After compiling a list and double-checking it, the Mets reach out to leadership contestants.
Buck Showalter and Matt Quatraro have both been contacted by the club, industry sources confirmed on Monday, with Joe Espada, Brad Ausmus and Don Kelly making up most, if not the rest, of the list of nominees, according to a source. The source said five to six nominees will be interviewed by general manager Billy Eppler and his team, and owner Steve Cohen will meet with the finalists, with a hopeful resolution by the end of next week. SNY first reported on the Mets’ contact with Showalter and Quatraro. The first round of talks began on Monday.
Showalter, 65, is the most established of the group and would bring instant credibility with the fan base given his 20-year managerial career which has included stoppages with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and Orioles. He’s led three of those organizations to the playoffs (with the exception of Texas), but has yet to take a team to the World Series.
Eppler, as Angels general manager, was interested in hiring Showalter ahead of the 2020 season, but was turned down by owner Arte Moreno, who preferred Joe Maddon. Showalter was also a candidate two years ago for the opening of the Phillies leadership which went to Joe Girardi.
Quatraro, 48, has spent the last three seasons as a bench coach for the Rays, working closely with Kevin Cash – who is considered one of the best managers in the game. The Rays reached the World Series in 2020, losing to the Dodgers, and have won AL East for the past two seasons. Quatraro, an Old Dominion graduate, previously worked on Terry Francona’s coaching staff in Cleveland.
Espada, 46, was on the Mets’ radar when they searched for a manager two years ago. A former Yankees coach and special assistant, he’s been linked with Eppler since their time together in that organization. Espada, the bench coach of the Astros, has also been linked with Oakland’s management role.
Ausmus, 52, was hired as a manager by Eppler with the Angels, but was sacked after just one season under pressure from Moreno. The former wide receiver, who grew up in Cheshire, Conn., Coached the Tigers for four seasons, leading the team to the AL Central title in 2014. The Dartmouth graduate turned down the opportunity to interview the Mets after the 2017 season. when Mickey Callaway was hired to replace Terry Collins.
Kelly, 41, joined the Pirates ‘bench after the 2020 season. He was previously the Astros’ first baseman and a scout for the Tigers after a 10-year big-league career. His wife is the sister of former Mets infielder Neil Walker.
Once the manager is chosen, the Mets will need to build a coaching team – Jeremy Hefner (pitching coach) is the only member of the field staff in place for next season.
New York Post