There have been rumblings in New York today about the possibility of former Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten taking over baseball operations for the Mets this offseason. While they have been mostly hypothetical “what if’s,” the reasoning has been strong and the thought of it is scary. Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog wrote:
“I haven’t heard his name mentioned yet. But, he’d be a perfect choice to be the older, senior-level visionary I have written about in previous posts. He has a track record, he’s smart, 58, powerful, personable, respected around the game, he knows business and did a terrific job getting the Nationals in a place where they are ready to ‘compete then contend,’ as he likes to say. Obviously, his work with the Braves in the 90s and the NBA’s Hawks in the 80s is well documented. He’s from New Jersey and told reporters in DC the other the day that he is not retiring.”
Cerrone is right on the money here. Kasten is the perfect fit to take over this winter when current general manager Omar Minaya is inevitably let go. As Thomas Bosewell noted earlier this week, Kasten’s biggest frustration during his tenure with the Nationals was to get the Lerner’s to commit to spend the money necessary to win. The Wilpon’s in New York have never been considered frugal. If Kasten was able to put himself in a position in a city with the fan base of New York, and the wallet of an ownership group like the Wilpon’s, he could really do some damage. He is a well respected and talented man, who some believe, was never fully allowed to use his abilities in Washington.
If Kasten were to join the Mets this winter it would be disastrous for the Nationals organization. It would be, in effect, taking the Nationals strongest front office asset and giving it to someone who we should start genuinely considering our division rival. While the Phillies and the Braves are top dogs now, Washington and New York are currently in an arms race to see who will be on top next. The Nationals have the prospects to compete very soon, and the Mets have the resources to put themselves back in contention very quickly. Giving them Kasten gives them that much more of an upper hand.
This of course is still just a hypothetical scenario. Some believe he would not be a good fit with Fred Wilpon’s personality, where others believe that he could even be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball.