Is there anything more appealing about the Phillies' vacant front office leadership position than the Mets'?
The Mets were just taken over by the richest of MLB's 30 owners. That new owner, Steve Cohen, has talked about wanting to win a World Series within three years. That doesn't mean it will happen but he is committed to making it happen.
The Mets are expected to spend and spend big this offseason. That could mean multiple players from the top free-agent tier of J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer and George Springer. They could also trade for Francisco Lindor or Nolan Arenado.
If you're someone like Theo Epstein, whom the Phillies will attempt to woo and the Mets could as well, what about this job would be more attractive than the current situation in New York?
Beyond the ability to spend more, the Mets' roster is already just as good, if not better than the Phillies'. Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher on either team. The Mets' bullpen is superior. The top six hitters in their lineup — Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Dom Smith, Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis — match up well with the Phillies' current top six of Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and Scott Kingery.
And that's before any offseason additions tip the scales more in the Mets' direction. It's not a particularly sunny thought but it's reality.
This comparison of the two jobs doesn't apply only to Epstein. It applies to any president of baseball operations candidate the Phillies identify who is also high on the Mets' list.
Phillies president Andy MacPhail questioned last month whether candidates would want to uproot their lives in a pandemic. He caught a lot of flak locally for that comment. A largely ignored piece of that answer was his saying it wouldn't be fair to a candidate to be brought in at a time when they couldn't "effect much positive change."
Weigh that remark — which you make only if you anticipate not spending much money — against the Mets' clear desire to make moves this winter.
Like their 29 counterparts, the Phillies took steep losses this year and made decisions they didn't want to by laying off employees.
The Mets' ownership change took place at a strangely ideal time for them as Cohen was not subject to the hundreds of millions of dollars MLB's owners lost in 2020 with the pandemic. The Mets' position in free agency only grew stronger this week when Robinson Cano, suspended for the entire 2021 season for a second positive PED test, forfeited his $24 million salary.