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Brewers reportedly deny Mets an interview with David Stearns
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Brewers reportedly deny Mets an interview with David Stearns

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David Stearns, Craig Counsell, AP generic file photo

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, right, talks to president of baseball operations David Stearns during practice before the NDLS on Thursday Oct, 7, 2021 at American Family Field in Milwaukee.

Sandy Alderson is once again scrambling to find a credible chief of baseball operations.

Billy Beane, the Oakland A's executive VP of baseball operations, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Mets' head of baseball ops, sources confirmed to the Daily News. For a double whammy, the team's other top choice is also apparently out of the running. The Brewers reportedly denied their president of baseball operations, David Stearns, an interview with the Mets to run their front office.

Beane and Alderson have a close relationship, beginning with their time in the Oakland front office in the early 1990s, and he was the realistic candidate, among a trio that included Stearns and Theo Epstein, to reunite with his mentor and help the Mets stabilize. But Beane is under contract and has spent the past three decades in the A's organization. A source said, while Beane was initially interested in coming to New York, in the end he decided against uplifting his family and roots from Oakland.

Stearns was on the Mets' short list to head its baseball operations department, but it is no surprise Milwaukee made sure the executive would stay put. Stearns reportedly has at least one more year remaining on his contract with the Brewers, and they've made the playoffs in each of their last four years under his leadership. Stearns was first hired by Milwaukee in 2016 as general manager and he was promoted to president of baseball operations in 2019.

So, where do the Mets turn now?

They created several vacancies in their first week of the offseason — removing Luis Rojas as manager and allowing six members of the major-league coaching staff to seek jobs elsewhere. Since that busy first week, we've heard only the chirping of crickets. Even avid Twitter user Steve Cohen hasn't found a reason to drum up the Mets fan base with a dad joke or a dirty competition to expose a source. One reason for the radio silence in Mets land is the restriction in reaching out to candidates who are currently involved in the playoffs. If the team is interested in a fat cat of the Dodgers, for example, the Mets will wait until their postseason run is complete before requesting an interview.

But the Mets already struck out in their search for a universally respected leader who can marry analytics and winning experience. Accomplished executive Theo Epstein was thought to be a perfect fit for the Amazin's, given his track record as architect of the Red Sox and Cubs drought-ending championships. But Epstein and Cohen figured out after an early-October Zoom call that the head of operations gig was not going to work out. Epstein, we learned, was not interested in that opportunity.

Now, the pressure is even higher on Alderson to hire a credible and experienced exec to run the Mets front office.

Alderson, the team president doubling as Mets GM, held court in a 50-minute press conference at Citi Field during the team's final week of the regular season. He has not spoken to reporters since declining to pick up the team option on Rojas' contract, nor since shaking up the coaching staff. Last month, Alderson expressed some apprehensiveness about receiving permission to speak to top candidates for president of operations. He was hopeful the Mets would not have to go through a repeat of last year's limitations.

The Mets tried and failed last offseason to secure an individual for the position of head of baseball ops. Much like this time around with the Brewers and Stearns, the Mets were denied approval from multiple teams to speak to their top candidates. They pivoted to a different structure, with Jared Porter as GM and Zack Scott as acting GM. Alderson, as team president, served in an advisory role for Porter and Scott while that formation ran the front office for all of two months.

Porter was fired in January after details surfaced that he sent sexual images to a reporter while working in the Cubs front office. Scott took over acting GM duties until September, after which Alderson began both publicly and privately calling the shots for Mets brass.

With their top candidates all retreating, perhaps Scott will get a second chance from the Mets. Scott, who is still employed by the club while sidelined on administrative leave, was arrested last month for drunk driving. Alderson indicated he would wait for Scott's legal situation to resolve before deciding on his status. Scott's DWI case was adjourned earlier this month for reasons not provided, and he has a trial set for Dec. 8. Though it's worth noting that a few weeks ago, Alderson said "there has been very little contact" with Scott since his arrest, which does not bode well for his potential future with the club.

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"At the end of the day we really just thought a new voice, a little bit of different framing of message, perhaps, a new idea, might be beneficial for our group as a whole," team president of baseball operations David Stearns said.

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