After weeks of speculation, the Mets have hired their new manager. According to a Tweeter from team owner Steve Cohen, Buck Showalter will take over as the new skipper of Queens. Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reports that Showalter was given a three-year contract to manage the team. While a dollar figure is not yet known, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Showalter was awarded the biggest contract the Mets have ever given to a manager, surpassing the $ 9.4 million earned by former manager Art Howe.
Last week, it was reported that Showalter had passed the initial pool of applicants and moved on to the second round of interviews for the leadership opening. This represents another close call at the helm of a dugout for the other two finalists, Matt Quatraro of Tampa Bay and Joe Espada of Houston. Despite the league’s reverence for these last two coaches, industry insiders were quick to name Showalter as the favorite for the Mets position.
The veteran skipper will now take over a Mets dugout that has been a kind of revolving door since the end of Terry Collins’ seven-year tenure as manager after the 2017 season. Mickey Callaway was fired after two seasons, and following the ” short-term hiring of Carlos beltran, bench coach Luis Rojas took over the manager’s torch until 2020.
The past two seasons have seen Rojas sport a 103-119 record, a disappointing sum for a team with so much star power. While Rojas can hardly be seen as the sole reason for the squad’s struggles (the City Yankees quickly hired Rojas as a coach after his sacking, speaking of his abilities), he oversaw a meltdown last season. After spending 114 days in first place, the Mets were no longer able to overcome injuries and underperformance, ultimately finishing third in their division.
While Rojas, Beltran, and Callaway were first-time MLB directors, Showalter is a known product. Over 20 seasons and 3,069 games, Showalter has a 0.506% winning percentage and has won Manager of the Year material with three different clubs (1994 Yankees, 2004 Rangers, 2014 Orioles).
Although Showalter has never won a World Series as a manager, many league members have cited his leadership skills as the reason why teams become playoff contenders. Most recently, during his 2010-18 run with Baltimore, Showalter helped turn a rebuilding club into one of the most successful teams in the American League. After an inaugural full season of 69 wins with the club, Showalter quickly saw the team set unbeaten records over the next 5 seasons. The Orioles have made the playoffs three times during that streak, including once as a first-place team, which is no small feat considering the financial powers that reside in the East. ‘AL.
It’s been some time since Showalter ran one of these powerhouses, the last Yankees’ management in 1995. It’s unlikely that he now leads a team with even more resources at his disposal. In a series of win-now moves, the Mets have kicked their 2022 payrolls to new heights. RosterResource predicts the Mets will open next season with a payroll of $ 263 million, a number that is by far the highest in all of baseball, and one that has been most surprisingly achieved with months (and many free agents). remaining during the offseason.
With people like Max Scherzer, Starling marte, Marc Canha, and Eduardo Escobar already joining the Mets this offseason, it has become very clear that the New York club of the NL is not just slowing down below 0.500. Pair these additions with leftover stars Jacob of Grom, Brandon nimmo, Francisco lindor, and Pete Alonso and the Mets are full of top talent. This collection of players, along with every other rebounding talent on the roster, will give the team’s new manager plenty of firepower to claim a division that has belonged to Atlanta for the past four years.
Over the next few weeks, Showalter will complete their coaching staff, while the Mets could still add players to their club after the lockdown is lifted. Whatever changes are made ahead of the start of the 2022 season, many pundits and fans will point to this hiring as the team’s key move during the offseason. Hiring a well-respected stabilizer may be just what the Mets need to capitalize on their potential and make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
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