wanted to run a team again on a more granular level, and whether he wanted to uproot himself and his young family.
Right now -- and we won’t assume what the reasons are until Beane addresses them -- it simply doesn’t appear a likely fit. It was also no guarantee that Oakland owner John Fisher would grant permission for Beane to seek the job.
The Mets will continue their search for new leadership in baseball operations. Team president Sandy Alderson did not return to the organization to be the general manager, and is not interested in anything more than an advisory role in that department.
As previously reported, the Mets have discussed Dodgers assistant GM Brandon Gomes, although Los Angeles is said to be open to promoting Gomes to GM if he receives another offer.
Brewers GM Matt Arnold, Giants GM Scott Harris and others from that generation of talented young executives could be in the mix. The Mets might have to offer a president title to obtain permission to speak to those execs. They could also look for rival assistant GMs to promote to general manager.
Acting GM Zack Scott made a very strong impression on Alderson and Cohen. He is currently on administrative leave while awaiting trial on Dec. 8 on a DWI charge. It’s worth noting that Scott is exactly the type of executive the Mets will seek, and he remains employed by the club.