NOVEMBER 1: The Red Sox are expected to grant Ferreira permission to interview with the Mets, assuming she’s interested in doing so, reports Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (on Twitter).
OCTOBER 30, 1:23PM: Brewers VP of baseball operations Matt Kleine is another candidate the Mets have discussed, as per Martino (Twitter link). With both Kleine and Rodriguez, however, the Mets are wary about approaching the Brewers and Rays since both teams have repeatedly denied New York’s requests to interview other front office personnel in the past. Kleine is believed to be interested, and his hiring could help set the stage for the Mets to land Stearns as a free agent a year from now (or after the 2023 season, depending on the reported vesting option in Stearns’ deal with Milwaukee).
OCTOBER 30, 8:05AM: The Mets’ attempts to hire a new president of baseball operations or general manager has hit its share of roadblocks, and Dodgers assistant GM Jeff Kingston is the latest executive to decline an interview with the team, according to The New York Post’s Mike Puma. However, several other prospective candidates remain, as it seems as though the Mets now could be specifically looking for a general manager, rather than someone to fully take the entire reigns of the baseball ops department.
To this end, Puma writes Rays VP of player development Carlos Rodriguez, and assistant GMs Daniel Adler (Twins), Randy Flores (Cardinals), and Ben Sestanovich (Braves) are all “on the Mets’ radar” as possible candidates. The Mets have also asked the Red Sox for permission to speak with assistant GM Raquel Ferreira, SNY’s Andy Martino reports.
Any of these five executives would be a first-time GM, and ostensibly in charge of the baseball operations department even without the official “president” label. The unusual nature of the Mets’ front office dynamic has led to some questions about how much authority a new GM would have, as team president Sandy Alderson is remaining with the club and has said he’ll be shifting over to focusing on the team’s business matters once a new baseball ops head is in place.
Had Mets owner Steve Cohen been successful in luring one of his big-ticket initial targets (i.e. Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, David Stearns) to New York, it would’ve made for a smoother transition, as any of those execs would’ve been the PBO and had the sway to make their own choice for a general manager to act as their chief lieutenant. However, it is perhaps understandable why Kingston and others have opted out of what could be considered as something of a glorified one-year trial period. If the Mets play well in 2022, a newly-hired GM could be entrusted to become the president of baseball operations; if the Mets struggle, Cohen could resume his search for a major name as PBO, leaving the general manager as perhaps something of a lame duck.
Cardinals GM Michael Girsch, Giants GM Scott Harris, newly-promoted Brewers GM Matt Arnold, and another Dodgers assistant in Brandon Gomes have all declined to be considered for the Mets’ job. For the five names mentioned by Puma and Martino, it is possible any of the Rays, Twins, Cardinals, Braves, or Red Sox could deny New York permission to interview their personnel, though teams usually don’t stand in the way of their executives being offered a promotion.
Kingston technically has experience as a general manager, as he served as the Mariners’ interim GM for the last month-plus of the 2015 season after Jack Zduriencik was fired. Kingston has worked as an assistant GM for the last six seasons (three with the Mariners, three with the Dodgers) and he has been considered for other front office openings in recent years. The Phillies and Angels each had interest in Kingston for their most recent GM vacancies, and Kingston was a finalist for the Angels’ position before the team hired Perry Minasian.