Sandy Alderson, the Mets' multi-tasking general manager, said Tuesdaythat he already has been in discussions with other teams regarding possible trades, but the team may not hire a manager until early December.
Alderson again had a full plate Tuesday, when he interviewed Red Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale and later introduced Paul DePodesta as the vice president of player development and amateur scouting during a conference call with reporters.
The Mets' GM will meet Wednesday with Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle and former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu. Either Thursday or Friday, Alderson will interview Triple-A Buffalo manager Ken Oberkfell in the Dominican Republic. Oberkfell brings the confirmed count to nine managerial candidates and Alderson said he hopes to finish the first round of interviews by the end of the weekend, despite the possibility of adding one or two more before then.
"As far as a timetable is concerned, we certainly want to have a manager by the winter meetings," said Alderson, referring to baseball's gathering in Orlando Dec. 6-9. "It would probably be helpful for us to have a manager by the end of the month, and another logical deadline is Thanksgiving. I'm not sure we're going to make that."
Alderson has been busy on a number of different fronts, and completing his front office did not interfere with talking with other clubs in preparation for the GM meetings, which begin Tuesday in Orlando.
"I have had several calls from other clubs, and have had discussions about possible deals for individual players," Alderson said. "I think now it's more of a process of looking at the free-agent markets and seeing what's there and having some conversations. I don't think we're too far behind the power curve in spite of what we've had going on."
DePodesta, 37, is the second former GM, along with J.P. Ricciardi, to be added to Alderson's front office, which also will have input from assistant GM John Ricco and special assistant Wayne Krivsky, the two holdovers from Omar Minaya's tenure. Although Alderson did not provide any hints about his next manager, DePodesta spoke glowingly about Terry Collins, whom he tried to hire during his time as Dodgers GM.
Collins impressed the Mets this past year as the team's minor-league field coordinator and DePodesta believes that Collins is a strong candidate because "he's done it before" and likes his "intensity."
"I think very highly of Terry," DePodesta said. "Omar actually asked me about him about a year and a half ago, when the Mets were out here visiting San Diego. I told him I thought Terry was an absolute star in player development. He was really helpful in development of those young kids that are a core of that [Dodgers] team right now."
As for what DePodesta brings to Flushing, the Harvard grad talked about his "Moneyball" approach as the "constant investigation of stagnant systems" and sees the big-market Mets as having the resources to increase the chances of those methods.
"I've seen a couple people refer to it as 'Moneyball' with money," DePodesta said. "But I would say that's the Red Sox. In many respects that's the Yankees. We have a lot of work to do to get to that level. But there's no doubt that the opportunity to be able to do that is really exciting, no question."