Mets manager search: 5 candidates after Buck Showalter’s dismissal

Craig Counsell Mets rumors
(AP Photo/Quinn Harris, File)

QUEENS — For the fourth time since the winter entering the 2018 season, the New York Mets will be searching for a new manager after Buck Showalter announced that he would be departing the club following two seasons.

The vacant role will be the new president of baseball operations (POBO) David Stearns’ to fill as he is expected to be officially announced to the position on Monday afternoon at Citi Field. It’s the first time in the former Brewers executive’s career, which included roles as general manager and POBO, will have the opportunity to bring in a manager of his own. 

Mets owner Steve Cohen said that the search for a new skipper will begin “immediately,” and there are already a number of candidates that could be on his radar.

David Stearns Mets
David Stearns (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

5 potential candidates for Mets’ manager job

1) Craig Counsell

The current Brewers manager, who has risen to the top of MLB’s crop of skippers under the guidance of Stearns, will see his contract expire after the season — which will wind into October with Milwaukee in the postseason for the fifth time in six years. He’ll be the hottest commodity on the manager’s market and his long-time link with Stearns will obviously make him an early favorite for the job. But it’s unclear if Counsell wants to continue managing, or if he’d be willing to leave Milwaukee if presented with the opportunity. 


2) Eric Chavez

Chavez left the Yankees prior to the 2022 season to join the Mets as their hitting coach and was promptly promoted to bench coach this season. He previously interviewed for the Los Angeles Angels’ managerial job which ultimately went to Brad Ausmus in October of 2018. Mets general manager Billy Eppler oversaw that coaching search for the Angels during his time as GM with the AL West club. 


3) Bob Melvin

The San Diego Padres joined the Mets as one of the largest underachievers in baseball this season. With it could come a managerial change of their own, especially because they have a rising coaching star in Ryan Flaherty, who is currently serving as bench coach. Melvin is another veteran manager who has won over 1,500 games in the majors. 


4) Joe Espada

The Houston Astros’ bench coach has been on managerial radars for years and this could very well be the winter where he gets that long-awaited job. Espada interviewed for the Mets’ vacant managerial job prior to the 2021 season, which went to Showalter.


5) Clayton McCullough

McCullough, currently serving as Los Angeles Dodgers first-base coach, could bring in some of that Dodgers culture that Cohen has gushed about since he took over the Mets. He’s been in the mix for manager jobs around the league, interviewing for the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals where he was considered one of the finalists for the position.

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