CHICAGO — The Mets appear to have narrowed their managerial choices to four.
The first round of interviews for the team’s opening has wrapped up, a source told Newsday on Thursday, with White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing, Mariners third-base coach Manny Acta, Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway and Mets hitting coach Kevin Long still in the mix.
With the hiring process into the next phase, another source on Thursday said the club was “leaning” toward hiring Long, the only internal candidate to replace Terry Collins.
Alex Cora also interviewed for the position, but according to multiple published reports on Thursday, the Astros’ bench coach will be named the next manager of the Red Sox.
The Mets had conversations with other potential candidates besides the five formal interviews. Indians first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. had been discussed as a potential candidate, though a source said team officials ultimately did not interview him for the job.
Of the remaining candidates, only Acta has previous big- league managing experience with the Nationals and the Indians.
With Cora finalizing a deal with the Red Sox and former Mets player and one-time Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire reportedly nearing an agreement with the Tigers, the Mets remain one of two managerial openings in the major leagues.
The Phillies also remain in the hunt for a manager and have interviewed Callaway for the position.