Mets to speak with Theo Epstein soon about front office vacancy

The Mets’ potentially busy offseason revolves heavily around hiring a president of baseball operations – and to that end, the organization already has one candidate lined up.

The Mets plan to speak with Theo Epstein soon – possibly this week, according to an industry source – as the team searches for a new front office leader. Epstein, who helped build three World Series winners with the Red Sox and Cubs, has spent this season working as a consultant for MLB.

Unclear is the 47-year-old Epstein’s level of interest in returning to the daily grind of baseball operations. But team owner Steve Cohen’s checkbook could hold sway in the matter. Epstein’s last contract with the Cubs, which he exited a year early, was worth close to $10 million annually. With the Mets desperate for a big hire, he could be in position to significantly increase that amount, potentially including an ownership stake.

Mets to speak with Theo Epstein soon about front office vacancy
Theo Epstein with the Cubs in 2017.
Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, the Mets had not sought permission to speak with potential candidates under contract with other teams. Oakland’s Billy Beane and Milwaukee’s David Stearns are two such possibilities that would require their employers’ permission before speaking to the Mets. Another possibility is Dodgers executive Josh Byrnes.

Mets to speak with Theo Epstein soon about front office vacancy
The Mets are interviewing Theo Epstein.
MLB via Getty Images

Beane has a tight relationship with Mets president Sandy Alderson from their time together in Oakland. There is skepticism within the industry that the 59-year-old Beane is willing to uproot from the West Coast and take on significant responsibilities with the Mets. But it’s also possible he would welcome the opportunity of returning to the organization that drafted him in 1980, and trying to deliver a championship (an accomplishment that has eluded him during his successful Oakland run built with limited resources).

The likelihood is the Mets would wait until the Brewers, who won the NL Central, are finished playing until seeking permission to speak with Stearns. The Mets attempted to speak with him last winter, but were denied permission.