The Mets’ managerial search is beginning to yield specific names, and two of them are very familiar to New York baseball fans.
Yankees special adviser/former Mets star Carlos Beltran will be among those to receive an in-person interview, a source said Wednesday. Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and longtime Diamondbacks executive Mike Bell also will meet with the Mets, according to multiple reports.
Taken together, those names alone fulfill general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s promise last week to consider “people that fit a variety of different buckets.” He specifically mentioned veteran major-league managers [Girardi], minor-league managers who would be first-timers in the bigs [Bell] and “outside-the-box” candidates [Beltran].
Girardi, who also reportedly is interviewing with the Cubs, spent a decade with the Yankees, winning the World Series in 2009. He comes with a strong recommendation from his former boss, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who fired him after the 2017 season, when the Yankees fell a win short of another appearance in the Fall Classic.
"When you're talking about somebody like Joe, he'd give you instant credibility," Cashman told SNY Wednesday. "He's buttoned-up, ready to go and proven successful in the largest market you can find. And he came out on top.
"He was here for 10 years, and some things have an expiration date, but that doesn't diminish the abilities the person possesses or the quality of work he provides. I highly recommend Joe to anybody, even our rivals, unfortunately.”
Cashman added that he would give the same rave review to any team that calls to ask, noting that "I give Joe very high marks.”
With the Mets also considering Beltran, Cashman has a vested interest in their decision. Beltran has been a special advisor to the GM since December and is widely regarded as having a bright post-playing career in the game.
The Mets sought and received permission from the Yankees to speak with Beltran, a source said. That is usually just a formality, but is also a necessity when a team wants to talk to a person employed by another club. The sides have not decided when they will meet.
Beltran played with the Mets from 2005-11, part of a 20-year major-league career that also brought him to the Bronx (2014-16). While with the Yankees in Minneapolis this week, Beltran told Newsday that the time might be right for him to get back into the dugout.
“I feel like it’s going to be a possibility,” Beltran said of managing. “When I interviewed with the Yankees [in 2017], I had just retired.”
The Yankees considered Beltran as Girardi’s successor after the 2017 season. They decided on Aaron Boone.
Bell is Arizona’s vice president of player development and comes from a three-generation baseball family.
His brother, David Bell, just finished his first season as Reds manager. His father, Buddy Bell, used to manage the Tigers, Rockies and Royals. His grandfather, Gus Bell, had a 15-year major-league career and was one of the original Mets in 1962, playing in 30 games before being traded to the Braves.
Mike Bell has been in pro baseball since 1993, including a 19-game stint in the majors with the Reds in 2000 (and a two-season stint in the minors with the Mets in 1998-99). After retiring as a player, he spent several seasons as a minor-league manager and one season as a field coordinator before moving into a front-office farm system overseer role.
Last offseason, Bell interviewed for the Rangers and Orioles’ managerial openings.
Bell’s interview was first reported by The Athletic. The New York Post said Girardi would get an in-person meeting.
This is the Mets’ second managerial search in 25 months. In October 2017, after moving Terry Collins into a special adviser role, they hired Mickey Callaway. The Mets fired Callaway last week.