The New York Mets’ hunt for a new president of baseball operations is turning messy as candidate after candidate passes on the opportunity. That might force the organization to do something controversial.
As it stands, the Mets have not asked for permission from any other organization to interview any front-office personnel. That prompted Joel Sherman of the New York Post to speculate that the Mets might seek out a candidate for whom they would not need permission to speak. One who would fit the bill is former Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow.
Sherman makes clear that there is no specific evidence that the Mets consider Luhnow a candidate. However, he would fit what they are seeking. Luhnow is in the mold of other candidates the Mets have pursued, such as Milwaukee’s David Stearns. He also has a track record of success, constructing the core of the Houston Astros team currently playing in the ALCS.
Nevertheless, Luhnow would come with major baggage. As Sherman notes, he lost his job with Houston over the 2017 sign-stealing scandal and served a one-year MLB suspension. He also traded for Roberto Osuna after the pitcher had been accused of domestic violence and oversaw the mess that led to assistant GM Brandon Taubman’s firing. Considering the instability and culture issues the Mets have had recently, those could be difficult problems for them to overlook.
The Mets’ search has turned into a bit of a fiasco as every preferred target turns them down. That they have no clear backup plan speaks poorly of them. Luhnow could be a quality addition from a pure baseball perspective. The question is whether the Mets could stomach the bad PR that would come with it.