There are a handful of intriguing names in the mix to become the next Mets GM at the moment. Among them:
- White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn, whom ESPN Chicago is reporting will interview with the team in the near future. Hahn was named as the top GM prospect in the game by Baseball America based on, I presume, his ability to work in the same office as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen and not develop a drinking problem or something;
- Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes. I tend to think he got an unfair shake in Arizona and has some promise. Plus, Byrnes is actually still on the Dbacks’ payroll, so it would be a nice costs savings move!
- Former Indians and Rangers GM John Hart said that he’d be interested, but he’s been out of the GMs chair for a long time in a vague advisor’s position, and it’s not clear that they’d be interested in him; and
- Former A’s GM and current MLB executive Sandy Alderson who, many believe anyway, was the real brains behind the Athletics’ rise to respectability in the late 90s and early 2000s, not Billy Beane.
So, three guys — Hahn, Byrnes and Alderson — who would be nice pickups are on the Mets’ radar. One guy — Hart — who probably isn’t a smart choice is showing more interest in them than they are in him. That’s not a bad setup to have as you go into the interviewing process.
Why then do I have this feeling that the Mets will still screw it up?
The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.
d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.
Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.