By Sam Bush
The Mets have shelled out $254.5 million in free-agent money this offseason — including $130 million on Max Scherzer’s three-year megadeal — and now owner Steve Cohen is finally investing serious coin on clubhouse leadership.
After a string of first-year hires on the bench, the Mets have announced veteran skipper Buck Showalter as manager — a clear signal of New York’s aim for renewed NL relevance.
If the Mets’ three previous managers — Mickey Callaway, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Rojas — seemed out of their depth, the accomplished Showalter brings decades of experience.
- He was named AL Manager of the Year in 1994, 2004, and 2014 and managed the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles from 1992-2018 .
- His 1,551 wins as manager rank 24th all-time.
- In Tuesday’s press conference, Showalter acknowledged the urgency of the hire: “I understand the job description… It’s to be the last team standing.”
The 65-year-old’s three-year deal is the richest for a manager in franchise history, surpassing Art Howe’s $9.4 million contract in 2003. He’ll take over a team of heavyweights including Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso, Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte.
The Mets last reached the postseason in 2016 under the guidance of another seasoned manager, Terry Collins.
And Showalter should still be hungry: Although his teams have reached the postseason five times, he’s never won a game in a League Championship series.