Not long after reports of the A’s conducting their first managerial interview surfaced, the Mets have begun an interview carousel of their own. SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets conducted their first managerial interview today, and expect to keep the process going Tuesday. Among the identified managerial candidates include a trio of bench coaches— Houston’s Joe Espada, Tampa Bay’s Matt Quatraro, and Pittsburgh’s Don Kelly— as well as two veteran managers, Buck Showalter and Brad Ausmus.
Martino notes that the current list of candidates still has room to grow, but throws cold water on the notion that beloved Mets alumni Curtis Granderson and David Wright will interview after their names surfaced in earlier discussions. Whoever makes the shortlist and earns a shot at interviewing will meet with newly-minted GM Billy Eppler and his staff. Owner Steve Cohen will meet with vetted candidates some time after the initial round of interviews.
The identity of today’s interviewed candidate was none other than Brad Ausmus, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Ausmus has quite a few things going for his candidacy that surely helped net him the first opportunity to meet with Mets decision-makers. One such factor working in Ausmus’s favor is his relationship to Eppler, as Ausmus served as a special assistant to Eppler before being promoted to dugout manager in 2019 while the two were with the Angels. In other networking news, Fansided’s Robert Murray also notes that Ausmus is a Dartmouth alum like Mets president Sandy Alderson and assistant GM Bryn Alderson.
Unlike some of the candidates who have yet to interview, Ausmus also has a track record as a Major League manager. Between his time with the Angels and Detroit, he has compiled a 386-412 record as a manager, including two winning seasons at the helm and a playoff appearance. It probably also doesn’t hurt Ausmus’s case that his best season in Detroit coincided with Max Scherzer’s last season in the AL. Scherzer, one of the Mets’ marquee pickups this offseason, owns one of the game’s more fiery personalities and is perhaps best handled by a dugout operator who’s familiar with his tempo.
If Quatraro’s name rings a bell it may be because he interviewed with the A’s within the past couple of days. That the Tampa Bay bench coach has landed interviews for 100% of this offseason’s managerial vacancies is no surprise. The Rays have proven their division’s winningest team during Quatraro’s time as bench coach, no small feat considering the powerhouses that reside within those same confines. Martino reports that Quatraro is in line for a Tuesday interview.
There aren’t many updates for the remaining candidates of Espada, Kelly, and Showalter, though they all remain highly credible options in the wake of MLBTR’s profile of their candidacies last week. Jon Heyman does note (via Twitter) that Espada and Eppler share a “strong link” dating back to their time in the Yankees organization, and calls Espada a “serious contender”.