The New York Mets fired general manager Jared Porter on Tuesday, a day after ESPN reported that he sent explicit unsolicited texts and images to a female reporter in 2016 while working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office.
Owner Steve Cohen tweeted Tuesday that the Mets "have terminated Jared Porter this morning," less than 12 hours after ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan reported that Porter sent graphic uninvited text messages and images to the reporter.
"In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it," Cohen tweeted. "There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior."
Mets president Sandy Alderson, who hired Porter last month, confirmed Porter's firing in a statement.
"The New York Mets have terminated General Manager Jared Porter, effective immediately," Alderson said. "Jared's actions, as reflected by events disclosed last night, failed to meet the Mets' standards for professionalism and personal conduct."
Porter, 41, was hired as Mets GM on Dec. 13 to work under Alderson and help lead new owner Cohen's front office. During his introductory news conference, Porter, who signed a four-year contract with the Mets, spoke about "a cultural shift," specifically, "adding good people to the organization, improving the organizational culture."
Porter joined the Mets from Arizona, where he had served as the Diamondbacks' senior vice president and assistant GM since 2017. Prior to that, he spent 12 years with the Boston Red Sox, rising from intern to pro scouting director, before joining the Cubs organization in September 2015 as director of professional scouting.
It was while he was working for the Cubs that Porter began texting the woman, a foreign correspondent who had moved to the United States to cover Major League Baseball, after meeting her in an elevator at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 2016.
The text relationship started casually before Porter began complimenting her appearance, inviting her to meet him in various cities and asking why she was ignoring him. A copy of the text history obtained by ESPN shows she had stopped responding to Porter after he sent a photo of pants featuring a bulge in the groin area.
At one point she ignored more than 60 messages from Porter before he sent a final lewd photo of an erect, naked penis. After receiving the vulgar image, she responded, "This is extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line. Could you please stop sending offensive photos or msg." He later apologized in a series of text messages.
Reached by ESPN on Monday evening, Porter acknowledged texting with the woman. He initially said he had not sent any pictures of himself. When told the exchanges show he had sent selfies and other pictures, he said that "the more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images."
In a statement Monday night, Alderson said the Mets would "review the facts regarding this serious issue," noting, "The Mets take these matters seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of our employees, and certainly do not condone the conduct described in [the ESPN] story."
Alderson said the team was first made aware of the situation Monday night.
Information from ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan was used in this report.