Carlos Beltran stepped down as manager of the New York Mets Thursday afternoon.
Beltran's departure is a result of Major League Baseball's report, which specially named the former outfielder as one of the players who held discussions on how to "improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter." The Mets opted to part ways with Beltran following the firing of Boston's Alex Cora and Houston's AJ Hinch, despite avoiting punishment from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
In a statement, the 42-year-old Beltran said he couldn't become a distraction for the team. As pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training on Feb. 10, the Mets are without a skipper for the 2020 season. Take a look at the handful of candidates who could succeed Beltran moving forward.
The Mets could take a simple approach without having to go through another rigorous interview process and promote bench coach Hensley Meulens. Muelens joined the Mets' coaching staff weeks after Beltran was hired. He spent nearly a decade alongside Bruce Bochy, who retired following the 2019 season, in San Francisco. The 52-year-old has yet to serve as a manager at the major league level. In 2017, Muelens interviewed for the Yankees' managerial vacancy
"I'm regarded as somebody that communicates really well, and has had a ton of experience all over the world," Meulens said in a 2017 interview with MLB.com. "I'm somebody that is ready to take the challenge and bring new positive energy on a daily basis, and also being able to connect with everybody on the roster."
Like Muelens, Perez is reportedly a top candidate for the Mets' vacancy, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
Perez, an MLB analyst for ESPN, was one of the final candidates for the position in November. He thanked the Mets for the opportunity to be considered in the process and congratulated Beltran. It's been over a decade since Perez last suited up in the major leagues, retiring from baseball in 2006.
He previously served as a bench and first base coach for the Houston Astros.
If the Mets were to keep their search internal and didn't want to hire either Muelens or Terry Collins, Luis Rojas would likely emerge as a favorite.
Rojas has been a part of the Mets organization since 2007, where he was promoted to the team's Quality Control coach prior to the 2018 season. According to SNY's Andy Martino, Rojas has already been mentioned within the organization as a candidate. There's arguably no other candidate more familiar with the system than Rojas as he's managed a variety of Mets minor league affiliates including the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and St. Lucie Mets.
It'll be a safe decision for the Mets to rely on Terry Collins' leadership.
Collins' has yet to explore managerial opportunities since 2017, when he retired from coaching. He's already in the Mets' front office as a special adviser to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen and was rumored to become Beltran's bench coach before the gig went to Muelens. The Mets twice made the postseason under Collins' guidance and he is likely considered a dark horse candidate this time around.
Buck Showalter wasn't shy about wanting to be considered for the Mets' gig.
"Yeah, I'd like to be talked about it, but I'm not going to campaign about it, and I'm real uncomfortable even talking about it with you now because there's a lot of good people out there and they're going to make a good decision," Showalter told WFAN's Steve Somers in Oct. 2019. "They'll have reasons why and why not, and, you know, I respect that."
The veteran manager brings a wealth of experience to at least earn an interview. He's won 1,551 games across four different teams and reached the postseason on five seperate occasions. Showalter lost 115-of-162 games with Baltimore in 2018 before he was fired at the end of the season. Showalter has reportedly interviewed with the Astros in wake of Hinch's firing.
The Nationals first base coach was once considered to be a serious candidate before Beltran awarded the managerial position.
Bogar was one of the final four candidates along with Perez, Beltran and Derek Shelton, who went on to become the Pirates manager. The Nationals have since retained Bogar on their coaching staff. Bogar served as the Rangers' interim manager during the 2014 season. Texas won 14-of-22 games under Bogar, who left the organization after he wasn't promoted to the role on a full-time basis.
Other notable names: Joe McEwing, Kevin Long
Who do you think will become the Mets' next manager — the third in under a year?