Getting closer to choosing a new manager, the Mets plan to speak again with Yankees special assistant Carlos Beltran and ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, sources said Sunday, evidence that their interest in those outside-the-box options is very real.
And as the Mets narrow their expansive list of candidates, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and Nationals infield/first-base coach Tim Bogar each will receive another interview as well, according to The Athletic.
Girardi is the only member of that group with extensive major-league managerial experience, having led the Marlins (2006) and Yankees (2008-17). He was named the NL Manager of the Year in his lone year in South Florida and won the World Series in his second season in the Bronx. Bogar was the Rangers’ interim manager for 22 games in 2014.
It’s not clear who else remains in the running. The others known to have interviewed in person are Mets quality-control coach Luis Rojas, Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, Diamondbacks vice president of player development Mike Bell and Padres first-base coach Skip Schumaker.
The Mets are one of seven teams still looking for a manager for 2020. The Phillies and Cubs have also interviewed Girardi — with Philadelphia reportedly bringing him in for a second interview this week — but Beltran said he is only interested in the Mets’ job and Perez hasn’t been linked to any other openings.
This past season, Beltran was a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who interviewed Beltran for the Yankees’ manager opening following the 2017 season — when the club opted not to renew Girardi’s contract. The Yankees decided on Aaron Boone — plucking him from ESPN’s pool of former players, as the Mets are considering now with Perez — and Beltran agreed to rejoin the Yankees in a front-office role last offseason.
Beltran played for the Mets from 2005-11. Toward the end of that tenure, Beltran had public disagreements with the club, including about his knee surgery before the 2010 season. But he has said he has left those feuds in the past.
“I don’t think you can continue to progress in life if you think about the past,” Beltran said this month. “For me, it’s like what happened with the Mets, the ups and downs, the perception of [how] the fans thought about me, for me that’s a moment where I was able to turn that page.”
Among those in GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s inner circle are two executives who know Beltran well: special assistant Omar Minaya, who as Mets GM signed Beltran to a seven-year, $112 million contract before the 2005 season, and assistant GM Allard Baird, who was the Royals’ GM for most of Beltran’s time in Kansas City.
Although he has served on the big-league coaching staffs of the Marlins and Astros, Perez has spent most of his years as a broadcaster since finishing his player career in 2006. He has managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League and in the World Baseball Classic qualifying round.
Monday marks 18 days since the Mets fired Mickey Callaway. Finding a replacement is the first significant task on Van Wagenen’s offseason to-do list, followed by deciding on a coaching staff. Major League Baseball frowns upon teams making news during the World Series, which begins Tuesday, though exceptions are made during off days (Thursday and Monday, Oct. 28).