Mets hire Buck Showalter as new manager, Steve Cohen announces
Buck is stopping here.
The Mets finally, officially, decisively hired a new manager on Saturday, choosing the 65-year-old Buck Showalter over his two fellow finalists and would-be rookies. Team owner Steve Cohen made the early-afternoon announcement via Twitter, writing that he was "pleased to announce" the Mets’ choice.
Showalter received a three-year contract, a source said.
A deal came together quickly after Showalter met with Cohen and other team executives Friday evening. He was the last of the Mets’ second-round candidates to interview, following Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and Astros bench coach Joe Espada earlier in the week.
In hiring his first manager — and the Mets’ fourth in four years since letting go of Terry Collins — Cohen opted for the established name in Showalter, who first broke into the majors as a manager with the Yankees in 1992.
He is the latest in a series of personnel exclamation points for the Mets during the past month. Since hiring Billy Eppler after a lengthy general manager search, the Mets have signed superstar pitcher Max Scherzer, bolstered their outfield with Starling Marte and Mark Canha and added infielder Eduardo Escobar. Now, with Showalter, they know who will be running the dugout and can begin filling out their coaching staff.
Showalter is the Mets' most experienced incoming manager since their first one, Hall of Famer Casey Stengel, who joined the club ahead of its 1962 debut.
Stengel had 21 seasons of major-league managerial experience at that point. Showalter has 20 with the Yankees (1992-95), Diamondbacks (1998-2000), Rangers (2003-06) and Orioles (2010-18).
His resume includes a .506 winning percentage — a 1,551-1,517 record — three division titles and one playoff series win. He was named the AL Manager of the Year in 1994, 2004 and 2014. The Yankees and Diamondbacks won the World Series in their first post-Showalter season.
In the three years since Baltimore dumped him after a franchise-worst 47-115 campaign, Showalter has remained involved with baseball as a broadcaster for MLB Network and YES.
He interviewed with Eppler’s Angels, the Phillies and the Astros for their managerial openings in recent offseasons, but he didn’t find another match until he met with the Mets, who bucked modern trends regarding these kinds of hires.
Eighteen teams have picked 22 managers since Showalter last had the job with the Orioles. Their average age: 49 years, 299 days — a decade and a half younger than the Mets’ new guy. Half of them were first-timers.
The Mets, too, had those tendencies. Each of their past three managers, all hired while the Wilpons owned the team, had not previously served in that role. Each failed for a variety of reasons.
Mickey Callaway wasn’t very good at the job (and later was exposed for his creepy behavior toward women and was banned from MLB through 2022). Carlos Beltran never really had a chance, getting dropped after being pinned as a central figure in the 2017 Astros’ illegal sign-stealing scandal. Luis Rojas, who inherited the aftermath shortly before spring training, led the team for two pandemic seasons during which the Mets were bad or underperformed or both.
This time, they went way in the other direction after considering a long list of possibilities.
Quatraro, 48, and Espada, 46 and familiar with Eppler from their mutual Yankees tenures, have been frequent presences on the manager interview circuit in recent years. Both reportedly are under consideration for the Athletics’ job.
The Mets’ first round of interviews also included Brad Ausmus, a former Angels and Tigers manager; Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren, who used to have that job for the Mets and was Oakland’s manager from 2007-11, and Dodgers first-base coach Clayton McCullough.
Because MLB enacted a lockout of its players at the start of the month upon the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union, teams are not allowed to communicate with their major-leaguers. That means Showalter cannot talk to his new players until the lockout is lifted.
In the meantime, Showalter and the front office will put together his coaching staff. Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is the only member Showalter inherits.