After weeks of courting high-profile executives to step in as president of baseball operations, the Mets are now focused on hiring a general manager, Sandy Alderson told reporters Tuesday (Twitter links via Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News).
It’s an important distinction in terms of title, even if the end result — bringing someone into the organization to oversee baseball operations — is largely the same. Focusing on a general manager rather than a president role further signals that the Mets will be zeroing in on executives who are at the assistant GM level rather than mining other clubs in hopes of prying away an existing GM or president of baseball ops, as they’d previously sought to do. Alderson emphasized that he does not believe the Mets will get to the point where he runs baseball operations himself (Twitter link via Newsday’s Tim Healey) — a role to which he does not wish to return.
Focusing on the AGM ranks broadens the field of possibilities for the Mets, although it also means the Mets may settle on a less-experienced baseball ops leader than originally hoped. That’s not necessarily inevitable, however; there are plenty of former GMs in non-GM roles around the sport. Dodgers senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, for instance, has been a rumored candidate and previously served as GM of two different NL West clubs (Padres, D-backs).
Alderson declined to put a timeline on the search’s outcome but did note that a managerial hire likely wouldn’t be made until a new baseball operations leader is in place. Alderson’s hope, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets, is that they’ve already spoken to the candidate they’ll eventually hire. As for the struggles in terms of making this hire, Alderson rather candidly acknowledged that there’s been a struggle (video link via SNY).
“In some cases, we haven’t gotten permission [to interview a candidate with another organization],” Alderson said. “In some cases, I think people are comfortable where they are — whether it be a family situation or something professional. And in other cases, I think, admittedly, there’s a reluctance to come to New York — but I think it’s mostly about New York and not about [owner Steve Cohen], or the organization. It’s a big stage, and some people would just prefer to be elsewhere.”
One possible name that has recently emerged is that of former Nationals assistant GM Adam Cromie. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that Cromie is “in the mix” of candidates for the vacancy. He stepped away from the Nationals and from baseball in general back in 2017 to work at a law firm in Pittsburgh, per Janes. The Post’s Barry Svrluga notes that Cromie joined the Nats out of grad school and rose through the front-office ranks while putting himself through law school in the evenings before eventually deciding to fully pursue that legal career.