Mets hiring Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as manager, AP source says
The New York Mets are hiring Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza as their manager, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the move had not been announced.
Mendoza spent the past four seasons across town as Aaron Boone's bench coach with the Yankees. He replaces Buck Showalter, fired by the Mets at the end of last season after holding the job for two years.
It's the first high-profile hire by new Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns, who took over his hometown team early last month.
Mendoza, who turns 44 this month, has managed in the Venezuelan Winter League but never above Class A in the minors. He takes over a Mets team that finished fourth in the NL East this season at 75-87, which was 29 games behind first-place Atlanta, despite having the highest payroll in major league history under owner Steve Cohen.
Mendoza becomes the fifth Mets manager since Terry Collins’ seven-year tenure ended in 2017. None of the past four lasted more than two seasons - Carlos Beltrán was let go without even managing a game, fallout from Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal in 2017.
New York was reportedly interested in Craig Counsell, who worked under Stearns for years in Milwaukee. But after managing his hometown Brewers to five playoff appearances in the last six seasons, including a third NL Central title this year, Counsell had several suitors. He was hired Monday by the Chicago Cubs to replace David Ross on a massive five-year contract worth more than $40 million, according to a person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because that deal hadn't been announced.
Counsell also interviewed with the Cleveland Guardians, who hired former All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt as their manager Monday to succeed Terry Francona.
Showalter took over in December 2021 and led the Mets to a 101-61 record and a playoff berth in 2022, when he was voted NL Manager of the Year. New York lost to San Diego in their Wild Card Series, then added three-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander to its pitching staff during the offseason.
The Mets boosted their payroll to a record $355 million on opening day, but fell out of playoff contention early and wound up dealing Verlander, Max Scherzer and several other veterans ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline.