Steve Cohen held a press conference this afternoon. As promised. The Mets’ owner addressed the struggling franchise, which is 8 1/2 back for the National League’s final playoff spot and plays tonight with a 36-43 record.
Cohen expressed frustration with the team’s performance. However, he insisted that there are no plans to fire general manager Billy Eppler or captain Buck Showalter in the interim (Link via Andy McCullough of The Athletic)
“If you want to attract good people to this company, the worst thing you can do is be impulsive and win the title of the day. You’re not going to attract top talent. You don’t want to work with someone who has a short fuseCohen told reporters. “I know the fans want something to happen. I understand. But sometimes you can’t do that because you have long-term objectives.“
While no major leadership change is in the offing, Cohen hinted at a significant front office move further down the line. He indicated the club plans to hire a president of baseball operations at some point, though he declined to put a timetable on that process. The Mets have been without a team leader since Sandy Alderson moved into a consulting capacity last season.
Early expectations were that Alderson’s replacement would focus on the business side, while Eppler would retain the autonomy of baseball operations. Cohen’s comments this afternoon suggest he is likely to bring in a new head of baseball operations, pushing Eppler into the #2 role in the front office. SNY’s Andy Martino Metts writes that he intends to appoint a more business-oriented group leader. The head of baseball ops/GM hierarchy is common around the game, although it is rare for a club to have a president take over the front office while retaining the same GM who previously led baseball operations. Martino suggests that Eppler will be involved in the hiring process for the head of baseball operations.
“In my view it’s a very complex job and there’s a lot to do, and it’s a lot for one person,” Cohen said of the front office organization (Posted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com) “It’s still out there. We will see. We will fill that space at some point.” How this may affect Eppler’s future with the company remains to be determined. No new hires are immediately apparent, so the second-year GM will likely continue the front office for at least the foreseeable future.
If that recruiting process plays out next season, it’s sure to invite plenty of speculation about David Stearns’ future. The Mets reportedly expressed interest in Stearns through the 2021-22 season before hiring Eppler. At the time he served as the Brewers’ president of baseball operations, although Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio refused to grant the Mets permission for an interview.
Stearns was Milwaukee’s front office leader until the end of last season. During that time, he stepped into an advisory role and gave day-to-day autonomy to GM Matt Arnold. Then, the 38-year-old spoke passionately “A deep breath, (to spend time with my family) and (to explore) some other interests“With fewer baseball activities responsibilities. He is under contract with Milwaukee through the end of the 2023 season, so other teams will have to wait until the upcoming offseason to gauge his interest in new opportunities.
It’s unclear if the Manhattan native is interested in moving to the top of the front office. For now, the relationship between Metz and Stearns is merely speculative. Abe Mastracco of the New York Daily News He wrote back last week that some in the industry expect him to renew his pursuit of Stearns next winter.
While the front office setup will be a key decision for Cohen in the long run, the immediate focus is on navigating the trade deadline. A month before August 1, he refused to be involved in the direction of the club. However, Cohen noted that the team needs to reduce their deficit over the next four weeks for the front office to consider short-term help.
“If I were in this position, I would not add,” Cohen said (via McCullough). “I think that would be very stupid.“He’s not interested in tearing up the roster, the team said.”Probably very little will do” If they are out of contention. David Robertson, Tommy Baum And Carlos Carrasco The club’s notable upcoming free agents. Max Scherzer, Omar Narvaez And Adam Piccolo All have year-end opt-out clauses. The team has options Mark Canha And Brooks Raleighwhen Pete Alonso Referees are eligible for one more season.