Well, scratch GM off your list of things for the Mets to add by the end of the year. The Athletic‘s Will Sammon said of David Stearns, “He won’t hire a GM to replace Billy Eppler this offseason, he said, because there was too much going on.” Let that sink in for a minute.
If there was too much going on – wouldn’t you want to hire a person in a big position to help lighten the load? Instead, the time spent on conducting a GM search can be better spent elsewhere. And how much time was spent on the managerial search? The Mets interviewed fewer than 10 people and made the hire five days after the completion of the World Series.
With a PoBO in place, a GM isn’t worth five days.
While you can argue that the Mets were working on managerial hires longer than five days, as Buck Showalter was let go over a month ago, Eppler resigned on October 6, also over a month ago and about five days after they jettisoned Showalter. If hiring a GM was any kind of great need, the Mets could have easily done that by the Winter Meetings, even if they prioritized a manager. But they didn’t.
Instead, they signed Eduardo Brizuela to be a VP/special assistant. According to Sammon, Brizuela, “brings an impressive, 16-year track record in the international field, minor-league operations and player acquisitions.” How long did it take to decide on this hire? Why is this more important than a GM?
Actions speak louder than words. For all of the people who had some philosophical take that a club needs a PoBO and a GM because there’s so much going on now that there needs to be two people where there used to be one – well, none of this supports that notion. In an offseason where there’s so much uncertainty on how the club will proceed, the Mets have decided that a PoBO can handle the GM job.
I don’t pretend to know anything about Brizuela. My hope is that he’s a home-run hire. Assuming they add a GM following the 2024 season, my hope is that person is a great hire, too. The more good people in the organization, the better. There’s no luxury tax or draft pick penalties for having a large (even bloated!) front office, so hire all of the best and the brightest. Sammon said there were more personnel moves on the way.
Just not a GM.