The search for the New York Mets’ new manager appears to be coming to the finish line. After considering nearly a dozen candidates and interviewing five, the Mets have cut their list to four finalists, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The remaining candidates are hitting coach Kevin Long, Mariners’ third base coach Manny Acta, White Sox’ third base coach Joe McEwing, and Indians’ pitching coach Mickey Callaway. Long has been rumored to be the favorite to land the job, but Acta’s candidacy has gained significant momentum over the past few days.
The only candidate to be removed from the initial list is Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, who is widely expected to be named the manager of the Boston Red Sox in the next week. The Mets’ managerial search could be impacted by the Nationals’ surprise decision to let go of Dusty Baker on Friday. While Baker, who helped the Nationals win two division titles and 192 regular season games in his two years at the helm, isn’t expected to be considered for the Mets’ position his departure from Washington opens a very attractive job. The Nationals’ roster is a win now group that has constantly underachieved in the playoffs, but it is a very strong position. If the Mets do feel like they have identified a candidate they feel strongly about, they may move to make a hire before Washington can try and poach that person.