Mets GM Jared Porter has some Sandy Alderson in him

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In the wake of the Mets’ selection of Jared Porter as their next general manager, I reached out to a longtime talent evaluator who has worked alongside Porter and got to know Sandy Alderson well during Alderson’s time at Major League Baseball’s central headquarters.

“I can see how those two brains are wired pretty similarly,” the person opined, on the condition of anonymity, of Porter and Alderson. “They’re both very analytical, very process-oriented. I think that’s going to be a very interesting match together.”

The Mets’ odyssey for a top baseball official, which started Nov. 7 when Alderson fired Brodie Van Wagenen and his top four deputies about an hour after Steve Cohen closed on his purchase of the team, landed on the 41-year-old Porter on Saturday, a long, strange trip from team president Alderson’s original plan — to land a big name to lead baseball operations — to tabbing an up-and-comer who would lean more heavily on Alderson’s experience.

Hence that means we can’t assess this GM hiring through the same prism that we did even two years ago when the Mets brought in the converted agent Van Wagenen — the title doesn’t carry the same weight it once did. And because Porter had climbed only as high as assistant GM with the Diamondbacks, there exists no track record — not only on transactions, but on handling the spotlight — to judge.

Jared Porter; Sandy Alderson
Jared Porter; Sandy Alderson
Rob Schumacher/The Republic/Imagn, Robert Sabo

So we go on reputation and reaction, and in this case, the latter informed the former. A quick trip to Twitter on Saturday revealed a plethora of good cheer and support from the baseball and baseball media worlds for Porter, a Theo Epstein acolyte (Porter worked for Epstein with both the Red Sox and Cubs) with a scouting background and love for hockey, of all things. Even beloved former Mets manager Bobby Valentine, no stranger to clashing with authority figures, tweeted, “Another good move by the Mets. … Porter will be a great GM.”

The anonymous talent evaluator said that Porter — in, say, meetings to prepare for the amateur draft — didn’t speak for the sake of hearing his own voice: “He didn’t get involved a lot. When he did get involved, I knew he had done his research and had something to say.”

Sounds like Alderson. Now it falls on Porter to work in sync with his new boss. To fill out his front office, hopefully prioritizing diversity now that the Mets have white men as owner, president and GM. To build on the new organizational culture Cohen and Alderson want to institute and acquire more players, with Trevor May and James McCann already on board, to make the Mets competitive next season and beyond.

Simple enough, right? Like any good baseball prospect, Porter has to live up to the hype. Whether he does will go a long way, if not as long as if this odyssey had concluded differently, toward defining the first chapter of the Cohen Era.