Mets president Sandy Alderson said the team will "review the facts" after ESPN reported late Monday night that general manager Jared Porter sent explicit, unsolicited texts to a foreign female reporter in 2016.
In a statement, Alderson added that Porter admitted to him that he sent the texts and photos, the most explicit of which he defended to ESPN as "kinda like joke-stock images," not of himself.
Porter then asked ESPN if it was going to publish a story, asked for more time to comment and later declined to comment, according to ESPN.
"I have spoken directly with Jared Porter regarding events that took place in 2016 of which we were made aware tonight for the first time," Alderson said in a statement. "Jared has acknowledged to me his serious error in judgment, has taken responsibility for his conduct, has expressed remorse, and has previously apologized for his actions.
"The Mets take these matters seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of our employees, and certainly do not condone the conduct described in [the ESPN] story. We will follow up as we review the facts regarding this serious issue."
Porter did not respond to Newsday’s request for comment.
Working as the Cubs’ director of pro scouting, Porter met the woman in an elevator at Yankee Stadium in June 2016, according to ESPN. They exchanged business cards and Porter began texting her that day — asking three times if she would get a drink with him. He also sent a selfie with a one-word caption: "Like?"
As Porter’s texts became more aggressive, the woman stopped responding. Porter answered by sending 62 unanswered messages over the course of more than three weeks. On Aug. 9, when they were both at Wrigley Field, he wrote: "I think I just saw you. You’re so beautiful." The woman panicked and hid from him, she told ESPN.
On Aug. 11, Porter sent her a more explicit photo. With the help of a player from her home country and an interpreter, she responded: "This is extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line. Could you please stop sending offensive photos or msg."
Porter apologized, said he would stop and added, "Please let me know if you ever need anything work-wise."
The woman didn’t see Porter again until the 2017 postseason, when she was covering Porter’s new team, the Diamondbacks, in the playoffs. After spotting him near the batting cage before a game, she immediately left the area and hid.
"While I was hiding, I was frustrated," she told ESPN in 2017. "Why do I have to hide?"
The woman, who has since left the journalism industry, spoke to ESPN on the condition of anonymity "because she fears backlash in her home country," ESPN wrote.
The Mets hired Porter as GM on Dec. 13. He had been the Diamondbacks’ assistant GM. Alderson said at the time that Porter "came extremely well recommended from a variety of different sources."
"What we’ve talked about the most is a cultural shift, for one," Porter said during his introductory news conference. "Adding good people to the organization, improving the organizational culture."
Alderson said of Porter that day: "Personality-wise, I think Jared is very well-respected across baseball — not just respected, but well-liked as well. Being well-liked goes a long way toward being successful in this business . . . From a personality standpoint as well as a competency standpoint, Jared has tremendous room to grow. I’m very confident that he has the potential to lead this organization over a period of years."
Porter’s first major hire to the organization was assistant GM Zack Scott, who had the same role with the Red Sox and is a longtime colleague of Porter’s. Scott was among the finalists for the GM job before the Mets decided on Porter.