Following one of their most disappointing seasons in franchise history, the New York Mets needed to make a change. The team went from World Series contenders with the highest payroll in baseball to being the biggest sellers at the deadline and finishing 75-87.
Before that 87th loss on Sunday, a 9–1 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies, that change occurred. The Mets announced that Buck Showalter would not be returning as the manager of the blue and orange.
With Showalter gone, the Mets will search again for a new manager. There are a slew of worthy candidates available that New York could consider hiring.
Craig Counsell has a key connection to David Stearns
With the recent hiring of David Stearns to be the Mets’ president of baseball operations, it only makes sense that the 38-year-old brings along the only manager he’s ever known with him to Flushing.
Craig Counsell is in the final year of his contract as the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers and has had quite a successful tenure in Cream City.
Counsell has been the manager of the Brew Crew since 2015, leading the blue and yellow to five playoff appearances, including one this year, and finishing top five in the National League Manager of the Year race four times.
The 53-year-old’s track record and familiarity with Stearns make him the perfect candidate to manage the blue and orange.
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Could the Mets try again with Carlos Beltrán?
Carlos Beltrán got hired to be the Mets manager entering the 2020 season. But following the revelation of Beltrán’s role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, the blue and orange fired Beltrán before he even managed a game.
Four years later, New York is again looking for a manager; once again, Beltrán is a fit. The 46-year-old spent 2023 in the Mets’ front office, so he already has familiarity with Steve Cohen and how the organization is currently running things.
In addition, many other candidates can’t match his knowledge of baseball, and while the hiring may come with a little bit of backlash, Beltrán may just be the right fit to turn the Mets around.
Could Joe Espada be stolen from Houston?
Joe Espada has coached in the major leagues since 2010 and has spent the last five seasons as the Houston Astros bench coach. In Houston, Espada has been so impressive that many consider the 48-year-old to be the eventual successor to Dusty Baker.
Espada has some familiarity already with the Mets as he was one of the finalists in the Mets’ 2021 managerial search before the blue and orange ultimately went with Showalter.
Maybe now is the time for the Mets to make up for that mistake and give Espada his first chance to manage at the Major League level.