The Mets announced Thursday that they’ve placed acting general manager Zack Scott on administrative leave “until further notice.” Team president Sandy Alderson is assuming Scott’s responsibilities indefinitely. Scott was arrested earlier this week on a DWI charge in White Plains, N.Y. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment earlier this morning.
It’s been a tumultuous year for the Mets’ front office, to say the least. Alderson, the team’s former general manager who stepped away years ago in the wake of a cancer diagnosis, was brought back to the organization by new owner Steve Cohen and expected to serve a broader role as team president. Cohen parted ways with GM Brodie Van Wagenen, a former agent who’d been hired by the prior Wilpon family ownership group as Alderson’s successor.
Alderson and Cohen at one point were said to be looking to hire both a president of baseball operations and a general manager but were unable to secure interviews with some top targets and had their interest rebuffed by others. Reported names under consideration at the time included Indians GM Mike Chernoff, Athletics GM David Forst and Twins GM Thad Levine, among others. The Mets eventually settled on a trio of assistant general managers a finalists in their search, selecting D-backs AGM Jared Porter as their new general manager and hiring Scott, then an AGM in Boston, as an assistant GM as well.
Porter, however, was fired just weeks after being hired once it came to light that he’d repeatedly sent unsolicited, and at times graphic and sexually explicit text messages to a reporter in 2016. Allegations against former manager Mickey Callaway, who’d since been hired as the Angels’ pitching coach, soon followed. Callaway was with another club by that point, but much of the purported behavior took place during his tenure with the Mets. Both Porter and Callaway have been placed on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list through the 2022 season.
With Porter quickly ousted, Scott was elevated to the status of acting general manager. There’d been some thought that he could be in line for a permanent appointment to that post — perhaps still with a president of baseball operations being hired to oversee things — but the recent arrest and today’s announcement have now brought his future with the organization into question.
Following the revelations regarding Callaway and Porter, Alderson spoke of improving the Mets’ vetting and background checks during future hiring processes. With another key member of their leadership team now facing a legal issue, an even brighter spotlight will be focused on who the Mets hire this coming winter. It’s possible that Scott is retained in some capacity — notably, Cohen fired Porter the day after word of his purported transgressions broke — but it seems at the very least that there will be some changes to the team’s front office looming this winter.