The first order of business in what should be a very busy off-season for General Manager Sandy Alderson (after he re-ups his own contract of course) will be finding a replacement for Terry Collins. Here’s a look at some of the names rumored to be under consideration.
Currently the Dodgers bench coach, the 56-year-old Geren served in the same capacity for the Mets from 2011-2015. The former big league catcher was praised for both his work with catchers and his ability to work with analytics. Previously, he managed the A’s from 2007 to June of 2011. The low budget team went 334-376 with Geren at the helm, never making the playoffs or even finishing above .500.
Another coach with ties to Alderson is former big league infielder and Diamondbacks Manager Chip Hale. The 52-year-old was among the final candidates for the Mets’ manager job before it went to Collins prior to the 2011 season. He served as the Mets’ third base coach from 2010 to 2011 and then A’s bench coach from 2012 to 2014. From 2015 to 2016 Hale managed the Diamondbacks. The team went 148-176 and he was fired after a disappointing 2016 season. This season, Hale returned to the A’s organization to coach third. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks made the playoffs with a new manager.
For the past two seasons, the 55-year-old Scott has served as the Mets bench coach. By all accounts, he is well-liked. The former shortstop (just three big league at bats, but a lengthy minor league career), has been a scout, minor league coach, field instruction coordinator, and Director of Player Development. He worked under Alderson in Oakland, as well as with the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays before joining the Mets.
The 50-year-old Mets hitting instructor since 2015, Long has expressed interest in managing. He served in the same role for the Yankees from 2007 to 2014 and has received high marks for his work with lefties in particular. Though he never made it to the big leagues, Long broke records at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Royals, for whom he had a solid minor league career.
From 1993-2010 Brad Ausmus was a solid catcher for the Padres, Tigers, Astros, and Dodgers. The three time Gold Glove winner was recognized for his leadership skills and was brought into the Padrews organization as a special assistant from 2010 to 2013. The 48-year-old was the manager of the Tigers from 2014 until a few days ago. By all accounts, he did a nice job there, but the window of opportunity closed on this aging roster.
The former star third baseman played for the Mets from 1999 to 2001 and is perhaps best remembered for his grand slam single (or getting his butt whooped by Nolan Ryan). After 16 big league seasons, including six gold gloves and two All-Star games, Ventura retired in 2004. Despite having no prior professional coaching experience, the White Sox hired him as their skipper, where he managed from 2012 to 2016. The team went 85-77 in his first year and he as runner-up for AL Manager of the Year. The Sox finished under .500 the next four years though, going a combined 375-435 under Ventura.
Currently the White Sox becnh coach and a friend of David Wright’s, 44-year-old “Super Joe” McEwing was a spark plug player from 1998 to 2006 with the Cardinals, Mets, Royals and Astros. He was a true super utility player who could play any position and was known as much for his hustle and grit as his versatility. After retiring, McEwing worked he way up through the White Sox organization, managing at every level. McEwing is seen as a future manager across the game and has already secured an interview for the Tigers job.
Currently the Astros bench coach, the 41-year-old Cora is another up-and-comer and former gritty utility player. He played for six teams from 1998 to 2011 and, like McEwing, Cora had a stint with the Mets, from 2009 to 2010. After serving as an ESPN baseball analyst for a few years, Cora got the call from Houston to begin his coaching career. Known as a stats hound with great knack for relating to young players, Cora makes for an interesting candidate for the Mets. Of Puerto Rican descent, Cora speaks fluent Spanish which would definitely help him forge relationships in the Mets clubhouse. Cora could bring the kind of energy to this team that Dave Roberts brought to the Dodgers.
Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo is another name that has come up in speculation. The 51-year-old has been with the Rays organization for 20 years, as a very successful minor league manager before joining the big league club. As manager of the AAA Durham Bulls, Montoyo won six division titles and two Manager of the Year awards. He was in the running for manager with both the Rays and Mariners. The former minor league second baseman got one “cup of coffee” with the Montreal Expos in 1993.
This is not a serious consideration, but since so many fans have brought him up let’s put his name here. First of all, Wright is not done playing. He’s going to attempt at least one more comeback. Secondly, Wright is just 34-years-old with no coaching experience. In the future, yes, it’s possible the organization could see if he’s interested in a coaching career and offer him a spot in the minors or on the bench. But what the White Sox did with Robin Ventura a few years back is highly unusual.
There you have it. So who should the next Mets manager be? Here’s one vote for Alex Cora.