NEW YORK — The New York Mets have given up looking for a baseball president and will instead focus on hiring a general manager who will report to team president Sandy Alderson.
Meanwhile, Alderson told Louis Rojas he would return on Monday for his second season as manager.
A man who is able to communicate with his players, both professionally and in their personal lives, said Alderson. I consider him exceptional in this respect. I think it will be better on a professional level of game management. We have to make sure he has all the means to improve himself and make the right decisions, not only based on his own judgement, but also based on the available information. He’s very open to that.
Alderson came back on the 6th. In November, when Stephen Cohen made a $2.42 billion purchase from the Wilpon and Katz families and fired the CEO of Brody Van Wagen the same day.
Alderson said he wanted to hire the president in baseball, but said he was confused on Monday by attempts to get permission to talk to officials on other teams about lateral movements when another potential candidate had family problems that prevented him from moving.
He did not contact Theo Epstein, who resigned Friday as president of the Chicago Cubs in baseball after leading the Cubs to the 2016 World Championship, his first in 108 years.
Theo expressed a wish to take a year’s vacation, Alderson said.
Alderson, who turned 72 on Sunday, said he would play a bigger role in baseball operations than originally planned on Monday. Alderson first said he intended to sit at the table, but not at the top.
Maybe it’ll be a round table, and all I have is a chair with hands, he said.
I hope we can hire someone who can take on most of the traditional CEO functions, Mr. Alderson said. I expect to be more involved in decision making and as a mentor. But I don’t count the weeds either.
Mr Alderson stated that he had interviewed six candidates for GM and that he would decide whether a second and third interview was necessary before presenting one or two candidates to Mr Cohen. He hopes the new CEO can become a baseball president.
John Ricco, who moved from assistant general manager to senior vice president when Van Wagenen was hired, will be Alderson’s right-hand man for interacting with the baseball and commercial divisions. He’s not a candidate for GMOs.
Alderson was CEO of the Mets from October 2010 until he left in July 2018 after a recurrence of cancer that is no longer a problem.
He said the team still had a lot of work to do after finishing fourth with 26:34.
I don’t think we’re playing on the sidelines, he said. I think we need a little more. Do we have a good basis? Yeah, I think we have an excellent base. But I think we have a lot of needs now.
Alderson on other business:
- Robinson Cano. A second seasonal suspension of a base player for performance-enhancing drugs relieves the Mets of a $24 million salary. Cohen tweeted that he wanted to spend it on the players, but Alderson said he would have to spend an extra amount in 2021, which had already been planned for the 22 and 23 years, so it wasn’t as simple as adding it. On the other hand, it gives us extra flexibility in financial terms and with regard to the register. Regarding the decision to release Kano after his suspension, Mr. Alderson said that this is what we are going to do now.
- Michael Conforto. Outfield will be 28 March and will be entitled to a free desk after the next season. I am sure that at some point we will raise this issue, measure their temperature and see how things are going, but that conversation has not taken place yet.
- Tim Tebow. Alderson said the 33-year-old junior League forward, a former quarterback for the Heisman Trophy, is wanted for 2021. It’s not an endless quest. At some point that will be the highlight, but I think it will be when Tim and the organization come to some kind of agreement about where he is and where he can go. But I didn’t want him kicked out because of a Kovid crack.
- A designated killer. Alderson hopes it will be extended to the National League after his first appearance at MLB 2021. It is time for both leagues to play with the same means, the same options, he said. Jars can’t even knock. So I’m all for putting an assassin in that extra position. He said the Mets had internal options and he wouldn’t add DH.