In search of a new boss for their baseball-operations department, the Mets have spoken with Tampa Bay’s Chaim Bloom, sources said Wednesday, and Cleveland’s Mike Chernoff, according to multiple reports.
Bloom is the senior vice president of baseball operations for the Rays, the organization he has been with since shortly after graduating from college in 2004. Chernoff has been the Indians’ GM for the past three seasons, climbing the ladder since he was an intern in 2003.
They join a previously reported quartet that has interviewed with the Mets: Kim Ng, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations; Gary LaRocque, the Cardinals’ director of player development and a former Mets exec; Doug Melvin, the former Brewers and Rangers GM; and De Jon Watson, a Nationals special assistant to the GM.
Bloom and Chernoff differ from the other candidates in significant ways. Both are Ivy League-educated — Bloom went to Yale, Chernoff Princeton — and are younger than the others, in their mid-to-late 30s.
In that sense, they combine with the others to fulfill Jeff Wilpon’s promise to consider a range of candidates.
“We’re going to go through a process with the GM search. I’ve got a lot of opinions from a lot of people, so it’s going to be very broad. Some untraditional candidates will be put into the mix,” Wilpon, the Mets’ chief operating officer, said on the last day of the season.
Wilpon said the Mets’ hire will likely have a hybrid of analytical and scouting thinking.
“The group of us that have talked about what we should be looking for has been pretty broad in what they think,” Wilpon said. “As you know, some of the guys are very old-school and some are progressive. I'd like to wait and see.”
Bloom, a Philadelphia native, has received consideration for head-of-baseball-ops jobs before, including from the Phillies and Twins. Chernoff — a Livingston, New Jersey, native, whose father, Mark Chernoff, is WFAN’s vice president of programming — has also never actually run his own team. He has the GM title but remains Cleveland’s No. 2 under president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti.
Wilpon and assistant GM John Ricco, who Wilpon said is not a candidate for the job, are conducting first-round interviews. The Mets expect to make finalists available to reporters perhaps as soon as next week.
A source earlier this week estimated the pool of first-round candidates to be about six to eight people. The group known to have interviewed puts the Mets at the low end of that range.