Two big names bow out of Mets front office search


The Mets’ short list for president of baseball operations is going to have to grow.

For a second straight offseason, the Mets are finding it difficult to lure top targets to Queens to run their baseball department, with David Stearns and Billy Beane becoming the latest to exit the search for different reasons.

The Brewers have officially denied permission to allow the Mets to talk to Stearns, Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations, The Post learned Monday. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio denied the Mets’ request over the weekend, officially removing one of the heavyweights the Mets were seeking to be their president of baseball operations.

Mets president Sandy Alderson did receive permission from the A’s to speak with Beane, Oakland’s executive vice president of baseball operations, and gauge his interest in the job. The next step would have been requesting formal permission from MLB for owner Steve Cohen to interview Beane, but before it got there, Beane told Alderson he was removing himself from consideration.

Earlier this month, Theo Epstein and Mets owner Steve Cohen had a discussion and agreed Epstein would not pursue the job.

As of Monday afternoon, the Mets had not yet asked for permission through the Commissioner’s Office to speak to any other executive currently under contract. It remains to be seen whether that will change once the Dodgers’ season ends as their senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes could be another candidate, as could Los Angeles assistant GM Brandon Gomes.

Mets
Josh Byrnes with the Diamondbacks in 2009.
Getty Images

Stearns, 36, grew up a Mets fan in Manhattan and briefly worked for the organization. His Brewers have made the playoffs each of the last four years, raising his profile and making him among the most in-demand executives in the sport.

But he has one guaranteed year left on his contract, and it is believed at least one option year as well. Attanasio is known within the game as a firebrand around small-market issues. He has felt it wrong to, among other items, allow big-market teams to poach executives with time left on their contracts. In Stearns’ case, it would be an executive that Attanasio hired untested running baseball operations and then gave a contract befitting a larger-market team.

Beane, a former first-round draft pick of the Mets who is still under contract with the A’s, was considered an intriguing candidate in part due to his strong relationship with team Alderson, dating back to their time together in Oakland — where Alderson, then a GM, first hired Beane as a scout in 1990. Since taking over as GM of the A’s in 1997, the 59-year-old Beane, of “Moneyball” fame, has put together 11 playoff teams.

But a reunion between Alderson, Beane and the Mets won’t be happening.

Entering the offseason, Alderson had been hopeful that the Mets’ search for a president of baseball operations would turn out better than it did last year, when they were unsuccessful in getting permission to speak with most of their top candidates (including Stearns). That led to pivoting and hiring Jared Porter as general manager — before he was fired after a month for having sent lewd text messages to a female reporter — and then having to replace him with interim GM Zack Scott, who has been on leave since pleading not guilty to DWI in September.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll end up in the right place,” Alderson said during the final week of the regular season. “How exactly we get there and with who is up for grabs.”

Whoever is ultimately hired will be responsible for finding a new manager after the Mets did not pick up the 2022 option on Luis Rojas’ contract. Other important decisions are quickly coming down the chute, as the Mets must decide by five days after the World Series whether to make qualifying offers to Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard.



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