HOUSTON — Alex Cora and Joe McEwing will interview with the Mets this week for the vacant managerial position, industry sources told Newsday, as the team follows its strategy of seeking out former members of the organization.
Cora, 41, currently is the bench coach for the Astros, who will be in New York for the middle three games of the ALCS, which will resume Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Cora reportedly is scheduled to interview with the Red Sox during Sunday’s workout day and Boston is considered a frontrunner, but every team with an opening — aside from the Phillies — has asked for permission to speak with him.
Cora played for six teams during his 14-year career, including the Mets from 2009-10. The Mets believe his experience in the New York market is a plus, and as a former infielder, Cora could be helpful in the continuing development of the Mets’ young franchise shortstop, Amed Rosario.
Before the ALCS began, Carlos Beltran endorsed his former Mets teammate for the job, telling Newsday that his now-Astros coach would be a good fit in Flushing.
“He has a great personality,” Beltran said. “He’s intense, players like to see that. But at the same time, he’s a guy that can sit down in the clubhouse with the players and have a baseball conversation.”
Cora was hesitant to talk about the interviewing process before Saturday’s ALCS Game 2 at Minute Maid Park, other than to joke that he hopes all the jobs aren’t filled before the end of a long playoff run by the Astros. Cora also is doing what he can to help to help family and friends in Puerto Rico who are trying to rebuild after the devastation from Hurricane Maria. As soon as the season is over, Cora intends to head there to assist in the relief efforts.
McEwing, who will turn 45 on Thursday, played five seasons in Flushing, where he was known as “Super Joe” for his ability to fill in at every position. McEwing managed in the White Sox system before he was promoted to third-base coach, then bench coach, his job during the past year under manager Rick Renteria. He reportedly also will interview with the Tigers this week.
Sources told Newsday that the Mets already have interviewed their hitting coach, Kevin Long, for the manager’s job. When the team announced that Terry Collins wouldn’t be back as manager and pitching coach Dan Warthen wouldn’t be retained, the status of Long and his assistant, Pat Roessler, was left unspecified.