What happened: Paul DePodesta, vice president of player development and amateur scouting, is leaving the New York Mets to try his skills in the National Football League. DePodesta has been hired by the Cleveland Browns as chief strategy officer. He will report directly to Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.
What it means: DePodesta oversaw the draft and player development for the Mets. He primarily was responsible for the selections of first-round picks Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini, Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto. So DePodesta's departure leaves a void among general manager Sandy Alderson's top lieutenants. Alderson and DePodesta worked together with San Diego as well.
The Mets still have a pair of front-office executives answering to Alderson who have experience as a general manager. J.P. Ricciardi oversees professional scouting, and John Ricco has handled arbitration and administrative matters. Ricciardi previously served as general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Ricco was interim general manager of the Mets between Omar Minaya and Alderson's tenures.
DePodesta's departure comes at a time when Alderson is battling cancer, but Alderson has been in the Mets' offices this week performing his role while dealing with his serious health issue.
The Mets also moved minor league field coordinator Dick Scott to bench coach recently in order to offset the loss of Bob Geren to the Los Angeles Dodgers. So the Mets are now without the top two administrators who oversaw their minor league system in recent years. Longtime employee Kevin Morgan reportedly will take over as minor league field coordinator.
Alderson said in a statement: "Paul completely reorganized the Mets scouting and player development functions and had an extraordinary impact in both areas, but he was also very directly involved in our trade and free-agent acquisitions. His commitment to excellence and his passion for innovation will be missed by the Mets and all of baseball. I wish him well with the Browns."