The latest from Citi Field…
- The Mets contacted the Twins for permission to speak to Minnesota GM Thad Levine about New York’s open general manager spot, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (Twitter link), but Levine declined. Taking the Mets job would’ve presumably allowed Levine to fully command a front office, whereas chief baseball officer Derek Falvey current sits atop the decision-making pyramid in Minnesota. Still, Levine has only been with the Twins for less than two years, and he and Falvey now have the opportunity to more completely put their mark on the organization now that they’ll be able to select their own manager. Of course, there are numerous reasons why Levine declined to speak to the Mets, and perhaps he is simply comfortable in his current position.
- The Mets did receive permission from other teams to speak to other candidates, SNY.tv’s Andy Martino reports (Twitter links), and they will begin interviews next week. Several people have been linked to the Mets in reports and rumors, though the Mets are “being extremely protective about names” involved in their search, with one source telling Martino that “some of the names floated publicly are wrong.”
- Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon denied outgoing GM Sandy Alderson’s request for additional analytics department employees, The Athletic’s Tim Britton reports (subscription required), though Jeff Wilpon said in a meeting with the media last week that ownership hadn’t denied requests for front office upgrades. This wasn’t the only seeming contradiction that Britton found during Wilpon’s talk, leaving Britton to wonder if ownership is really willing to make necessary changes, given how often the Wilpons are accused of involving themselves in baseball operations decisions. The analytics department is a particularly interesting subject as it relates to the GM search, as Jeff Wilpon is reportedly more inclined to hire a younger, more statistically-oriented GM while his father Fred would prefer a more experienced candidate with a traditional scouting and player development background. As per a recent piece from The Athletic’s Marc Carig and Eno Sarris, the Mets have one of the smallest analytical staffs of any team in baseball.