Jessica Mendoza has a new role — and no more potential conflicts of interest — at ESPN.
Mendoza will no longer be an analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,’’ a role she has held since 2015. She also resigned her position as an adviser to the New York Mets Thursday.
Her new role at ESPN, which comes with a multiyear contract extension, will include serving as an analyst on assorted baseball broadcasts, including Opening Day coverage, weeknight games, and holiday baseball.
She also will be part of ESPN Radio’s playoff and World Series broadcasts while expanding her presence on ESPN’s studio programming.
Mendoza was part of a three-person booth on “Sunday Night Baseball’’ that included play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian and analyst Alex Rodriguez.
“I’ve always prioritized my growth and these new opportunities will allow me to expand my broadcasting career while challenging me at the same time,’’ she said in a statement. “From calling MLB games on television and radio, to extensive studio work and features, I’m excited about everything that lies ahead.’’
Mendoza found controversy in mid-January when she said she had a problem with former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers going public with Houston’s sign-stealing scheme. One of those involved with the scheme was Mets manager Carlos Beltran, who has since resigned.
“To go public, yeah. It didn’t sit well with me,’’ she said on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo’’ show. “And honestly, it made me sad for the sport that that’s how this all got found out. This wasn’t something that MLB naturally investigated or that even other teams complained about because they naturally heard about, and then investigations happen.
“But it came from within. It was a player that was a part of it, that benefited from it during the regular season when he was a part of that team.
“When I first heard about it, it hits you like any teammate would. It’s something that you don’t do. I totally get telling your future teammates, helping them win, letting people know. But to go public with it and call them out and start all of this, it’s hard to swallow.’’
Mendoza’s comments were perplexing. Fiers was a whistleblower who helped put an end to the scheme, and he did so without seeking anonymity. It was a bad look for a Mets employee to speak out about it considering Beltran’s involvement.
Mendoza had joined the Mets in a front-office role in March 2019. In announcing her departure, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen tweeted: “We are happy for Jessica Mendoza who will be expanding her role at ESPN. To focus more on those new responsibilities she will no longer be a Special Advisor’’ to the team.
Mendoza is not the only broadcaster to serve in such a potentially conflicting role. Pedro Martinez, an MLB Network and TBS analyst, is listed as a special assistant on the Red Sox directory. Rodriguez has a similar role with the Yankees.