The Mets have compiled an extensive list of potential candidates in their managerial search, and the latest three names that were unveiled should ring a bell.
According to a source, former San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy has emerged as a name that is on New York's initial list of candidates.
Bochy, 66, managed the Giants and Padres for 25 seasons [1995-2019] and won three World Series titles in San Francisco last decade.
Since retiring after the 2019 season, Bochy has been serving as a consultant to Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
And although Bochy hasn't managed since stepping away two seasons ago, he wouldn't rule out a possible return to a major league dugout when asked about it back in September.
“I think I’ll just say what I’ve been saying: I don’t think you rule anything out,” Bochy told Sportico. “I’ve enjoyed doing what I’ve been doing, working with the Giants, going through the minor league affiliates. I went to spring training for a couple of weeks, but you never say never. That’s my mindset.”
Ironically, Bochy also played for the Mets back in 1982 and as it turns out, he isn't the only former Met that's on their managerial list.
However, neither individual is believed to be interested in the job, nor are the Mets seriously considering them due to their lack of coaching experience.
FanSided first mentioned Granderson and Metsmerized reported on Wright.
In addition to the latter three names, Houston Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Buck Showalter, Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly round out the remainder of the candidates on the Mets' preliminary list, as a source confirmed to Inside the Mets.
SNY was the first to report on these candidates and they also included ex-Tigers and Angels manager Brad Ausmus, who Mets GM Billy Eppler hired and then fired after one season when he was with Anaheim.
Espada and Showalter are believed to be the two favorites and are definitely the duo to watch in this race.
Eppler has ties to both Espada and Showalter during his time with the Yankees. Espada was a special assistant to Yankees GM Brian Cashman in 2014 before moving to the coaching staff from 2015-2017. Eppler was the Yankees' assistant GM from 2012-2015.
Espada, 46, replaced Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora as the Astros' bench coach in 2018, a role he has served in ever since. During his time in Houston, Espada has worked under A.J. Hinch and Dusty Baker.
As for Showalter, 65, while he and Eppler never crossed paths with the Yankees, Gene "Stick" Michael was the GM during Showalter's time managing in the Bronx in the early-90's. And as Eppler revealed, Michael was a long-time mentor to him throughout his 11 seasons with the Yankees.
Eppler was said to have wanted to hire Showalter with the Angels following the 2019 season, but was overruled by team owner Arte Moreno, who chose Joe Maddon.
Showalter told The Athletic back in October that he would certainly "listen" if the Mets called about their managerial job. But that was before the organization hired Eppler as GM.
Now, Showalter, who is an analyst for MLB Network, praised the Mets' hire of Eppler because "everyone" who he respects thinks highly of the 46-year-old.
It's safe to say that there is at least some form of mutual interest there between Eppler and Showalter.