The New York Mets have abandoned their search for a president of baseball operations and will instead focus on hiring a general manager who will report to team president Sandy Alderson.
In the meantime, Alderson told Luis Rojas on Monday he will return for a second season as manager.
Alderson returned to the team Nov. 6 when Steven Cohen completed his $2.42 billion purchase from the Wilpon and Katz families and that day fired general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Alderson said then he wanted to hire a president of baseball operations but said Monday he had been thwarted in attempts to gain permission to speak with officials on other teams for lateral moves, and another possible candidate had a family issue that prevented a move.
He did not contact Theo Epstein, who quit Friday as the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations after leading the Cubs to the 2016 World Series title, their first in 108 years.
Alderson, who turned 72 on Sunday, said Monday he will have a greater role in baseball operations than originally planned. Alderson initially said he planned to have a seat at the table but not at the head.
Alderson said he had interviewed six GM candidates and will decide whether second and third interviews are needed before presenting one or two candidates to Cohen. He hopes the new GM could grow into a president of baseball operations role.
John Ricco, who shifted from assistant general manager to a senior vice president when Van Wagenen was hired, will be Alderson’s “right-hand person” interfacing for Alderson with both the baseball and business departments. He is not a GM candidate.
Alderson was the Mets’ general manager from October 2010 until he left in July 2018 following a recurrence of cancer that no longer is a problem.
He said the team had much work ahead after a fourth-place finish at 26-34.