The New York Mets have narrowed down the list of finalists for their vacant General Manager position to three, and one of Milwaukee’s veteran executives has found his name on the shortlist for the position:
Mets may have their finalists set. I'm hearing Casey Close and Kim Ng are not finalists. That leaves 3 still in the hunt: Melvin, Bloom and Van Wagenen.— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) October 22, 2018
Melvin, 66, has spent a lifetime working in baseball as both a minor league player and in the front office. He served as an MLB GM for 20 years during stints with two organizations, the Rangers (1994-2001) and our Milwaukee Brewers (2002-2015). Melvin took over a moribund franchise in the Cream City and worked to build a new winning culture, and the club made two postseason berths (2008, 2011) under his watch and produced the second-most wins in the NL Central during the decade-long period from 2005-2014. He has been named executive of the year twice - in 1996 by The Sporting News, and in 2011 by Baseball America. Since stepping down as GM of the Brewers in 2015 and turning over the keys to David Stearns, Melvin has remained with Milwaukee as a senior advisor to the young GM.
Though Melvin’s age and playing background lend themselves to “old school” assumptions, the Brewers were actually one of the more advanced analytical teams under his watch. Doug’s Brewers were one of the earliest adopters of the infield shift, among other things like biomechanical pitcher analysis and tandem rotation experiments in the minor leagues.
Melvin’s fingerprints remain on the current roster that took Milwaukee to the NLCS, too. Orlando Arcia, Ryan Braun, Hernan Perez, Domingo Santana, Nate Orf, Brett Phillips, Brent Suter, Brandon Woodruff, Zach Davies, Taylor Williams, Josh Hader, Jorge Lopez, Corey Knebel, Adrian Houser, and Jacob Barnes all appeared in a Brewers uniform this year and were all acquired under the Melvin regime, plus he gets bonus points for being the GM when Lorenzo Cain was originally drafted by the team, too. A significant portion of the front office - including guys like Ray Montgomery, Tod Johnson, and Tom Flanagan - was hired by Melvin, as well.
Melvin’s competition for the position comes in the form of Chaim Bloom, the Senior VP of Baseball Operations for the Rays, and Brodie Van Wagenen, an agent who is currently the head of CAA Baseball and has no previous MLB front experience. But there is some belief that Melvin is considered the favorite for the position:
Doug Melvin is the favorite at this point to become the next Mets GM (or head of baseball operations), based on his experience and reputation in the game. But if Van Wagenen or Bloom light up the room with Fred Wilpon, anything can happen.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) October 22, 2018
Certainly, Melvin’s history of finding valuable players off the scrap heap and building winning teams with limited payrolls appeals to the Mets, who try to be spendthrift while playing in the game’s largest market. Stay tuned for more as this story develops.