Sandy Alderson to have larger role in Mets baseball operations; GM search continues

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

The Mets are making an adjustment to their search in building out their new front office.

Team president Sandy Alderson held a virtual press conference on Monday and announced that the organization will not be hiring a president of baseball operations and will instead focus its search on a new general manger.

So, what does this mean?

For starters, it means that Alderson will be more heavily involved in the baseball operations aspect of the team this year than originally anticipated.

“It’s something I had to think about but I think it’s borne out of the circumstances,” Alderson said. “Hope to hire someone who will be able to handle most of the GM role.”

Alderson cited a combination of the inability to get access to individuals for lateral move and only had a couple of limited conversations with those who would elevate into that role.

“We’re happy where we are,” Alderson said. “The focus is on the general manager position.”

Alderson said that the team has interviewed six candidates and ideally the GM is someone who is capable of growing into the president of baseball operations role. While there is no timetable for when a decision will be made, he said the next steps are deciding whether or not to bring in candidates for a second or third round of interviews, which will involve owner Steve Cohen.

Theo Epstein, who resigned from his position with the Cubs last week, has not been contacted for any role with the mets.

“No,” Alderson said. “We did not reach out the Theo. Theo has indicated desire to take a year off, looking at broad range of options, we did not reach out.”

With the GM search still ongoing, Alderson was asked if that would impede them from making any moves – such as free-agent signings or trades – before one is hired.

“It’s not preventing us from moving us forward on the player front and other issues in the offseason,” he said. “We have meetings daily and people capable at various levels. Not impeding us at all.”

Among those people include former interim GM John Ricco, who will serve as Alderson’s righthand mand, and Luis Rojas, who was informed by Alderson last week he will remain the Mets’ manager.

Alderson also addressed several other topics during the roughly 35-minute press conference.

On Robinson Cano money:

“It gives us some roster flexibility in terms of players that we have and where they’re best utilized. We have a number of holes to fill. We talked about starting pitching, outfield, catching; we’d like to enhance the bullpen somewhat. We have a lot of places where we might invest and it gives us some flexibility.”

On possibly waiving Cano:

“Not something we would entertain at this point. We’re just dealing with the initial impact of this on our roster, on our offseason planning. If we make that decision it’s something we’ll entertain further down the road. Our standpoint is dealing with the consequences at this point, not the suspension itself.”

On Michael Conforto potential contract extension:

“Yes, at some point, I’m sure we will broach that topic and take their temperature, and see where those things stand.”

On Luis Rojas:

“Luis is an individual and person who is able to relate to players in terms of professional work as well as personal lives. I think he’s exceptional in that regard. On professional side, managing a game, he will be better. Need to make sure he has necessary resources to be better … he’s very open to that. I’m very happy Luis is coming back. From personal standpoint and professional.”

On Tim Tebow:

“I talked to Tim Saturday in between Florida football and some other SEC obligation. He’s anxious to come back. I told Tim, look, why would you wanna end your quest based on a COVID-related reason. You didn’t get a chance to perform this year, hurt previous year. I think Tim is committed to coming back and I think we’re committed to giving him an opportunity to do that and we’ll see how it goes. … Didn’t want him to go out based on COVID-related interruption of play.”

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