It seems as though the race for the New York Mets’ manager job is down to two men.
But they can’t spend much time making their decision.
Joe Girardi and Carlos Beltran have emerged as two of the top candidates for the vacant position in Queens with opposite managerial credentials.
Girardi has a wealth of experience not only managing in the majors but also in handling the big market that comes with New York. He spent a decade as the Yankees’ skipper, winning a World Series title in 2009.
Beltran has yet to manage in the majors but remains one of the hot new names that is being held in high regard. He interviewed for the Yankees job back in 2018 but lost out to Aaron Boone.
The 42-year-old has already made it known that he wants to manage the Mets and only the Mets as he reportedly turned down interview offers from the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres.
“I’m ready,” he said (h/t Newsday’s Anthony Reiber).
He still has friends in the Mets’ front office, too. Assistant GM Allard Baird was his GM with the Kansas City Royals early on in his playing career while Omar Minaya (also an assistant GM) signed Beltran for the Mets in 2005.
The two possess conflicting styles of managing, which presents quite the difficult call for GM Brodie Van Wagenen and the Wilpon family.
Girardi has built the reputation of being a no-nonsense manager, one who rarely takes the advice of the general manager on gameday and manically controls his bullpen.
Beltran provides an offensively-affluent mind that will play the analytics and break down opposing pitching down to their body language and twitches.
The former outfielder and borderline Hall-of-Famer is considered one of the best sign stealers in the game — which is perfectly legal as long as there is no outside or technological help.
He would also be a much easier candidate for upper management to control when it comes to filling out the lineup card.
Given Beltran’s desire to coach only the Mets, Van Wagenen and the Wilpons are guaranteed one of their top choices.
However, if Girardi is their top target, they’ll have to extend an offer sooner rather than later.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculates that Girardi is a top candidate of the Mets’ NL East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 55-year-old worked with Phillies president Andy MacPhail when they were with the Cubs — Girardi still as a catcher.
Girardi is expected to meet with the Phillies this week.