If the New York Mets are looking to pick a person outside the organization as their general manager, Ben Cherington should be the choice.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest questions for the New York Mets is going to be who becomes the general manager in 2019. If they elect to go outside the organization, the perfect choice would be Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington because he knows how to win in the short term and improve a team’s future in the farm system.
Over the weekend, Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that Cherington is one of the people the Mets have been doing background work on. In addition to Olney’s tweet, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN mentioned Cherington as one of the top choices for the position
Talk to people around the game, and Ben Cherington's name keeps coming up as a likely top candidate in the #Mets search for a Sandy Alderson replacement. Jared Porter of the #Dbacks is another guy who's generating some buzz. https://t.co/4UWja0Rheq
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) August 3, 2018
Cherington became the Boston Red Sox general manager in 2011 after Theo Epstein became the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. He was vice president and assistant GM with Boston from 2006-2011 before becoming the man in charge.
In his four seasons as the GM in Boston, Cherington’s teams did finish in last place on three different occasions. However, he does have a World Series ring from 2013. When you look at the 2013 season, the Red Sox did not make any flashy signings in the offseason. However, they found the right role players to help their core group of guys on a way to a championship.
Right now, Cherington is with the Toronto Blue Jays as their vice president of baseball operations and he’s been in that role since 2016. At 44-years old, you would think he would want another shot at being a GM and New York might be the perfect place to build his legacy.
From 2002-2005, Cherington was the Director of Player Development in Boston. Some of the notable draft picks from those years were reliever Jonathan Papelbon and outfielder David Murphy (2003), second baseman Dustin Pedroia (2004), as well as outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Jed Lowrie (2005).
When you look at the Mets’ current situation, their organization needs a person that can make the right signings in free agency as well as someone that can help fix the team in the draft. While Cherington has made his share of bad free agent signings (Rusney Castillo and Pablo Sandoval), he has had his fair share of successes.
For example, with the 33rd Pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Red Sox selected right-hander Michael Kopech. Then, in December 2015, Boston signed Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada. Those two players would eventually help Dave Dombrowski (who became president of the Red Sox in August 2015) land Chris Sale in the blockbuster trade from the Chicago White Sox in 2016.
Now, the interesting decision that Cherington would have to make is whether or not he would be comfortable with not being able to choose his own manager. On Sunday, Steven Marcus of Newsday reported that the Mets are likely to keep manager Mickey Callaway regardless of who the new GM ends up being.
If that is the case, it is not a situation that Cherington is too unfamiliar with. If you recall, Bobby Valentine wasn’t exactly his first choice in 2012 when Valentine went to Boston for that one horrible season. The next offseason, he would end up picking John Farrell, who was the manager of that World Series-winning club.
Right now, the Mets need someone around the organization that is used to winning in the short and long-term and knows how to handle the expectations of being in a big baseball market like New York is. Cherington checks all the boxes and if the Wilpons know what they are doing, they should make him the GM.