In the wake of Terry Ryan’s departure from the club back in July, the Twins have been rudderless for several months while they search for a new head of baseball operations. The prevailing thought was that the incoming head of operations would select a new general manager to oversee the team, either promoting or replacing interim Rob Antony — if Antony doesn’t get the job first.
A report from the Star-Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal III hints that the Twins might be interested in Mets’ assistant general manager John Ricco. Ricco, who spent 12 years in the commissioner’s office before migrating to the Mets’ front office, is in his 12th year with the Mets and his 10th as an assistant manager. Although he stepped in for Omar Minaya as the interim GM during the 2010 season, he has yet to hold a permanent general manager post, let alone serve as the president of baseball operations for any major league club. In that, at least, he appears to be in good company: only two of the five candidates the Twins have been linked to so far appear to have experience at the head of the baseball operations department.
Like fellow candidate Chaim Bloom, Ricco’s appeal lies in his analytical leanings. According to ESPN.com’s Great Analytics Rankings of 2015, the Mets placed in the “Believers” category, ranked just below the five teams described as being “All-In” with sabermetrics. Unsurprisingly, the Twins placed near the bottom of the list in the “Skeptics” category, just above sabermetric-resistant clubs like the Marlins and Phillies.
It’s unclear how much of a hand Ricco has played in shaping the Mets’ analytic approach, but his alignment with a team that employs noted stathead Sandy Alderson and utilizes resources like the cryptically-named “Matrix”, a behemoth of data designed to evaluate Mets’ hitters against opposing pitchers, can only up his appeal to Twins’ executives in their search to bring in fresh, numbers-friendly talent.