With the departure of Mets' GM Omar Minaya, the Wilpons are on the hunt for a replacement. Whoever they choose will have a large and difficult task ahead of him. They must deal with a team coming off another disappointing year in which they finished under .500, fourth in the division, a disillusioned fanbase tired of high ticket prices and an overall lack of leadership and direction.
The Mets just don't get it. It really wasn't that long ago when they were one win away from a World Series appearance. Does anyone remember Omar Minaya on the cover of Sports Illustrated accompanied by (brace yourselves) Livan Hernandez, WIllie Randolph, John Maine, Endy Chavez and...OLIVER PEREZ!?!? Does anyone know what all of those people have in common? That's right, they either aren't around anymore or should be tossed out on their ass.
That was only four years ago, yet it feels like another lifetime for Mets fans. In desperate need of a complete team overhaul, the Mets have begun meetings with potential general managers. Here is a list of the candidates:
Baird is the former GM of the Kansas City Royals, serving from 2000-2006. During his time there, the Royals amassed a record of 381-576. He most notably traded away Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye. He currently works as an assistant to Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.
Epstein is a terrific GM and Baird has probably picked up a few tricks working underneath him. At least we know he knows how to clean house if need be (ahem...Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo).
Hahn is the Vice President/Assistant GM of the Chicago White Sox. In March 2010, he was named the No. 1 General Manager prospect (if there is such a thing) by Baseball America. He was a candidate for the St. Louis Cardinals GM position in 2007 before he withdrew his name and also declined to interview for the Pittsburgh Pirates GM job the same year.
Hahn began his post with the White Sox in 2001 and is mainly responsible for assisting GM Ken Williams with determining roster composition, player acquisitions, contract negotiations and talent evaluations. He negotiated the contracts of Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko and Matt Thornton and was chiefly responsible for the acquisition of OF Carlos Quentin from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Byrnes is the former GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He served as GM from November 2005 to July 2010. His biggest deals while with the Diamondbacks include trading the aforementioned Carlos Quentin to the White Sox, acquiring Dan Haren from the Oakland Athletics for Carlos Gonzalez and five other players, and getting Adam Dunn from the Cincinnati Reds.
In perhaps his worst move as GM, Byrnes traded away reliever Jose Valverde to the Houston Astros for OF Chris Burke and pitchers Chad Qualls and Juan Gutierrez. Valverde has become an excellent relief pitcher while Burke and Qualls did not amount to much of anything with Arizona.
Byrnes was fired, along with manager A.J. Hinch, in July of this year while the Diamondbacks were 12.5 games behind the San Diego Padres.
Alderson is by far the most qualified candidate for the Mets' GM job. He served as GM of the Oakland Athletics from 1983 to 1997. During his time there, the A's won four division titles, three pennants and the 1989 World Series. Alderson is a big on sabermetrics, which he utilized while in Oakland to determine which players were undervalued.
He was Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the MLB commissioner's office from 1998-2005 and, from there, was CEO of the San Diego Padres until resigning in 2009.
Alderson has reportedly been given a second meeting with Mets owners, possibly this Thursday.
White is currently the assistant GM of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His primary responsibillities include overseeing the organization's amateur and international scouting. With White, the Dodgers have produced one of the best minor league systems in baseball, producing players like Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Johnathan Broxton, Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.
It goes without saying that White is an excellent scout, having also worked with the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. Given the situation with Dodgers' ownership, it's possible that White is looking for a way out of LA, and fast.