Zack Scott takes a small measure of pride in this year’s World Series-winning team.
The former acting Mets general manager wasn’t employed by the Rangers, but the club utilized his consulting firm this season.
Scott began Four Rings Sports Solutions shortly after he was fired by the Mets — facing a DWI charge of which he was later found not guilty — following the 2021 season.
Scott’s other clients have included the Pirates and NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. He overlapped briefly in advising for the Pirates and Rangers, but the nature of his consulting for the clubs wasn’t considered a conflict of interest.
“I can really only offer player personnel type of advisory services for one team,” Scott told Post Sports+ this week. “I had a bigger engagement with the Rangers, which included some of that. With the Pirates, it was just a more specific area of focus that wasn’t necessarily directly involved with the players.”
Scott is hoping to branch into basketball and soccer. He sees plenty of opportunity in hockey based on his stint consulting for the Penguins.
“The NHL is just so far behind analytically, where baseball is just kind of low-hanging fruit,” Scott said. “That’s true of all the sports. Baseball is kind of the gold standard because they’ve been doing it longer.”
Though not part of his consulting duties, Scott spoke with David Stearns before the former Brewers executive left Milwaukee to become the Mets’ new president of baseball operations last month.
Stearns contacted Scott with questions about what it was like heading a front office under Mets owner Steve Cohen. Scott spent 7 ½ months in that capacity after GM Jared Porter was fired for sending inappropriate pictures and text messages to a female reporter during his tenure with the Cubs.
“I spoke to [Stearns] about a lot of different things and I was very positive about my Mets experience,” Scott said. “I was very positive about Steve Cohen, in particular, and how I kind of see that evolution. Everything I said to David was with the caveat that all my information is dated a couple of years.”
“I’m not sure how helpful my information was, but a lot of what I was doing was projecting forward for him what kind of organization I think he’s getting into at the moment and what the potential was. I have a positive feel about a lot of the people there and I think he was going into a good situation.”
Scott’s legacy with the Mets includes his trade-deadline deal to acquire Javier Baez from the Cubs (along with Trevor Williams) for outfield prospect Pete-Crow Armstrong. The Mets’ season went into a nosedive following the trade and never recovered. Baez departed after the season through free agency. Crow-Armstrong is now ranked as the game’s No. 12 prospect by MLB.com.
Scott said he’s been contacted about a podcast and might use that forum to give his perspective into all that went into the trade.
“It’s really about just giving a peek behind the curtain of how that went down and the ‘whys’ behind it,” Scott said. “Why it may have made sense for the short term and obviously it looks worse now.
“I think what people tend to forget is the snapshot in time, where things stood at the moment a decision is made. How someone has made a decision with the information at hand in the moment. Obviously a lot of it is crystal-balling in the future, which is inherently a difficult thing to do. It’s just giving some insights on what the thought was there and what we’ve learned since.”
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No more Omar?
Though Omar Narvaez last week exercised his player option for next season worth $7 million, that hardly assures the veteran catcher will remain with the Mets.
Among the chatter at the GM Meetings was the Mets could look to trade Narvaez if they can find a team willing to take on a portion of his salary. Such a move would be a possibility because the Mets still have Tomas Nido in the organization, but not on the 40-man roster. Nido spent most of last season at Triple-A Syracuse.
Nido will receive $2.1 million next season as part of the two-year contract the Mets gave him last winter.
The Mets signed Narvaez with the idea he would be the primary catcher or sharing duties, but that plan was scuttled after Narvaez went on the injured list and missed two months early last season.
During his absence, Francisco Alvarez emerged as the starting catcher. Narvaez returned and was relegated to the bench until the Mets began resting Alvarez with regularity late in the season.
But Narvaez signed with the Mets under the assumption he would be a starter (or at the very least in a job share) and still views himself in that light, according to a source — especially with his contract set to expire after next season.
There is thought that Nido is more accepting of the backup role and might complement Alvarez better. The two meshed in spring training last season as Nido took on a mentorship role with the rookie.
Even so, three catchers for two spots certainly wouldn’t hurt the Mets.
“Right now [Nido] is number three on the depth chart,” Stearns said. “You’re probably going to need three catchers over the course of the year, and that’s where things stand right now.”
Putting Nimmo in a corner
Brandon Nimmo has played center field for the Mets at a high level, but that doesn’t guarantee he will remain at the position. The Mets could look to add a center fielder this winter and shift Nimmo to a corner spot.
“Brandon is a really good center fielder, and I think he’s proven that,” Stearns said. “If there are ways that we can make our team better and have Brandon play some corners, we’ll explore that. But I certainly have confidence that Brandon can play center field.”
Bye to the bye
Scott Boras holds his annual “State of the Boras” address at the GM Meetings to promote the free agents in his stable and answer questions about them.
But the mega-agent uses the first part of his session to promote changes that he (and presumably many of his clients) would like to see within the game.
Among the ideas he promoted this week was eliminating the bye in the wild-card round for the top two division winners in each league. Under Boras’ proposal, those teams would play in the wild-card round and need to win two games to clinch the series. The lower-seeded teams would need to win three games.
The goal would be eliminating the dead time a team such as the Braves faced in October after finishing as the top seed and waiting for the wild-card round to conclude. The Braves lost in the NLDS for a second straight season in which they surpassed 100 victories.
It’s certainly a proposal worth considering, but MLB’s expanded postseason has ensured there is no right answer for properly rewarding the best teams over 162 games.
Once October arrives, you are good or you are gone.