Mendoza, 38, will be helping the team with player evaluation, roster construction, technological advancement and health and performance, the club said.
“Jessica is incredibly well respected throughout the industry and we are excited to bring her into the organization,” Mets executive vice president and general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a news release. “She is a world-class athlete and experienced television analyst with an extremely high baseball IQ. We are confident that she will help us in our efforts to win now and in the future. This hire demonstrates the continued support from ownership to invest in the intellectual capital of the New York Mets.”
Mendoza is a former Olympic gold medalist softball player and started her work as a full-time analyst for ESPN in 2016. She became the first female analyst to call a game nationally during the MLB playoffs when she worked an American League Wildcard game in 2015.
It’s unclear how this role would affect her current situation with ESPN. The Mets said Mendoza’s role in the organization will be in addition to her duties as an ESPN analyst – similar to how Alex Rodriguez served as a TV analyst and an adviser to the New York Yankees. The Mets have at least two Sunday night games on ESPN this season.
“I am excited to work with Brodie and his team and am thrilled to be associated with the Mets and their storied history,” Mendoza said in the news release. “I’ve known Brodie and Jeff Wilpon for years now and I’m honored to be a small part of the organization. I would also like to thank ESPN and Disney for their understanding and confidence as I balance both tasks moving forward. Baseball is a passion of mine and I look forward to expanding on my love for the game.”
It’s unclear how many other women serve as special advisers around baseball, but Mendoza would be following a long list of women who have made an impact on the sport.
Kim Ng serves as a senior vice president for baseball operations with Major League Baseball itself. She was the youngest of three women to ever hold the position of assistant general manager when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hired her in 1998 and has been a candidate for numerous GM positions — something that would make her the first female baseball GM. Elaine Weddington-Steward of the Boston Red Sox and Jean Afterman of the Yankees were the other women to ascend to the assistant GM role.
Former U.S. softball star Jennie Finch also made history when she served as a guest manager for the independent Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish in May 2016. That made her the first woman to manage a professional baseball team — and she led the team to a victory.
Amanda Hopkins currently serves as a baseball scout for the Seattle Mariners. She’s the second woman to serve as a full-time scout and the first since Edith Houghton scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1951.