As the New York Mets get set to begin Round 2 of their GM interviews, they should not be afraid to take another risk with who they hire.
The New York Mets’ search for their next general manager is now down to three candidates. On Monday, Anthony DiComo from MLB.com reported that those candidates are former Brewers and Rangers’ GM Doug Melvin, Rays’ senior vice president Chaim Bloom, and current agent Brodie Van Wagenen.
The Mets have definitely cast a wide net and each person can bring different expertise to the table. However, one thing they can’t be afraid to do is to take another chance and to be patient with whomever they hire even if the results aren’t imminent.
A tweet that stood out on Monday came from Mike Puma of the New York Post. In that tweet, he mentioned how the Mets might be leaning towards being conservative after the lack of success that Mickey Callaway had in his first year as manager in Flushing:
I have talked to several people connected with the organization who believe Fred Wilpon will go the conservative route and pick Melvin, because the Mets' last "outside the box" pick, Mickey Callaway, has backfired somewhat.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 22, 2018
If their doubt is true the case, then it would make sense that Puma also mentions that Melvin is the favorite heading into the final interviews. From a baseball perspective, it would make sense to bring in someone who is experienced and knows the game despite not being a GM since 2015.
Melvin is more of an old-school type of candidate, which is why he is probably the most appealing to Fred and Jeff Wilpon. He has a good track record from his time with Milwaukee when the Brewers reached the NLCS in 2011. Plus, he did help Milwaukee acquire Josh Hader when they dealt Carlos Gomez to Houston in 2015.
While the Wilpons might be trying to learn from their perceived failures, they should absolutely not be afraid to go outside of the box because that is the way baseball is trending. When Bloom’s name was first mentioned, I wrote that bringing him in would be innovative and it would allow the Mets to try different things on-the-field and with their player development.
Callaway did not have a successful first year, but at the same time, it was not disastrous enough to the point where the Mets should second-guess themselves on doing something different with their front office hires. In fact, the organization has to show patience if they still believe that Callaway is the right manager for the position.
This hire has the potential to tell us a lot about where the Mets are going with their future. A Melvin hire could signal that the team is trying to go for it in 2019. Meanwhile, hiring Bloom or Van Wagenen would show that the team is open to trying something new and going with the analytic movement in Bloom’s case.
As for Wagenen, it would be a big risk to hire an agent to run a team. However, he is familiar with free agent negotiations and he could bring his own ideas to the table. Here is the statement he gave to the media after his interview on Monday:
Via the Mets, here is a statement from Brodie Van Wagenen: pic.twitter.com/mWRHxPUOy0
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) October 22, 2018
In an NL East that projects to be very competitive over the next couple of years with the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals in contention mode, any edge that the Mets can get by going outside of the box can help them in the long run.
It will be interesting to see how this process plays out and whether or not the Mets go conservative or they take a chance.