4:50pm: “It sounds as if” Athletics general manager David Forst is a target for the Mets,
12:52pm: The Mets’ front office search has led into the front offices of opposing teams, with mixed results thus far. The Mets had interest in speaking with Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, but the Brewers denied the Mets’ request, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports. In a follow-up tweet from Morosi, he reports that New York also asked the Indians for permission to speak with GM Mike Chernoff about the Mets’ vacant president of baseball operations role, and it isn’t yet known if the Tribe has agreed.
Chernoff is a long-time member of Cleveland’s front office, and he has been working as general manager since October 2015. He does have some notable ties to the New York area, as Chernoff hails from New Jersey and his father is an executive at New York’s WFAN Radio. Since Chris Antonetti is still the Tribe’s top decision-maker as the team’s president of baseball operations, the Mets job would represent a promotion for Chernoff (clubs generally don’t block their employees from interviewing for higher jobs up the ladder) and a chance to not only run his own team, but take over one of the more intriguing job opportunities in recent memory.
Since Stearns is already the Brewers’ president of baseball operations, it would be a lateral move to take a similar job in New York, which would explain why the Brewers turned down the Mets’ request. Stearns signed a contract extension in January 2019 that carried the promotion from GM to president of baseball ops, quite possibly as a way for the Brewers to head off potential headhunting inquiries from other teams. Stearns is from New York and began his career working in the Mets’ front office, plus his stock as an executive has only risen given the Brewers’ success under his watch. Milwaukee has reached the postseason in each of the last three years, and finished a game away from the NL pennant in 2018.
While the Mets are known to be looking for both a president of baseball operations and a general manager, Ken Rosenthal and Jayson Stark of The Athletic note the possibility that New York might just hire a GM for now. “The pool of available executives might not be deep enough for them to hire two top decision-makers to work under” team president Sandy Alderson, Rosenthal/Stark write, listing several names (including Antonetti, Rays GM Erik Neander, and Blue Jays president/CEO Mark Shapiro) seem comfortable in their current positions.
With Alderson approaching his 73rd birthday, the Mets could explore hiring a GM who could then move into a president of baseball ops role and full control of the front office once Alderson stepped down from his current role, having overseen the transition into Steve Cohen’s era of ownership. Or, that general manager could remain in the position and the Mets could hire an entirely new president of baseball ops should another name (Theo Epstein, perhaps?) enter the picture in a year or so.