According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Mets have narrowed down their managerial search to three candidates: Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle and Bob Melvin.
Team sources have told Sherman that Collins was still the favorite, but that Hurdle and Melvin were still in the competition.
Ultimately, Alderson determined he did not want a first-time manager in New York for this Mets team, which is why Chip Hale, despite interviewing well, is no longer a candidate, though he very well may be on the Mets coach staff again next year.
Collins, Hurdle and Melvin all have previous major league managing experience. Another candidate with such pedigree, Don Wakamatsu, was portrayed by sources as no longer in the running for the job.
Both Collins and Melvin have an edge because they know the team’s system, having worked for the Mets last season. But sources told Sherman that Hurdle really impressed Alderson because of his “energy and gregarious personality”.
As for Wally Backman, Sherman says he has been depicted as no longer a candidate for the position, but the Mets still view him as a valuable member of the organization because of his popularity with the fans and with the Wilpons. Lingering fears from his Diamondback fall also came into play according to what the source told Sherman.
Alderson will impress upon Backman that the best way to continue repairing his reputation is inside the organization that knows him best, a confidant of the new general manager said. Essentially the message will be: You are just 51. Be patient. Avoid any more trouble. Be a good soldier by helping us get prospects to the majors while not undermining the major league manager because you want the job..
From the information that Sherman is reporting, it appears to me that Backman’s second interview is more of a meeting to discuss his future with the organization. He may also be offered another managing position at a higher level of the Mets minor leagues, most likely St. Lucie.
WFAN has been reporting the same news this morning, saying that “the next manager of the New York Mets will most likely be one of Collins, Melvin and Hurdle.”