(www.beisbolmundial.com) .- Brad Ausmus, Puerto Rican Joe Espada, Matt Quatraro and Buck Showalter are scheduled to receive interviews for the vacancy of manager of the Mets, according to several sources familiar with the situation. The club did not confirm the report.
While the exact timing of the first round of interviews is unclear, all four – from a list likely to include more candidates – should meet with top Mets officials in the next few days.
Under different circumstances, hiring a manager would have been the Mets’ top priority this winter. And while the team is certainly eager to choose who will replace Luis Rojas, the arrival of general manager Billy Eppler came so late in the winter that the team aggressively focused on adding players. In this way, the hiring of a foreman went into the background.
Here is a look at some candidates for the position:
History: Angels manager (2019); leader of the Tigres (2014-17); foreman of the Israeli team (2012); 18 years as a player
As soon as the Mets named Eppler as their general manager, Ausmus became the obvious candidate to lead the team. It was Eppler who hired Ausmus as a strategist for the Angels prior to the 2019 season, although the arrangement didn’t last long, but that was because owner Arte Moreno reportedly wanted to sign Joe Maddon once he was available. If Eppler hired Ausmus once, it wouldn’t be unusual for him to do so again. The downside is that Ausmus has a losing record in five seasons as manager of the majors, including multiple seasons of 90 losses or more.
History: Marlins third base coach (2010-13); Yankees third-rate coach (2015-17); Astros bench coach (2018-present)
Espada was interviewed for the Angels position with which Ausmus stayed, the Rangers position with Chris Woodward, the Giants with Gabe Kapler and the Cubs position with David. Ross. Perhaps it is in New York that Espada finally gets his first chance to direct. With more than a decade in the caves of the Major Leagues, Espada understands well the responsibilities that come with directing, even though he has not held the position. He has also led the Carolina Giants in winter baseball in Puerto Rico and was the bench coach for the Puerto Rican team for two editions of the World Baseball Classic. But would Eppler prefer it over the more experienced Ausmus?
History: Manager of the Yankees (1992-95); leader of the pilot D-backs (1998-2000); Rangers foreman (2003-06); Orioles manager (2010-18)
If the Mets are looking for experience, Showalter has far more than any other realistic candidate. When the Angels were looking to replace Ausmus prior to the 2019 season, Eppler was reported to have recommended Showalter. He is an expert in dealing with the media and directed in New York for four years. But there are concerns. In eight seasons as the Orioles manager, Showalter had only four winning seasons. The last time he finished a season with a positive record was in 2016, when he was criticized for not using star closer Zack Britton in a Wild Card Game that Baltimore lost. There is also a perception within the industry that Showalter might be upset at the way management is influencing caves today.
It would be a risk for many reasons. But if the Mets are looking to make a flashy signing, Showalter is the obvious choice.
Quatraro, 48, has been the Rays coach for three seasons after spending time in Cleveland and the minor leagues. He was interviewed for the Giants manager vacancy, which was ultimately received by Kepler, and was also a finalist to run the cave for the Pirates, who gave the job to Derek Shelton. He also would have spoken to the Tigers before they chose AJ Hinch.