Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the New York Mets have narrowed their list of general manager candidates to three: Chaim Bloom, Doug Melvin and Brodie Van Wagenen. All other candidates are out. They will conduct call-back interviews beginning tomorrow, which presumably means owner Fred Wilpon coming in and making the final decision.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Melvin is the front-runner based on his experience. Melvin, of course, ran the Milwaukee Brewers for years, transitioning out of the GM job and into an advisory role after the 2015 season. Before stepping back, Melvin was responsible for acquiring Corey Knebel and Josh Hader and re-acquiring Jeremy Jeffress, each of which played an important part on the 2018 team. It is thought that Fred Wilpon prefers a seasoned “baseball man” in the team’s GM roll, so if Wilpon gets his way, the 66-year-old Melvin will be the choice.
Fred Wilpon’s son Jeff, however, is thought to prefer a younger, analytical type. If he somehow gets his way, you’d figure it’d be Bloom, who is the vice president of baseball operations for the Rays. He was a front-runner for the Twins job when it was open. He certainly knows how to help build a competitive team on the cheap, which one presumes is what the Wilpons want.
Van Wagenen is an agent at CAA. That would be an unusual choice given the fairly adversarial relationship that exists between agents and clubs, but he’s obviously shown the Mets something if he’s a finalist.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.