The MLB offseason won’t get going for a few more weeks, after the playoffs end. In the meantime, Oakland A’s fans are bracing for what might possibly be a tumultuous winter full of painful roster turnover.
As usual some players will head out the door, but there have also been rumblings regarding the A’s front office. The biggest rumors have connected iconic longtime executive Billy Beane with a big-money East Coast team. However, the latest reports have soured on that idea.
Here’s the background. The New York Mets are in the midst of a long-term housecleaning, after spending all of 2021 with an interim general manager. They’re looking to start over with someone new in charge, and they began their search with sights set high on a few premium names including Beane.
The potential pairing of Beane to the Mets got legitimate attention in the national media. He’s been with the A’s for a long time, their latest window of contention has probably closed, and the team’s entire future is in question as they decide whether to stay in the Bay Area. He could find a new challenge in New York, and perhaps old friend Sandy Alderson (Oakland’s longtime former GM, and now the Mets team president) could lure him there. A couple weeks ago insider Jon Heyman saw Beane as the most likely of New York’s big-name targets.
For his part, Beane refused to lend credibility to the rumors, calling them speculation, per insider Martin Gallegos. However, while he wouldn’t confirm nor deny anything publicly, secondary sources suggested he was “very much open to the idea of becoming [President of Baseball Operations for the Mets],” reported John Harper of SNY last week.
That brings us to the last few days.
On Saturday, Michael Mayer of Metsmerized reported: “Sources continue to indicate that neither Billy Beane or David Stearns are coming to the Mets.”
On Monday, Heyman followed up: “Mets seem very pessimistic about landing Billy Beane, at least at the moment, for their top baseball job.”
In related news, the Mets requested permission to interview Milwaukee Brewers President of Baseball Operations David Stearns, but the Brewers denied them.
There have not been any reports about the Mets officially asking the A’s for permission to speak with Beane, nor whether Oakland would grant it if they were asked.
These latest reports sound like Beane will not be leaving to go to the Mets this winter, at least as everything currently stands. And, as Heyman notes, New York will likely have to expand their search beyond their original lofty wishlist of Beane, Stearns, and Theo Epstein.
Update: The Mets did receive permission to interview Beane, but he withdrew himself from consideration, reports Joel Sherman of the NY Post.
Of course, the Mets rumor being squashed doesn’t necessarily cement the long-term future. Last winter there was talk that Beane was going to leave baseball entirely to pursue other ventures, so being poached by another club isn’t the only factor to consider. But for now, he’s still in Oakland.