Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets are narrowing down their list of managerial candidates, and they could possibly make a decision on who to hire before the end of October, SNY's Andy Martino reported on Sunday.
Martino added that second round interviews will begin this week, with Carlos Beltran, Joe Girardi, and Eduardo Perez among the finalists for the job. Another finalist is Tim Bogar, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
With four finalists for Mets manager known, let's weigh their pros and cons...
If the Mets are looking for someone they know can handle the tall task of managing in New York, Girardi should be their guy. He managed the Yankees from 2008 to 2017 (winning a World Series in 2009) and has experience in New York as a World-Series-winning player (also with the Yanks). Aside from his New York pedigree, Girardi is known to be an incredibly prepared field manager with superior in-game tactical ability.
The at-times tightly-wound Girardi's tenure with the Yankees ended after a trip to the 2017 ALCS, due in part to what GM Brian Cashman said at the time was the team's desire to have a better communicator as manager. There were also some rumblings of an issue between Girardi and Gary Sanchez, but Sanchez is on record saying their relationship was fine. Girardi's tenure as Marlins manager (2006) ended after one season due to a rift with the front office.
Beltran has been one of the hottest names on the manager market, turning down interviews with the Padres and Cubs and accepting an interview with the Mets only. He interviewed for the Yankees gig in 2017 before it went to Aaron Boone, and has been working in their front office this season under Brian Cashman. Beltran is very familliar with the New York market, having spent a large chunk of his career with the Mets and Yankees, and was known to take younger players under his wing during his playing career.
The 42-year-old Beltran has never managed or coached at any level. That doesn't necessarily mean his selection would be a bad one (Boone had no managerial or coaching experience when the Yanks hired him), but the Mets would be taking a bit of a risk by selecting Beltran. There were also some things (whether it's fair to classify them as "issues" is up for debate) during Beltran's time with the Mets that could give pause, including him going against their wishes by having knee surgery after the 2009 season.
Aside from Girardi, Bogar has the most impressive credentials among the Mets' four known finalists. The 53-year-old has been named manager of the year three times in the minors, has experience as a coach with five big league teams (including as bench coach for Bobby Valentine in 2012), and was the interim manager for the Rangers in 2014 after the dismissal of Ron Washington. Bogar also knows the market, having played for the Mets in the mid-90s.
Bogar checks off all the boxes credential-wise, but his last time managing a full season was in 2007. It's fair to wonder why (with the exception of his interim stint in 2014) Bogar has not yet been tabbed for a big league manager job. And while Bogar has experience in New York, it hasn't come in the last two decades.
The affable Perez has managed in Puerto Rico (where he was named Manager of the Year in 2008), and managed for Colombia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also has big league coaching experience, having served as the hitting coach for the Marlins (2011-12) and bench coach for the Astros (2013).
The 50-year-old Perez has not worked in a major league dugout since 2013, with him working as an analyst for ESPN and SiriusXM since then. While he has solid credentials, Perez's managing experience is limited. He also has no experience at all working or playing for a New York team.
Whichever way the Mets go, they will be hiring a manager to function as part of the new dynamic most major league teams now work within. With the exception of a few (such as Joe Maddon), the age of the big-personality, big-name manager who exerts his influence is over.
Among the key traits most teams value in present-day managers: An ability to communicate with the media and be a face for the organization, the ability to manage the clubhouse and the personalities in it, and the ability to make strong in-game decisions -- at times using numbers and methods devised before games after working collaboratively with the front office.
For the Mets specifically, they will be seeking someone with the above traits who they hope can help turn them from an 86-win near-miss in 2019 to a playoff team in 2020.