The New York Mets missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year under former agent turned general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. The Mets last playoff appearance was in the wild card game on 2016
This is all reason enough to light a fire under the seat of Van Wagenen. That seat should be even hotter now that it was announced that hedge fund manager and billionaire Steve Cohen has purchased the Mets.
If Cohen does decide to fire BVW, there are plenty of worthy candidates to choose from.
Billy Owens, the Oakland Athletic’s assistant GM and director of player personnel, David Stern, of the Milwaukee Brewers, and Kim Ng- currently working for the Major League Baseball offices, are all rumored to be in the running.
Billy Owens, a 3rd round draft selection by the Baltimore Orioles in 1992, has been with the Oakland organization since his playing days ended. He started as a minor league hitting instructor and area scout for the A’s. He was named their East Coast Scouting Coordinator in 2003.
After 5 years in these roles, Owens was promoted. He joined the A’s front office staff, as the Director of player personnel. In this role, Owens would provide input towards trades and free agents signings. He also provided input in the evaluations of their amateur scouting.
One of the first things Cohen did when the sale was announced was to name Sandy Alderson as President of Baseball. Sandy, or course, was a long time executive with the Oakland Athletics, and he knows Owens through their time their. This could give Owens a big advantage in becoming the Mets next GM.
David Sterns, born in Manhattan, is a Harvard University graduate who majored in political science. His first job out of college was a roll in the New York Mets baseball operations department.
In 2015, the Brewers made Sterns the youngest general manager in baseball, at the age of 30. While he may be young, Sterns has a wide range of experience, across all areas of baseball operations. This includes analytics, administration, player development and scouting.
Before the Brewers, Sterns worked for the Astros, Indians, the office of the commissioner, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is also the only candidate here with tangible experience as a GM.
Kim Ng would be the first women to be a general manager of a Major League Baseball team.
Ng’s love of baseball grew on the streets of Queens, where she used to play stick ball growing up.
That love of baseball lead to her earning a full softball scholarship to the University of Chicago. After graduation, she began her professional baseball career with the Chicago White Sox front office.
Her strong analytics background pushed her up the ladder of the baseball ops department. She became the first women to argue (and win!) and arbitration case for an MLB ball club.
After the White Sox, she worked for the American League office (back when the leagues had separate offices). Part of Ng’s duties there was explain all the little rules that govern transactions to the GMs around the league.
Ng worked in both the New York Yankees and the Los Angles Dodgers front offices, before joining long time mentor Joe Torre in the MLB offices. In her current role, she has been setting up training and showcase opportunities for international players.
When a new owner takes over
When a new owner takes over a franchise, they usually like to hire their own people. It’s very likely this could cost Brodie Van Wagenen his job. If it does, there are several available candidates with wide ranges of experience and skills.
Owens is a former (minor league player) and has extensive ties to Sandy Alderson. Sterns is the only candidate here with experience as a GM. He’s also worked under a strong President of Baseball in Houston. Kim Ng is the most experienced out of these candidates, and has served many roles in her baseball career. Her experience also could make her a great person to take over the role of President, once Sandy Alderson steps down.
Who do you think should be the Mets GM in 2021?