Former Giants general manager Brian Sabean is interested in the Mets’ open president of baseball operations position, according to a report from Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. She says that he is looking for a new challenge and is “going stir crazy in San Francisco with essentially nothing to do” and would move to New York “in a heartbeat” if given the chance. It would be a semi-homecoming for him to come to New York, as he was a scout with the Yankees before joining the Giants.
Sabean was the general manager of the Giants from 1997 to 2014 and was an integral part of their magnificent run of play in the last decade, which included three World Series championships in five years, as they got to spray the champagne in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In 2015, Sabean was promoted to executive vice president of baseball operations, with Bobby Evans becoming general manager and largely taking over the baseball decision-making. In late 2018, Farhan Zaidi was hired as the Giants’ new president of baseball operations, with Sabean staying with the organization in an advisory capacity and doing some player scouting.
At the end of the 2019 season, there was some speculation that Sabean was being considered to join the Marlins organization to replace Michael Hill as that club’s president of baseball operations, but he ended up staying in San Francisco.
The fact that Sabean has such a lengthy track record would fit somewhat with previous reporting about the qualities the Mets are looking for in their next president. They have also been connected to experienced front-office members such as Theo Epstein, Billy Beane and David Stearns. All three of those options appear to be dead-ends for the Mets, however, leaving the post open. However, the 65-year-old Sabean is also different than those three in some respects. Stearns is 36, Epstein 47 and Beane 59, making Sabean older than all three and significantly older than Stearns and Epstein. They’ve also all been actively participating in running baseball front offices in recent years, as opposed to Sabean, who has seemingly been operating in a fairly limited role for about seven years now.
Thosar’s report says it’s unclear if the Mets have reached out to Sabean. It’s also unclear if they’re willing to change their preferences to include someone like Sabean in their search. Although, considering that they keep crossing names off the top of their list, they might have to make adjustments to their preferences at some point.
Thosar also suggests that this could be a two-for-one deal, with Sabean’s hiring being followed by Bruce Bochy being brought in to take over the manager’s chair, which was recently left vacant when the Mets declined their option on Luis Rojas. Bochy was hired to manage the Giants in 2007, during Sabean’s time as general manager, and stayed through the 2019 season. He was recently rumored to be in consideration for the Padres’ open managerial position. Bochy is 66 years old and would buck the trend of teams hiring younger managers, but that trend has also been countered by the recent hirings of Tony La Russa (77) and Dusty Baker (72).