And then there were three.
Buck Showalter, Joe Espada, and Matt Quatraro are the three finalists for the Mets’ manager job, according to multiple reports.
The list of candidates was halved over the weekend following interviews with six candidates that featured the three current finalists, former Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus, Los Angeles Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren, and Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCollough.
Showalter is still seen as the overwhelming favorite for the job having received reported support from the likes of new Mets ace Max Scherzer along with owner Steve Cohen.
The 65-year-old is the most experienced candidate the Mets have interviewed with over 3,000 MLB games managed over 20 seasons.
Espada, currently serving as the Houston Astros’ bench coach, has continuously built momentum toward becoming an MLB manager. He’s interviewed for multiple positions over the previous two seasons and is still regarded as a strong option.
Both he and Showalter have experience working alongside new Mets general manager Billy Eppler.
Espada worked in the Yankees’ front office when Eppler was an assistant general manager to Brian Cashman.
After Eppler became the Angels’ GM — and things went south with Brad Ausmus after just one season — he interviewed Showalter for the team’s managerial role in 2019. He wanted the veteran skipper for the job, but team ownership opted to go with Joe Maddon.
Like Espada, Quatraro holds no major-league managing experience. After working in the minors as a manager, he has been an integral part of the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization for nearly two decades — most recently performing as Kevin Cash’s bench coach.
This isn’t the first time the 48-year-old has been viewed as a potential MLB manager, though. He interviewed for managerial jobs with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants two years ago before speaking with the Detroit Tigers last offseason.
Cohen is expected to join the interview process as the Mets could make a call as soon as the end of the week.