Jessica Mendoza will be joining the Mets front office. The news was first reported by Tim Britton of The Athletic, and the Mets officially announced it minutes later. Mendoza, per the release, will support GM Brodie Van Wagenen and her “focus will be in the areas of player evaluation, roster construction, technological advancement and health and performance.”
She will also remain on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast, and this is where things could get interesting. As is customary in all sports, the broadcasters meet with managers/coaches/players to gather intel to make the telecast more interesting. What happens if a manager gets cold feet about talking to her, fearful that anything proprietary would be shared with the Mets?
Nevertheless, it should be noted that A-Rod has fulfilled his Sunday Night Baseball role while also being a special advisor to the Yankees. David Ross, another ESPN analyst, has a job with the Cubs. As of yesterday, Al Leiter works for both the Mets and MLB Network. It will be worth monitoring to see how, if at all, this dynamic with Mendoza impacts ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts.
UPDATE: ESPN sent the following statement: “There are numerous examples across networks of these type of arrangements where commentators work closely with teams, and we will be fully transparent about Jessica’s relationship with the Mets. We have complete faith in her ability as a leading MLB voice for ESPN.”
Other examples, beyond the ones listed above, are Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz working as advisors for the Red Sox while they do postseason studio for Turner and Fox respectively. Frank Thomas also works for Fox and as an advisor to the White Sox.