Close, but no cigar.
One of the Mets' hated NL East rivals tried making a run at one of their top executives earlier in the offseason.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Phillies requested permission to interview Ben Zauzmer, the Mets' director of analytics at the time, for their assistant general manager vacancy.
Before the Mets hired Billy Eppler to be their general manager in November, the Phillies had their eyes on Zauzmer, but were unable to land a conversation with him.
As a result, Philadelphia hired Anirudh Kilambi for this role in November, and the Mets promoted Zauzmer to assistant GM last month.
Per Martino, Zauzmer is looked at as a relatable individual who has the ability to innovate with numbers and communicate complex data to staff members on a human level. This will be an important aspect when working with veteran manager Buck Showalter and his staff, who are open to receiving information but expect it to be delivered in a clear and effective manner. The Mets are confident that Zauzmer is the right man for the job and his unique skillset is the reason why Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson felt he was too valuable of an asset to lose.
Not to mention, Zauzmer has quickly become one of Eppler's top lieutenants, advising him alongside fellow AGMs Bryn Alderson and Ian Levin.
Zauzmer, 29, was hired by the Mets in January 2021 to oversee analytics and research and development. During this span, the Mets have heavily expanded their analytics department, which was understaffed when Cohen bought the team in 2020, but is now one of the largest units in the league.
While Zauzmer is still involved in analytics and R&D, his responsibilities have increased as he is now one of the top voices in the Mets' front office as well.
Zauzmer graduated from Harvard University in 2015 and proceeded to spend six seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers' analytics department before joining the Mets last year.