Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is back to thinking outside the box again. After bursting onto the scene in late 2018 with a blockbuster trade and some savvy player signings, Brodie is now making some sly additions to the Front Office. On Monday, The Mets announced the addition of two well-known former pitchers to assist in operations:
Al Leiter, who recently left his broadcasting duties at the YES Network, has joined the Mets as a baseball operations advisor.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 4, 2019
John Franco, who has long been a club ambassador, is expanding his role and will also become part of the Mets' front office.
Then came a more unexpected hire, announced Wednesday:
"Baseball is a passion of mine and I look forward to expanding on my love for the game.”— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 5, 2019
Jessica Mendoza joins the Mets' front office:https://t.co/Tp0LEQlw6l
Al Leiter, John Franco and Jessica Mendoza are already household names in the Baseball industry. Now they’ll try to further their legacies with some advisory work in Flushing. Let’s examine how they’ll contribute for the Orange-and-Blue:
Al Leiter. After leaving his job as a broadcaster for YES Network, Leiter moves from the Bronx to Queens and from the booth to the scouting department. Leiter will serve as an Operations Adviser, helping the Mets with scouting and player development, as well as specializing in mental preparation for our pitching staff from the minors to the majors.
John Franco. Our former captain and closer will expand his role as Team Ambassador to also serve as an Operations Adviser. Franco’s role will be less specialized than Leiter’s, as he’ll work more generally with our pitching staff overall.
Jessica Mendoza. The most outside-the-box hire of the three, Jessica joins the Mets with a decorated softball playing career that pairs with her reputable analyst and broadcasting role with ESPN. Mendoza will also serve as an Operations Adviser, assisting with player evaluation, roster composition, and monitoring players’ health and performance. She will keep her job in the ESPN booth.
Jessica Mendoza is one of the most intelligent, hardest working people in the industry. Who wouldn’t want to hire her? I’m proud to call her my friend. Don’t @ me, I’m too busy letting folks know they still have hair growing between their toes.— Ron Darling Jr (@RonDarlingJr) March 5, 2019
While immediate impact of the hirings remains unknown, it can’t hurt to have former players and current analysts helping out with scouting and evaluating talent. The moves show a few things. First, that Leiter and Franco have maintained great relationships with the Mets after their playing years. Second, that Brodie continues to leave no stone unturned with the hire of Jessica Mendoza. She didn’t play baseball, but clearly has demonstrated enough to the Mets brass that she is capable of analyzing and understanding the game. Finally, Brodie shows that he isn’t afraid to surround himself with people that know the game better than he does, keeping a system of checks and balances. While confident, Brodie still understands there’s aspects of the job to learn. Yes it’s still the offseason, but our newly appointed GM continues to take the road less traveled when approaching his front office duties.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.