Source: Mets to interview Rick Hahn

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox vice president/assistant general manager Rick Hahn will interview for the New York Mets general manager position next week, according to a Major League Baseball source.

The Mets fired Omar Minaya on Monday, and decided not to renew the contract of manager Jerry Manuel.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon will conduct the search for the next general manager.

Hahn is a highly respected baseball executive who has been on a fast track to a GM job over the past five years. Baseball America voted Hahn the No. 1 general manager prospect in its March, 2010 issue.

In past years, Hahn interviewed for the St. Louis Cardinals general manager's job, but he withdrew his name after two interviews, and he also declined to be interviewed for the Pittsburgh Pirates GM job. Before hiring Jack Zduriencik as GM prior to the 2009 season, the Seattle Mariners asked for permission to interview Hahn, but the request was denied.

Hahn, along with White Sox GM Ken Williams and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf collaborated on all important baseball decisions in Chicago.

Hahn's expertise blends a firm grip of sabermetrics and physical scouting of players. He is a Michigan graduate and has a Harvard law degree and graduated from Northwestern's Kellogg graduate school of management.

Prior to joining the White Sox in 2002, Hahn was an agent at Steinberg, Moorad and Dunn sports agency in Newport Beach, Calif., for two years.

His expertise in negotiating contracts and learning the scouting end of the game was essential in the White Sox promoting him to a vice president post in 2007.

The Mets will begin their formal interview process next week.

Among others who have been approached by the Mets are former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes, former Kansas City Royals GM Allard Baird and former Oakland A's GM and San Diego Padres president Sandy Alderson, who is now an executive with MLB, according to an MLB source.

An MLB source said the Florida Marlins were approached and asked if president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest would be allowed to interview, and Marlins ownership refused the Mets' request. It initially was reported that the Mets also were denied permission to talk to Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings, but ESPN.com reports that Jennings has a clause in his contract which stipulates that a handful of teams, including the Mets, do not need permission to get an interview.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jerry Crasnick contributed information to this report.