Mets’ managerial search underway as candidate list emerges

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After making a list and checking it twice, the Mets are contacting managerial candidates.

Buck Showalter and Matt Quatraro have both been contacted by the club, industry sources confirmed Monday, with Joe Espada, Brad Ausmus and Don Kelly comprising most, if not the remainder, of the candidates list, according to a source. The source indicated five to six candidates will be interviewed by general manager Billy Eppler and his staff, and owner Steve Cohen will meet with the finalists, with a hopeful resolution by the end of next week. SNY first reported the Mets’ contact with Showalter and Quatraro. The first round of interviews began 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 that has included stops with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers and Orioles. He led three of those organizations to the postseason (the exception was Texas), but is yet to take a team to the World Series.

Mets
Buck Showalter and Brad Ausmus
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg, AP

Eppler, as general manager of the Angels, was interested in hiring Showalter before the 2020 season, but was overruled by owner Arte Moreno, who preferred Joe Maddon. Showalter was also a candidate two years ago for the Phillies managerial opening that went to Joe Girardi.

Quatraro, 48, has spent the last three seasons as Rays bench coach, working closely with Kevin Cash — who is regarded among the game’s best managers. The Rays reached the World Series in 2020, losing to the Dodgers, and have won the AL East the past two seasons. Quatraro, an Old Dominion graduate, previously worked on Terry Francona’s coaching staff with Cleveland.

Espada, 46, was on the Mets’ radar during their managerial search two years ago. A former Yankees coach and special assistant, he is tied to Eppler from their time together in that organization. Espada, the Astros bench coach, has also been linked to Oakland’s managerial vacancy.

Ausmus, 52, was hired as manager by Eppler with the Angels, but fired after only one season under pressure from Moreno. The former catcher, who grew up in Cheshire, Conn., managed the Tigers for four seasons, leading the team to the AL Central title in 2014. The Dartmouth graduate declined an opportunity to interview with the Mets following the 2017 season when Mickey Callaway was hired to replace Terry Collins.

Kelly, 41, became Pirates bench coach following the 2020 season. He previously was Astros first-base coach and a scout for the Tigers following a 10-year major league career. His wife is the sister of former Mets infielder Neil Walker.

Once a manager is chosen, the Mets will have to build a coaching staff — Jeremy Hefner (pitching coach) is the only member of the field staff in place for next season.

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