Mets owner Steve Cohen made the announcement via Twitter that Jared Porter would no longer be the team’s GM after he admitted to sending explicit text messages and pictures to a female reporter back in 2016 while he was with the Chicago Cubs.
Cohen referred to his introductory press conference where he discussed “the important of integrity,” saying “zero tolerance” for behavior like that of Porter will be in the organization.
So, the question Mets fans probably have on their mind now is where does the team go from here?
Of course, the news is fresh and the Mets wanted to first make the decision on what to do with Porter.
“You don’t worry about that,” former Mets GM Jim Duquette said during SNY’s breaking news coverage when asked about where the team goes from here. “First off, it’s the decision right out of the gate of what you’re going to stand for like I mentioned earlier. Steve Cohen said it at the press conference [and] everyone is looking for beacons of decisions along the way that either conflict with that message or is something that continues to be supportive of the message you already laid out there.”
Cohen did the latter and team president Sandy Alderson backed him, too, saying Porter “failed to meet the Mets’ standards for professionalism and personal conduct.”
But once the dust has settled here, the Mets still have work to do. They want to get back on track and continue moving forward with a team that is primed for success in 2021.
So what could be the next move? There’s three options on the table, starting with the one that makes the most sense at the moment:
Promote an interim GM from within
This might be the Mets’ best option right now because it’s the most practical. Move someone who has been in the fold with offseason moves and knows the team well to this point. SNY’s Andy Martino may not have reporting on the matter yet, but he also believes it is most likely the move New York makes.
“Probably, I would have to think,” Martino said.
“You want to go with someone you know so there’s no risk that there is any issue again that you didn’t foresee.”
The top two candidates for that internal promotion would be assistant GM Zack Scott and senior VP John Ricco. Scott, the former assistant GM/EVP of the Boston Red Sox, was hired back in December to be the Mets’ senior VP and assistant GM. He’s worked himself up the ranks with the Sox – starting as a baseball ops intern back in 2004 – and could easily slot into Porter’s role. Scott was also a candidate for the GM position before the ultimate decision to hire Porter came about.
Ricco has to also be in consideration after his time as interim GM when Alderson took a leave of absence in 2018. He knows Alderson well and has been in the organization for years.
“First off, there’s a lot of depth in the organization,” Duquette said. “They just hired Zack Scott, so he could certainly take over those reins. John Ricco’s been there for a long time and he’s someone who could certainly pop into that position as well.”
Alderson takes back the reins
Before Porter was even hired, Alderson was running the show behind the scenes, gearing up for a busy Mets offseason. If the Mets feel Alderson can simply take over that role and do the same thing again, then why not?
Cohen has major faith in Alderson, which of course was the reason he brought him back to Flushing when he purchased the team.
Alderson has already helped bring in the likes of Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor May, and now Joey Lucchesi with more potential deals coming down the road. He certainly has the GM experience, and no one would be opposed to him absorbing Porter’s duties, too, if that’s what it came down to.
Hiring another outside candidate
With a month until Spring Training, this would be the least likely scenario for the Mets. But it can’t be taken off the table because the Mets had such an extensive search and there were many candidates on the list.
Former Oakland Athletics assistant GM Billy Owens was another top candidate as well as former Marlins exec Michael Hill. Those could be two names reached out to again.