Mets will start GM interviews with Byrnes, Baird and Hahn

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The Mets will start their GM interviews by sitting down with Josh Byrnes, Rick Hahn and Allard Baird. Byrnes is the former Arizona GM, Baird the former Royals GM now in the Red Sox front office and Hahn the assistant GM for the White Sox. All three will come in to sit down with Mets higherups sometime within a week.

Among the other names the Mets' GM list is believed to include are MLB consultant Sandy Alderson, Diamondbacks VP Jerry Di Poto, Rays executive Gerry Hunsicker, Twins executive Terry Ryan and Marlins VP Dan Jennings.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels would surely be of interest if he decides to opt out of his deal with Texas as his contract allows -- though the Rangers new ownership has publicly said that locking up Daniels is a priority.

There are some suggestions the Mets favor someone with GM experience, but they are considering a variety of candidates, possibly partly because they are understandably uncertain about their chances to lure proven former GMs such as Alderson, Hunsicker and Ryan. Their top list may be pared down further, as the Marlins are believed unlikely to grant permission to the rival Mets to speak to Jennings, who's under contract through 2015.

Both Alderson and Hunsicker, two intriguing candidates, have told people they are happy in their current roles, but Mets people still seem to believe their chances are slightly better for Alderson or Hunsicker than Ryan, who has deep Midwestern roots. Alderson and Hunsicker both are said to have enjoyed their time living in New York -- though it's still no certainty, either, that they'd want to dive back into a GM job in New York. Ryan, like Hunsicker is a former Mets employee, but people close to him say they don't expect him to want to jump at such a job. (Ryan, whose Twins team is facing the Yankees in the ALDS, didn't return a text Wednesday).

Hunsicker has told people recently he is enjoying his role with the Rays. Alderson is said to want to finish a big job he began only months ago with MLB aiming to fix Latin American signing issues, and furthermore, Mets people have to wonder whether Alderson would perceive GM to be a high enough job for the accomplished baseball man. Ryan would be a coup but is seen as perhaps the biggest long shot of all.

Hahn is a well-regarded longtime assistant in Chicago who has previously turned down previous GM opportunities (Pittsburgh was one) and has been mentioned as a strong candidate to become GM with his hometown White Sox at some point in coming years. Byrnes remains well-regarded after a surprisingly abrupt ending in Arizona. Di Poto is of interest to the Mets as a former Mets player from New Jersey who did a nice job as the D-backs interim GM before being passed over for the established Kevin Towers. Jennings is seen as an excellent evaluator but the Marlins have in the past rejected teams from trying to hire him, so there's little reason to believe they'd grant it to the rival Mets

The Mets intend to try to interview the seven or so people at the top of their wish list before moving on to their longer list, which is said to be about 30 names, and is believed to include another established GM, John Hart, who served in that role for the Indians and Rangers and is now a Rangers consultant and MLB Network. "I'm not actively seeking a job," Hart said. "If the Mets or someone else wants to talk, I'd love to talk to them. But I'm pretty happy doing what I'm doing."

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, who will make the big hiring decision jointly with owner Fred Wilpon and club president Saul Katz, has said that they will consider younger candidates who may have some or no GM experience as well as more experienced candidates. John Ricco, the Mets' longtime assistant GM who is currently heading the team's baseball operations department, has a big role in sorting through the candidates, though he himself is not seen as a GM candidate at the moment. Mets people are in the process of getting interview approval from current employers.