The Mets’ managerial search is down to two names, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports (via Twitter). Former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran and former Astros bench coach/current ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez are the last two men standing. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman recently tweeted that Milwaukee bench coach Pat Murphy was out of the running, though Heyman suggested shortly before Feinsand that Twins bench coach Derek Shelton was still involved alongside Beltran and Perez.
Neither Beltran nor Perez has any big league managerial experience, but Perez did manage a pair of winter ball clubs in Puerto Rico and managed Team Colombia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In addition to a brief stint as the bench coach in Houston, Perez spent a pair of seasons as the Marlins’ hitting coach earlier this decade. Beltran, who only retired as a player after the 2017 season, has spent his short post-playing days as a special advisor to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Hiring Perez would, in many ways, mimic the crosstown Yankees’ hiring of Aaron Boone and the Cubs’ recent hiring of David Ross. Both were retired players hired away from ESPN jobs, though Perez, unlike that duo, does have the aforementioned coaching/managing experience. Beltran, notably, would jump from player to manager even more quickly than Ross did — if he is indeed hired. Ross retired after winning a World Series in 2016, while Beltran retired after winning a World Series in 2017. Perez was reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale last week to be the “clear front-runner,” but the search then carried on into a third round of interviews.
The Mets’ managerial search has dragged out even longer than the GM search that led the organization to hire then-CAA-agent Brodie Van Wagenen late last October. While a whopping eight teams entered the offseason in search of a new skipper, most identified a smaller set of initial candidates than New York. The Mets, meanwhile, not only conducted first-round interviews with a wide slate of candidates, they also carried a significant list of hopefuls all the way into a third round of interviews. (Most other organizations seemingly only went through two rounds.) At least five candidates — Perez, Beltran, Shelton, Murphy and Nats first base coach Tim Bogar — seemingly advanced to this stage.
The Mets, Pirates and Giants are the three remaining clubs that have yet to name a manager for the 2020 season. The Angels (Joe Maddon), Phillies (Joe Girardi), Cubs (Ross), Royals (Mike Matheny) and Padres (Jayce Tingler) have all hired new skippers since the regular season ended.