Next step in Mets managerial search isn’t so simple

New York Post Sports 1 month ago

It’s time for Brodie Van Wagenen to get busy.

After firing Mickey Callaway on Thursday, the general manager is expected to begin interviewing managerial candidates this week, as the Mets are among seven teams with a vacancy.

Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, Joe Maddon and Dusty Baker are among the marquee free agents, but it’s unclear at this point if Van Wagenen has lined up an interview with any member of that group or beyond. The Mets could also look toward potential first-timers such as Luis Rojas or Joe McEwing. In the middle are potential candidates such as Bob Geren, Mike Matheny and Bryan Price, all of whom have previous managerial experience to lesser results.

Girardi, the former Yankees manager who is working the ALDS for Fox, is scheduled to interview with the Cubs, according to reports, giving the Mets potential competition for a possible top choice.

Van Wagenen inherited Callaway as manager upon arriving last October and will now have the opportunity to install his own hire in the position. As he conducts his first managerial search, the former CAA agent will have experienced lieutenants in Allard Baird and Omar Minaya for guidance.

An NL executive predicted Pirates third base coach Joey Cora and Mariners bench coach Manny Acta would receive consideration based on their relationship with Minaya. In their last managerial search, the Mets interviewed Acta, who has managed the Nationals and Indians. Another possibility from the last managerial search (which yielded Callaway following the 2017 season) is McEwing, the White Sox bench coach. McEwing has a strong advocate in David Wright, who serves as an adviser to Van Wagenen.

The Mets have avoided paying for big-name managers in recent years, but Van Wagenen suggested on a conference call last week that money won’t be an issue for this hire. Even so, Girardi earned $4 million a year in his last contract with the Yankees. And Showalter was reportedly earning $3.5 million a year before he was fired by the Orioles.

Willie Randolph was the last Mets manager to earn as much as $2 million a year, and that was over a decade ago.

“These guys might have to suck up their pride and realize that they aren’t going to get paid what they want to get paid and they may have to [surrender] some power,” the NL executive said, referring to Girardi and Showalter.

“Collaboration” is a buzz word Van Wagenen has used in offering the manager’s job description, so the chances of the Mets front office handing the reins to a Girardi or Showalter and simply stepping aside are probably slim.

Girardi guided the Yankees to their last World Series title in 2009 and posted 10 consecutive winning seasons in The Bronx. Showalter’s résumé includes leading three different teams (Yankees, Diamondbacks and Orioles) to the postseason. Maddon might be the biggest celebrity of the group after leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years in 2016. But the former Rays and Cubs manager is also heavily linked to the Angels, who last week fired Brad Ausmus. Maddon will reportedly interview with the Angels this week.


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