Mets Managerial Search Getting Complicated?

Michael Cohen

What is happening with the Mets managerial search? It’s really the biggest question hovering over the franchise since former Manager Carlos Beltran was named in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal and subsequently lost his job last Thursday.

As we move into another week, it appears more and more likely that the Mets are going in-house.

While almost everyone was busy watching the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers stamp their tickets to Miami for Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, presumptive managerial candidate Dusty Baker was busy hoping on a plane to Houston to interview for the Astros job.

When asked by reporters if he had heard from the Mets, Baker said he had not.

“Like I said, I’m busy, I haven’t heard from anybody and its first come, first serve and everybody likes to feel like they are wanted,” Baker said.

Then on Monday night, New York Post columnist Mike Puma reported that the Mets front office has been stuck in “paralysis … on how to proceed” because of the pending transfer of ownership from the Wilpon’s to Steve Cohen.

Part of the problem as Puma writes is that Van Wagenen and the front office is worried how the hire of the new manager will be perceived by Cohen.

“…[T]here is concern that if the Mets hire somebody who wasn’t originally considered for the job, it will look bad to Cohen, reflecting poorly on a front office that will be in limbo once the ownership transfer is complete,” Puma writes.

According to Puma, Cohen has chosen to remain in the background while the Mets conduct the search.

It’s expected he will use this situation as a barometer in determining the front office’s mettle and aptitude. The fear of team executives that Cohen would question the hiring of somebody who wasn’t considered for the job when Mickey Callaway was fired in October (veterans such as Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter, among others, weren’t interviewed) had tilted the search in quality control coach Luis Rojas’ favor as of Monday.”

It’s kind of hard to believe that Cohen would be upset if the team were to interview veterans like Schowalter or Baker, both of whom have considerably much more impressive resumes then some of the in-house candidates being considered.

This might (and this is speculation) it might speak to the fear the front office has in hiring a powerful manager who could sway Cohen’s decision making when he takes over.

Regardless it is looking more and more likely the Mets are leaning toward Luis Rojas, who has been with the organization for over a decade, and is well-liked with the current Mets brass.

Rojas has only one year of Major League Baseball coaching experience as a quality control coach for the Mets in 2019. He has coached and managed at several different levels of the Mets organization.

The other in-house candidate being considered in Hensely Meulens, the Mets new bench coach, who held the same job title in San Francisco the past two years. Meulens has been rumored to be in the running for the Boston Red Sox job as well.

Whatever the Mets decided to do, rest assure Cohen will be in the background, evaluating not only Van Wagenen and his front office but the manager he hires as well. Buckle up, this could be a very crazy year for the Mets.