Cross another pair of names off the Mets’ baseball executive wish list: David Stearns and Billy Beane.
Steve Cohen asked permission to speak to Stearns, the Brewers’ president of baseball operations, but Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio officially denied that request over the weekend, a source said Monday. The same thing happened last offseason.
Additionally, Athletics executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane withdrew his name from consideration, according to multiple reports, the first from The Athletic.
That leaves the Mets’ search for a head of baseball operations — their second in as many offseasons under Cohen — ongoing indefinitely. There is no guarantee they will have someone in place by the start of the GM meetings on Nov. 8. In the meantime, team president Sandy Alderson is running the day-to-day baseball business, though he has no desire to do so on more than an interim basis.
In taking big swings for highly successful veteran executives, the Mets whiffed on Stearns, Beane and Theo Epstein. Two weeks ago, Cohen and Epstein discussed the opening but mutually decided they weren’t a fit for each other, a source said at the time.
Stearns, a 36-year-old Manhattan native who interned for the Mets at the start of his front-office career, is under contract with the Brewers, who have made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons. Attanasio has been pleased with Stearns’ work and had no reason to let him talk to another club, including — maybe especially — his hometown team that used to employ him. The Brewers’ refusal to let the Mets talk to Stearns was first reported by the New York Post.
Beane, 59, has run the Athletics’ baseball department since his mentor, Alderson, left after the 1997 season. Presented with a chance to reunite with Alderson and operate a team with a significantly larger budget than Oakland’s, Beane seemingly wasn’t interested.
The Mets’ early offseason hiring issues mirror their experience last year. When Cohen took over in early November, he let go of Brodie Van Wagenen and most of his inner circle, starting almost from scratch. Initially, he and Alderson wanted to hire a president of baseball operations. When they couldn’t find a candidate they liked enough, they lowered their goal to hiring a less experienced general manager.
That led them to Jared Porter, who was fired a month later for previously sending inappropriate texts to a female reporter. Zack Scott was elevated from assistant GM to acting GM. He has been on administrative leave since pleading not guilty following his arrest on drunk-driving charges. His trial is scheduled for Dec. 8.