As the Mets continue to look for a new president of baseball operations, there is still some uncertainty about the current role of team president Sandy Alderson. When Alderson was brought back to the Mets by new owner Steve Cohen in September 2020, the idea was for Alderson to focus on the team’s business operations once a new baseball ops head was eventually hired. That is still the Mets’ plan now, though their initial efforts to hire a big name PBO have thus far not panned out, as Billy Beane and Theo Epstein each removed themselves from consideration, and the Brewers denied the Mets permission to speak with David Stearns.
That leaves the Mets perhaps looking at hiring a first-time president of baseball operations, which could create an unusual dynamic considering Alderson’s continued presence and Cohen’s propensity for public criticism of his team. As Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic puts it, “Who, some wonder, would really hold the power to make organizational decisions?”
Obviously the owner has the ultimate final word in any organization, though most team presidents of business operations don’t have a long history (as Alderson does) of running a Major League front office. The presence of Bryn Alderson, Sandy’s son, adds another wrinkle, as the younger Alderson and Ian Levin were each promoted to assistant GM roles back in July. It isn’t uncommon for assistant general managers to remain with a team through the tenures of multiple general managers or PBOs, but it does present a bit of an unusual dynamic for a newly-hired president of baseball ops to be essentially slotted between a father and son on the organizational depth chart.
The elder Alderson tells Ghiroli that Bryn Alderson’s presence “will not be an issue, I can assure you,” to the autonomy of any new hire. As Ghiroli notes, however, the likes of a Beane or an Epstein would require complete authority over all baseball-related matters before taking the job, while “a first-time president may not feel as comfortable” insisting on such free reign. It would also seem like Alderson would naturally have some level of unofficial mentorship over an executive taking over a front office for the first time, to “phase the new hire into the role.”
On the other end of the spectrum, however, is the question about how much influence Alderson might still have. The New York Post’s Mike Puma writes that some around baseball are wondering if “Alderson is empowered to hire or even identify candidates to become the next leader of the Mets front office or if Cohen has essentially pushed aside his team president and is leading the search.” Considering the controversy associated with Alderson’s two hires as general manager (Jared Porter and Zack Scott), it could be that Cohen wants to personally handle the process.
Adding another name to the list of possible candidates, Puma writes that Rays VP of baseball development Peter Bendix is “potentially on the radar.” Bendix has been with the Rays since 2009, beginning as an intern and working his way up to his current role, which he has held for the last two seasons. Given Tampa Bay’s success at finding and developing talent on a limited budget, it isn’t surprising that Rays executives have been considered for many of the front office vacancies around baseball in recent years, with Andrew Friedman (Dodgers), Chaim Bloom (Red Sox) and James Click (Astros) all running teams still in contention for this year’s World Series.