The New York Mets are finally starting to proceed with their search for a new General Manager and names are beginning to leak out from the list. After word emerged yesterday that Doug Melvin would interview with the Mets, Mike Puma of the New York Post has two more names to add to the list.
Neither name is a huge surprise. LaRocque has been mentioned in the search before and has worked for the Mets’ organization before, notably being credited as the scout who discovered David Wright. The Cardinals have a reputation as being one of the best organizations in baseball at scouting and developing talent, so hiring a guy who played a big role in that success makes sense. Duquette is a new entry to the list after he was let go by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday, but he has had notable success in his career, turning around the Orioles after he arrived in 2011 and guiding the franchise to three playoff appearances in eight years, including a trip to the American League Championship Series in 2014. Prior to his time in Baltimore, Duquette was the GM of the Montreal Expos from 1991-1994, assembling the team that many pegged as a potential World Series champion if the 1994 strike never occurred, and was the GM of the Boston Red Sox from 1994-2002. Theo Epstein was able to take the foundation that Duquette laid there and turn that Red Sox team into the one that broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004.
There is no doubt that all three of these executives are highly qualified candidates to take over for Sandy Alderson, but the pattern being set by the Mets here is not inspiring. All three men are at least 60 years old, fitting in line with Fred Wilpon’s desire for an old school baseball man. The Mets need to be open to a more diverse group of candidates, including some new school executives who are well versed in analytics. That list took a hit when Ben Cherington, who had reportedly been recommended to the front office by Alderson and constantly rumored to be a top candidate, pulled out of the mix for an interview. The Mets are expected to interview at least 10-12 candidates in their first round of interviews, and if they all fit the profile filled by Melvin, LaRocque, and Duquette that doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.