News out of New York early this week could potentially have a big impact on the Phillies’ search for a front office leader.
Both teams were believed to be seeking a president of baseball operations, a title higher than GM. However, Mets president Sandy Alderson said Monday night that he will assume the head baseball operations position for now, and the Mets will hire a GM beneath him to replace Brodie Van Wagenen.
Alderson was hired by new Mets owner Steve Cohen to be team president. He was going to hire a president of baseball ops who then hired a GM. But now, Alderson will run the show day to day, probably for a year. He may bring in someone he can mentor and groom for the position long term.
Over the weekend, we took a look at the many reasons the Mets job would be more enticing to a candidate than the Phillies job. That changes with this news because if both teams were to want the same person, the Phillies could offer a better title and more power, a role that reports directly to ownership.
That better title, president of baseball operations, has become commonplace around MLB the last decade, with owners using it to lure away GMs who’d otherwise view the move as lateral. The most accomplished current and former executives would want that title over GM, as we discussed in depth on the latest Phillies Talk podcast.
The team that pulls Theo Epstein back into the game will not be hiring him as just a general manager, for example.
Former Marlins GM Michael Hill has drawn interest from both the Phillies and Mets. If both teams were to land on him as their top guy, the Phillies’ offer would likely be more appealing because of the additional short-term authority.
One major reason for Alderson’s decision could be that teams like the Mets and Phillies have hit some hurdles gaining permission to talk to top assistant GMs. Owners are not as willing in 2020 to let promising, vital executives out of their contracts. Oftentimes that means a pay bump rather than permission to help another team.