The Mets, in selecting Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes as the finalists for their vacant general manager’s position, determined that they needed an experienced candidate as opposed to a first-time GM, major-league sources said.
Alderson was GM of the A’s from 1983 to ‘97 and CEO of the Padres from 2005 to ‘09. Byrnes was GM of the Diamondbacks from Nov. 2005 until last July.
Allard Baird, the Mets’ only other candidate with previous GM experience, had three 100-loss seasons with the Royals. He presented several intriguing “outside-the-box” ideas, but would have been tough to sell to a frustrated fan base, one source said.
Three other executives the Mets interviewed -- White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Dodgers assistant GM Logan White and Blue Jays special assistant Dana Brown -- lack previous GM experience.
Alderson and Byrnes met with Mets COO Jeff Wilpon in the first round of interviews. They will meet separately next week with Wilpon, principal owner Fred Wilpon and team president Saul Katz.
While Alderson is widely perceived to be the front-runner and the favored choice of commissioner Bud Selig, both Wilpons and Katz remain open-minded, sources said.
Both Alderson and Byrnes presented lists of four or five managerial candidates in their initial interviews. Each of their lists included Mets Class A manager Wally Backman, sources said.
-- Ken Rosenthal