Even the Cleveland Browns are sick of having nothing baseball-related to talk about in January. Earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed that current New York Mets VP of player development Paul DePodesta is making the leap to the NFL and joining the Browns as their Executive Vice President. According to Sherman, DePodesta will be about as high up the rung as he can go and will be "answerable only to team owner/pres."
DePodesta has been in MLB front offices since the mid-90s, including three years from 1996 to 1999 when he was a front office assistant for then Cleveland Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. He was portrayed in the 2011 film Moneyball by Jonah Hill, although the character based on DePodeasta is named Peter Brand. In the film, and in real life, DePodesta is poached from the Indians front office by Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and the two help spur the sabermetric movement among MLB front offices.
The Browns were reportedly pursuing DePodesta shortly after the Mets lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals, meaning they knew some major changes were needed all the way back in October. DePodesta was seen as the natural heir to Mets GM Sandy Alderson whenever he retired or otherwise left his position with the Mets. Now the Mets will be left looking for someone else.