The Mets have been one of the busiest teams this offseason, as they hired Billy Eppler as general manager in mid-November, then quickly signed Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha before the lockout began in early December. Since major league transactions are not allowed during the lockout, their attention has shifted to their coaching staff, with Buck Showalter being named their new manager just before the holiday break.
In recent days, details about who would be filling out Showalter’s staff have started to emerge, with Wayne Kirby, Joey Cora and Eric Chavez reportedly lined up to be the first base coach, third base coach and hitting coach, respectively. One position yet to be filled is the bench coach, but one name that can apparently be crossed off the list of contenders is Ryan Flaherty. According to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Padres have denied the Mets’ request to interview their quality control coach for the position.
As noted by Rosenthal, teams usually allow their employees to interview with other clubs if the open position represents a promotion for the individual. Although the Mets’ bench coach job is considered a promotion for Flaherty, the Padres apparently decided to deny the request for timing reasons. Although the lockout could push everything back, spring training is still tentatively scheduled to begin in about a month. If Flaherty were allowed to interview for the position and ultimately landed the job, it would leave the Padres in the awkward position of having to scramble and make another hire in a narrow window of time.
This is a fairly logical decision from the Padres’ perspective, as they lined up their coaching staff early in the offseason and seemingly didn’t want to get dragged back into another search. However, whenever a team blocks one of their employees from seeking greater opportunities elsewhere, there is risk of creating resentment in said employee, reducing their ability to be retained. Flaherty isn’t quoted in the report, making his feelings on the matter unknown. But Rosenthal reports that he was involved in the process of filling out the coaching staff after Bob Melvin was hired, which included his former Vanderbilt teammate David Macias being brought aboard as first base and outfield coach.
After a playing career that spanned 547 games in eight seasons, Flaherty was hired by the Padres to be a quality control coach prior to the 2020 season, the same offseason that saw Jayce Tingler brought aboard as manager. Tingler was recently fired and replaced with Melvin, with several other positions on the staff seeing turnover as well. Flaherty, 35, seems to have survived the cull, however, and will stick with the club for 2022 and beyond, as Rosenthal reports that he received a three-year deal at the start of the offseason.