NY Mets: Five general manager options to replace Brodie Van Wagenen
By Michael Calascione
The people named in this slide are considered “honorable mentions”. All three of these men would be fantastic fits for the Mets organization but at the same time, they do not fit the model that seems to be taking shape.
Presumably, the Mets will have Alderson be the president of baseball operations and a different person be general manager. This means that anyone that is already a president and GM would have to take a demotion, albeit maybe a short-term one, to come to the Mets.
Theo Epstein is currently the President and GM of the Chicago Cubs. He has been with them for nine years and before that, he was with the Boston Red Sox for ten years. Epstein is highly respected throughout the game and is considered one of the two best “active” executives in baseball with the other being Brian Cashman.
He has broken two curses in his career. First the curse of the Bambino with the Red Sox in 2004 and second the curse of the Billy Goat with the Cubs in 2016.
So why can’t he come to the Mets and break the curse of the Wilpons?
He absolutely can but he probably will not. If he were to come to the Mets, he would just be the General Manager, which would be a significant demotion for him.
However, he could see it as a challenge and potentially cementing his legacy as one of the best executives ever if he were to bring a title to Queens.
The New Jersey native is currently the General Manager of the Cleveland Indians. He has done a great job the last few years with the Indians creating a perennial contender which included a World Series appearance in 2016.
Even though he is just a GM in Cleveland and coming to Queens would present a new challenge for him, he turned down an interview request from the Mets back in 2018.
That rejection could mean one of two things. He either does not want to leave Cleveland or he did not want to be a Wilpon puppet. If it is the former, he will likely remain an honorable mention, but if it is the latter he could jump into the conversation and be a legitimate and welcomed candidate.
For now, though we will assume he is comfortable in Cleveland and not be a Mets GM candidate.
Erik Neander is less known among fans than the previous two men but just as good. He is currently the General Manager and Senior Vice President of baseball operations of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Neander’s case is in kind of a gray area. He is technically not just a GM but if he was to come to the Mets it would be a demotion for him. A phone call should still be made but I would imagine that he would turn down an interview or the Rays would block it.
Neander has done an incredible job with the Rays, who have the 28th highest payroll in baseball, and it would be fun to see what he could do with Steve Cohen’s money, but that may be a pipe dream.