Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks on from the dugout...

Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter looks on from the dugout against the New York Yankees during an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2018. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets choosing Buck Showalter as their new manager hardly was a shocking development. Neither was owner Steve Cohen announcing the hire on Twitter early Saturday afternoon.

And that’s exactly what these Mets, now in their second year of the Cohen Era, need at this time.

No surprises.

They’ve had far too many of those, some the product of deficient background checks, others the ghosts of past bad behavior. "No surprises'' also applies to wondering what you’re going to get on a regular basis from the manager’s perch in the dugout, the nightly dice roll that’s part of the deal with a first-timer.

In picking Showalter, Cohen isn’t guaranteeing success for the 2022 Mets. No one person, or any amount of money, is capable of that. But what Showalter does do is eliminate as much of the unnecessary risk as possible, and what’s more appealing to a hedge-fund titan than that?

This is no knock on the other two finalists, either. Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro are smart, highly regarded baseball minds in their own right, with experience working for two of the game’s brightest organizations, the Astros and Rays. It was expected that both would ace their interviews with Cohen & Co. At some point — perhaps as early as the coming season — they’ll get the chance to display that managing potential.

But the number the Mets, and especially Cohen, had to keep coming back to was 3,069. That’s the total of regular-season games Showalter has managed in his 20-year career with four teams, including across the RFK Bridge for the Yankees. You can’t buy that level of experience. And when it’s stacked up next to the zeros for Espada and Quatraro, there’s really no debate.

If there’s anything Cohen should have learned from his rookie season as an owner, it’s to know what he doesn’t know. The great thing about hiring Showalter? He fills in just about all of those blanks. From the moment he appeared on the Mets’ radar — and he gave the nod to a return — this race was pretty much over.

By Friday’s interview at Cohen’s Greenwich compound, any further discussion felt like a formality. All that was left was hammering out the terms, and the 65-year-old Showalter’s three-year deal, as confirmed by a source, syncs up fairly closely with Cohen’s pledged runway for bringing a title to Flushing.

While it’s true that Showalter is guilty of never making it to a World Series — he has only one playoff series win on his resume — he’s quickly turned losing franchises into contenders, He built up the expansion Diamondbacks from the desert floor, and both the Yankees and D-backs (in their fourth season of existence) won a ring the year after his departure. When we last saw the Mets as they spiraled into September oblivion, they looked (and behaved) like a club tailor-made for a Showalter intervention.

Cohen should be that lucky. But the owner hasn’t been sitting around waiting for Showalter to save him, either. He’s already spent $254.5 million on the 2022 Mets, grabbing the most coveted ace (Max Scherzer) and centerfielder (Starling Marte) on the free-agent market.

After what can only be described as a humiliating attempt at a front-office makeover that stretched deep into November, Cohen hasn’t left much to chance since appointing another former Yankee, Billy Eppler, as the general manager.

"I told you last year I wanted to win," Cohen said at Scherzer’s introduction. "I talked about sustaining winning and winning championships. And I mean it."

We’re believing it now. Even during baseball’s nuclear winter, with the sport currently frozen by the owner-driven lockout and others chilling out during the holidays, Cohen is backing up those words. Just as giving a record contract to Scherzer signaled the Mets are done being punchlines, hiring Showalter brings a level of gravitas few in the game today can match.

Cohen and Showalter also found each other at the perfect time. These aren’t the 2011 fixer-upper Mets handed to Terry Collins, whose guile and favorite-uncle charisma helped him stick around long enough to get this snakebitten franchise back to a World Series. Once spring training arrives and Cohen’s payroll is bumping up against $300 million, the Mets are counting on peak Showalter to right the course back to the playoffs.

The Mets couldn’t afford to invest in any more growth opportunities with a rookie manager. And after what we witnessed last season, seeing a team go on loser autopilot with an overmatched Luis Rojas at the wheel, Cohen’s patience expired well before Thanksgiving.

His first year was all about buying and taking control of the Mets. Now the goal is winning, as rapidly as possible, and under the owner’s warp-speed timeline, Showalter is the best available guide to make that happen.

Bottom line, the Mets know exactly what they’re getting in Showalter. And that’s a huge win for them before he manages a game.