The Mets start the interviews for the manager
NEW YORK – Brad Ausmus, Joe Espada, Bob Geren, Clayton McCullough, Matt Quatraro and Buck Showalter all go through the interview process for the open Mets leadership position, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation, with several of them going through the interview process. them. to move on to a second round of the process next week. The club have not confirmed the news.
On Thursday afternoon, team leaders were wrapping up their first round of interviews, which went virtually. The Mets stand a chance of hiring quickly, as the Major League Baseball lockout prevents them from negotiating with free agents. As such, hiring executives is now high on their agendas, with a second round of in-person interviews expected to begin soon.
A seventh candidate, Don Kelly, was on the interview list but abandoned the process, a source confirmed. The other six offer a mixture of experience and youth.
Ausmus became an obvious candidate as soon as the Mets named Billy Eppler their new general manager. It was Eppler who hired Ausmus as Angels manager ahead of the 2019 season, and although that arrangement only lasted for a year, it was mainly because Angels owner Arte Moreno reportedly wanted to hire. Joe Maddon once Maddon is available. It’s also worth noting that Ausmus is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, as are Mets president Sandy Alderson and his son, assistant GM Bryn Alderson. And Ausmus spent a year managing new Mets pitcher Max Scherzer with Detroit in 2014, providing a common thread between those two and Eppler.
Espada has been a ubiquitous leadership contestant in recent years, going in interviews for the Angels job at Ausmus, the Rangers job at Chris Woodward, the Giants job at Gabe Kapler, and the Cubs job at David Ross. With over a decade of experience in big league canoes, Espada understands the responsibilities of the role well even if it has never been used there. He has a brief managerial experience in the Puerto Rico Winter League, and was a two-time third baseman for the Puerto Rican team at the World Baseball Classic.
Geren has enjoyed a connection with Alderson for years; Although the two did not overlap during their time in Oakland in the late 1990s, they had a strong mutual relationship with Alderson’s successor Billy Beane. A year after the Mets hired Alderson to lead their baseball operations department in 2010, the team hired Geren as bench coach for Terry Collins. He remained in that role throughout the Mets’ 15 World Series before moving to the same position with the Dodgers. Geren has been in Los Angeles ever since.
McCullough only has one year of big league staff experience as a first base coach for the 2021 National League finalists Dodgers. Prior to that, he was field coordinator at Los Angeles and manager in the Toronto Minor League. system. At 41, he is the youngest candidate for the leadership of the Mets.
Quatraro, 48, has been the coach of the Rays bench for three seasons after previous stoppages in Cleveland and in the minor leagues. He was interviewed for the Giants position which went to Kapler and was a finalist for the Pirates position which went to Derek Shelton. He also reportedly spoke with the Tigers before they chose to hire manager AJ Hinch.
Showalter is by far the most experienced of the known candidates, and he also has an Eppler connection; when the Angels were looking to replace Ausmus ahead of the 2019 season, Eppler reportedly recommended Showalter to Moreno. Showalter is media savvy and understands New York as well as anyone, having been successful in the Bronx for four seasons. But there are concerns. During his last stop, in Baltimore, Showalter produced just four winning years in eight full seasons on the job. His last winning record was in 2016, when he absorbed a lot of criticism for not using closest-star Zack Britton in a Wild Card Game the Orioles lost. The old-fashioned Showalter should also be prepared to accept the front office influence that permeates almost every dugout in baseball.
The Mets have been on the hunt for a manager since Luis Rojas’ sacking in October, but they initially opted to hire a GM and go through the opening act of free agency before going after seriously. their research.