Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in roughly three weeks, and the New York Mets don’t have a manager.
The organization parted ways with Carlos Beltran after his involvement in the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal just three months after his hiring despite not receiving punishment from Major League Baseball.
Now the Mets are in full scramble mode to find their new clubhouse leader, although they have plenty of candidates to choose from.
Don’t count on seeing overly familiar faces return to the Mets dugout in 2020. Former manager Terry Collins — who took the Mets to the 2015 World Series — is doubtful to garner legitimate consideration while franchise legend David Wright has no interest in managing.
Here is the latest on the Mets’ candidates:
Perez was a finalist for the managerial position before the Mets decided to go with Beltran instead. The ESPN analyst was the Astros’ bench coach in 2013 after a stint as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach.
While he went on record as recent as Jan. 17 saying the Mets had not contacted him, Vegas has him tabbed as the favorite to take over this winter.
Perez does not have any major-league managing experience but has had two stints running Puerto Rican League teams.
“Bam Bam” was Beltran’s choice as bench coach, which immediately makes him a strong candidate given the Mets’ initial adoration of their short-lived manager.
Meulens worked extensively under Bruce Bochy with the San Francisco Giants, experiencing three World Series titles during the 2010s.
If the Mets want him, though, they’ll have to act fast. The Boston Red Sox are in on Meulens as well, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, after Alex Cora was shown the door for his role in the scandal as Houston’s bench coach.
The former Mets utility infielder aptly nicknamed “Super Joe” has made it known that taking over his former club would be his “dream job.”
McEwing has worked with the Chicago White Sox since 2012, ascending to the rank as bench coach in 2017 and gaining steam as a viable managerial candidate in the process.
The 38-year-old has paid his dues within the Mets’ organization, coming on in 2006.
He managed in five-different levels of the organization throughout the minor leagues before taking over as the Mets’ quality control coach.
Rojas is well-liked within the organization and knows the team more than any current managerial candidate.
Another internal candidate, Mets’ first-base coach Tony DeFrancesco, has been mentioned since Beltran’s departure but is considered an outsider for the job, at least at the moment.
DeFrancesco spent the past two years managing the Mets’ triple-A affiliate.
Outside the organization, Tim Bogar was originally in the running for the job that ultimately went to Beltran. The Washington Nationals’ first-base coach has been promoted to the bench coach position alongside World Series-winning manager Davey Martinez, but there has been no word of contact from the Mets.
Veteran manager Dusty Baker has also seen his name reemerge on the managerial market over the last week. However, he has only received word from the Astros. Not the Mets or Red Sox.