6 potential Mets GM candidates who could replace Brodie Van Wagenen

Alex Smith
·4 min read
Billy Owens, John Ricco, Chris Young
Billy Owens, John Ricco, Chris Young

With Steve Cohen and Sandy Anderson in place, the Mets made the decision to move on from GM Brodie Van Wagenen after two seasons.

So where do the Mets turn next when it comes to finding their next general manager... or will it be general managers? SNY's Andy Martino reported that Alderson will seek two executives to run baseball operations, whether their title is GM or otherwise.

In October, Martino listed a handful of names who could be candidates for roles in the Mets’ reconfigured front office.

Here’s a look at the list of possible candidates …

Billy Owens

Owens has been a part of the A’s for nearly two decades, and Martino has noted that “a few Alderson allies see Owens as a particularly strong candidate.”

The Athletics’ assistant GM and director of player personnel for the past two years, Owens spent 12 years as the team’s director of player personnel. He also has experience as both a scout and a hitting coach in the A’s organization.

With Owens as a part of the front office, Oakland has won 90-plus games four times, including 97-win seasons in both 2018 and 2019. The A’s have made the playoffs five times in the last eight years as well.

Bobby Heck

The Tampa Bay Rays clearly seem to know what they’re doing, having made it to the World Series this season while rising to the top of the AL East.

Heck is currently a special assistant to Rays GM Erik Neander and has also been a special assignment scout for the team.

Heck has worked with rising names in in the industry, such as Neander, now-Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom, and now-Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. Bloom was a finalist for the Mets GM job in 2018 when Van Wagenen was hired.

Peter Woodfork

Woodfork currently works as a senior vice president of on-field operations for the league, working alongside Joe Torre and Chris Young, a name we’ll come back to in just a minute. Woodfork previously served as the league’s vice president of baseball operations, a post he was hired to in 2011.

But before he joined MLB operations, Woodfork was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he served as the team’s assistant GM for five years. He also worked with the Boston Red Sox from 2003 to 2005 as the club’s director of baseball operations and assistant director of player development, seeing the Sox win a World Series in 2004.

The Harvard grad seemingly knows the best of both worlds, having worked on both the league and team sides. He was a candidate for the Houston Astros GM job last winter.

Amiel Sawdaye

Sawdaye, like Woodfork, has connections to both the Diamondbacks and Red Sox.

Serving as the D-backs’ senior vice president and assistant GM for the last four years, Sawdaye previously spent 15 seasons with the Red Sox, serving in a number of roles, including vice president of amateur and international scouting, as the team won three World Series titles.

Sawdaye’s role in the Red Sox’s scouting department saw the team draft and develop Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi, among others.

Chris Young

Young, a 6-foot-10 former right-hander pitcher with the Padres, Mets, Mariners, and Royals, began working for the league immediately after retiring from the game.

Currently MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, Young “oversees MLB’s On-Field Operations and Umpiring Departments and serves as the league’s principal liaison to Major League managers regarding play on the field,” per his official MLB bio.

The Princeton grad made 24 starts for the Mets between 2011-12, going 5-9 with a 3.76 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 139.0 innings.

Martino noted that Young has known Alderson since their days together with the San Diego Padres, when Alderson was CEO.

John Ricco

Ricco, as noted by Martino, was Anderson’s top choice to succeed him following his first tenure with the Mets. Named Mets assistant GM in 2006, Ricco was the team’s interim GM when Omar Minaya was fired in 2010.

Still with the team as the senior vice president and senior strategy officer, Ricco has been a constant in the Mets’ front office through three different general managers.

"This new role will give me the chance to broaden the scope of my executive experiences, while remaining a contributor to the operations areas I know and enjoy," Ricco said when his role was transitioned away from assistant GM in 2019. "I am intrigued by the possibilities and excited about the challenges ahead."