NEW YORK -- A list that was once roughly 30 names long has now been whittled down to six. The Mets announced on Thursday that frontrunner Sandy Alderson's tour of Citi Field completed the team's initial round of interviews for the open general manager position. The club will now begin the process of scheduling callback interviews with its chosen finalists.
"Each was extremely impressive," Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon wrote in an open letter to fans. "All reiterated their desire and interest in pursuing this opportunity."
In addition to Alderson, the former A's GM who began his interview last week, the Mets also interviewed Red Sox assistant to the GM Allard Baird, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, former D-backs GM Josh Byrnes, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White and Blue Jays special assistant to the GM Dana Brown.
"We will be in direct communication with each as we narrow the candidate pool by early next week," Wilpon wrote. "We subsequently will invite the leading candidates back to meet with Fred [Wilpon], Saul [Katz] and me."
Fred Wilpon, the franchise's principal owner, and Katz, its president, did not participate in the initial round of interviews. They will join the process next week at Citi Field.
Though Texas general manager and Queens native Jon Daniels was coy with reporters last week when asked about New York's vacancy, the Mets were apparently unwilling to put their process on hold for Daniels, whose Rangers are now one win away from a World Series berth. Daniels does have a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave Texas, but there were no guarantees he would have exercised it.
And the Mets, while not rushing to fill their vacancy, are still aiming to name their new general manager after the end of the World Series. All non-essential baseball operations have been put on hold until the team names a new GM.
According to sources, the Mets also asked for, and were denied, permission to interview Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings and Tigers assistant GM Al Avila.
Alderson, 62, is considered the clear frontrunner after helping construct an A's team that won four division titles, three pennants and one World Series during 15 seasons as general manager from 1983-97. He later worked for Major League Baseball before heading San Diego's baseball operations department for four years.
Last summer, Alderson left that post, later becoming an MLB consultant for the league's interests in the Dominican Republic. In that role, he has worked to reduce the prevalence of age falsification and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Dominican.