Mets’ Max Scherzer has ‘great respect’ for Buck Showalter

As the Mets sift through managerial candidates — another of which was added to the field Tuesday — they could take into account the wishes of their big offseason splash.

Max Scherzer is a symbol of the organization’s “win-now” mentality and would like to play for a manager of the same ilk, according to an industry source. Along those lines, the star right-hander has a fondness for Buck Showalter, according to the source. Showalter, a candidate for the job, could interview with the Mets as soon as Wednesday.

Scherzer, 37, last week signed a three-year contract worth $130 million to complement Jacob deGrom and give the Mets an elite 1-2 punch atop the rotation. Scherzer’s former Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus, is a candidate for the Mets’ managerial opening, but the source said that while the star right-hander “liked” Ausmus, he has “great respect” for Showalter’s managerial abilities. The 65-year-old Showalter managed the Orioles during Scherzer’s tenure with the Nationals and the two teams played each other annually in the Beltway Series.

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer is a big fan of Buck Showalter potentially becoming Mets manager.
N.Y. Post Charles Wenzelberg, AP

Showalter’s visibility has also increased over the past two seasons in his role as an analyst with MLB Network and YES. Scherzer is said to appreciate Showalter’s straightforward, no-nonsense approach.

Unclear is how much say Scherzer will have in the process. First-round interviews by general manager Billy Eppler and his staff are underway, and owner Steve Cohen will meet with the finalists.

There was some thought Scherzer’s tight relationship with Kevin Long from Washington might lead to the Mets considering their former hitting coach for the job. But Long, who spent four years as Nationals hitting coach before taking the same job with the Phillies in October, to this point isn’t a consideration. Besides Showalter and Ausmus, the Mets are considering Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, Pirates bench coach Don Kelly and the latest addition to the list, Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren.

The 60-year-old Geren, a former bench coach in Queens under manager Terry Collins, has spent the past six seasons as Dave Roberts’ top lieutenant in Los Angeles. Geren will interview for the Mets’ managerial opening this week, a source confirmed. SNY first reported the Mets’ interest in Geren.

Geren has previous major league managing experience with Oakland — he was manager from 2007-11. He became Mets bench coach the following year. After the 2015 season, which ended with the Mets losing to the Royals in the World Series, Geren was a finalist for Dodgers’ managerial opening (which went to Roberts) before accepting an offer from the club to become bench coach. Geren cited the opportunity to return to his Southern California roots for his departure from the Mets.

With the Dodgers he’s been part of three pennant winners and a World Series championship in 2020.

Geren, a former catcher, played for the Yankees and Padres during a major league career that spanned from 1988-93. After his playing career, he managed in the minor leagues for the Red Sox and Athletics before joining the major league coaching staff and ascending to manager before the 2007 season. During his tenure the Athletics finished as high as second, in 2010. But he was fired midway through the following season with the team struggling. His overall record with the Athletics was 334-376.

It was Mets president Sandy Alderson (then the team’s GM) who hired Geren as the bench coach under Collins to bring a more analytical approach to the dugout. Geren’s duties with the Mets also included working with catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who had been acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays.