MLB Rumors: Yankees-Cardinals battles coming, Astros catcher plan, Mets finalists clear

  • With Martin Maldonado's free agency looming, Astros have plan at catcher
  • Mets entering final stages of search for next manager
  • Yankees, Cardinals expected to battle for Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Yoshinobu Yamamoto / Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
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MLB Rumors: Mets narrow down list of finalists for manager position

The New York Mets' search for a new manager enters its final stages. According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets are "down to a few in-person manager interviews" and are trending toward a hire within the next week.

It has progressed to the point where team owner Steve Cohen is personally involved in the next wave of meetings, which signals the looming conclusion. Carlos Mendoza, the Yankees' bench coach, met with New York on Wednesday. Brewers skipper Craig Counsell met with leadership on Thursday. Other names in the mix, per SNY, are Athletics manager Mark Kotsay and former Padres manager Andy Green.

Those four names appear to be the finalists. The running favorite has been Counsell, who worked below new Mets president David Stearns in Milwaukee. He's the flashiest name on the market and the Mets generally like to spend for the perceived créme de la créme at a given position. Counsell would certainly establish a level of respectability the organization currently lacks.

Of course, there's ample credibility to the idea of poaching Mendoza from the Yankees bench or investing in a young manager like Kotsay. Oakland hasn't been the most successful MLB team during Kotsay's stretch, but that's due to roster construction, not coaching. His ability to navigate a difficult situation for an organization at a crossroads like Oakland probably earns him bonus points.

Expect the Mets to land on a new skipper soon, just in time for a potentially transformational free-agent period as the team gears up to pursue Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and other high-profile targets.