Mets owner Steve Cohen entered the offseason with three names in mind to become his next president of baseball operations: Theo Epstein, the Brewers’ David Stearns and the Athletics’ Billy Beane.
None of them will attempt to save baseball in Queens as Cohen had hoped. Epstein met with Cohen a month ago and decided it wasn’t a fit. The Brewers have denied Cohen twice from meeting with Stearns. And now The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Beane has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Beane, 57, became general manager of the Athletics in 1997, succeeding Sandy Alderson, now team president of the Mets. Known for his innovative use of analytics and “moneyball” approach, Beane has made the most of a limited payroll and a subpar stadium over the past 25 years. He was promoted to vice president of baseball operations in 2015, a role he still retains today. Beane also has minority stake in ownership of the Athletics, making it unlikely he’d ever leave for anywhere else.
That includes the Mets, who despite having the third highest payroll in 2021, finished third in the NL East with a 77-85 record. New York led the division for majority of the season before a meltdown occurred in the second half of the season. The Mets went 22-37 from August-October even after acquiring infielder Javier Báez at the trade deadline from the Cubs. Cohen was clearly disappointed, firing manager Luis Rojas after just two seasons at the helm.
New York is now on the hunt for its fourth manager in ten years and its fourth general manager in as many seasons. It’s dysfunction at every level and to this point, nobody is falling over themselves to become the next man in charge. If the once proud franchise had any lure at all, Beane would have taken the job and it’s likely Epstein would have too. And it’s not a good sign when two of the smartest executives turn you down, but here the Mets are.
Cohen will now move to his tier two of candidates, which SNY’s Andy Martino believes to be Brewers general manager Matt Arnold, Giants general manager Scott Harris and Dodgers assistant general manager Brandon Gomes.