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Add ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez to mix of potential managers for Mets

ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez on the set of

ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez on the set of Baseball Tonight prior to a game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., on June 13. Credit: ESPN Images/Phil Ellsworth

Deep into their search for a new manager, the Mets have had in-person interviews with at least four candidates for the job, including one new name that became public Monday.

ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez — that new name — and Diamondbacks vice president of player development Mike Bell met with Mets decision-makers on Monday, a source said.

Mets quality-control coach Luis Rojas, a longtime minor-league manager and coach in the organization and a favorite among Mets players, interviewed last week, according to another source.

That trio joins Yankees special assistant Carlos Beltran, who also had his turn last week, as those known to have completed in-person interviews.

Perez’s inclusion is a wild card, but his resume is about as well-rounded as that of any known candidate. The son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, Eduardo Perez has spent most of his post-playing career as a broadcaster, working currently for ESPN and MLB Network Radio. He played 13 seasons in the majors from 1993-2006.

Since retiring as a player, Perez has dabbled with dugout gigs. He managed in the Puerto Rican Winter League from 2008-10 with Leones de Ponce and 2014-15 with Cangrejeros de Santurce, leading his teams to league titles in two of those seasons. Perez also served as manager of the Colombia team that tried to qualify for the World Baseball Classic in 2013.

In the majors, Perez worked as the Marlins’ hitting coach from 2011-12 and as the Astros’ bench coach in 2013.

At ESPN, Perez is colleagues with Jessica Mendoza, a baseball operations adviser for the Mets and a longtime friend of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

Rojas, 38, is the only known internal candidate in line to replace Mickey Callaway. Most of the Mets’ homegrown players have played for Rojas — from Jacob deGrom on the 2012 Savannah Sand Gnats to Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil on the 2018 Binghamton Rumble Ponies — and this past season Rojas joined the big-league staff for the first time.

As quality-control coach, Rojas was a conduit between the front office and coaching staff, helping to incorporate analytics into game strategy and preparation.

Rojas is the son of Felipe Alou, the longtime major-league player and manager, and brother of Moises Alou, who played with the Mets in 2007-08, the last of his 17 seasons in the majors.

Beltran said on Sunday in Houston that he is interested in managing, but only for the Mets right now. He declined to meet with the Cubs and Padres about their openings.

“I do feel I have a lot of things to contribute to the clubhouse,” he said. “Yes, the experience is not there because I’ve never done it. I do believe there’s something that with opportunity, I can learn . . . I need to have a good bench coach. I need to have a good group of coaches.”

Also among those who either will interview or already have: former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who is in New York this week doing studio work with Fox, and Twins bench coach Derek Shelton.

The Mets are one of eight clubs currently looking for a manager, including the division rival Phillies, who fired Gabe Kapler after two seasons.

Girardi reportedly has interviewed with the Cubs and plans to do so with the Phillies.

 With David Lennon

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