Latest on Mets’ manager search: Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza interviewed for job

Here’s the latest news and buzz on the Mets’ search for a new manager…

Nov. 1, 1:14 p.m.

The Mets have interviewed Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza for manager, SNY’s Andy Martino confirmed.

According to Martino, Mendoza had an in-person meeting with the Mets on Wednesday for a second-round callback interview. His first-round interview was last week.

Joel Sherman of The New York Post was first to report the Mets’ interest in Mendoza.

Mendoza is the first candidate known to have had a formal interview with the Mets.

Mendoza has also drawn interest from the Cleveland Guardians for their vacant managerial position that top Mets target Craig Counsell recently interviewed for, and was a “strong candidate” with the Giants before they hired Bob Melvin, per Martino.

The 43-year-old Mendoza has worked as the Bombers’ bench coach since 2019 and has been a part of their big league coaching staff since 2018.

Before joining the Yankees’ major league staff, Mendoza managed in their minor league system from 2009 to 2012 before becoming a roving instructor.

Nov. 1, 11:00 a.m.

While there’s been plenty of buzz and speculation linking Craig Counsell to the Mets, the free agent manager has not yet had a formal interview with the club, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.

As of now, Martino notes, the Guardians are the only known team with which Counsell has interviewed.

Counsell’s contract with the Brewers officially expired on Tuesday, and Milwaukee has reportedly begun the process of requesting interviews for potential replacements. The Mets, Astros and Guardians all have reported interest in Counsell, but Cleveland remains the only spot that he’s interviewed, for now.

Nov. 1, 8:33 a.m.

The Brewers, uncertain about whether Craig Counsell will return, “have begun the process of requesting interviews with potential managerial replacements,” reports Curt Hogg of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Per The Journal Sentinel, “multiple sources strongly indicate” that Counsell will not be taking a hometown discount to stay with the Brewers.

In addition to the Brewers, who hope to retain the manager who has guided them for the better part of the last decade, the Guardians and possibly the Astros appear to be the Mets’ main competition for Counsell.

Counsell has already interviewed with Cleveland, while Houston is in the beginning stages of its managerial search following the retirement of Dusty Baker.

The 53-year-old Counsell’s contract with the Brewers expired on Tuesday, meaning he is now free to agree to a deal with any team.

Oct. 31, 10:45 p.m.

Craig Counsell‘s name continues to circulate when it comes to teams looking to fill vacant managerial jobs, and another has reportedly popped up.

According to Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Astros “have expressed interest” in Counsell. However, Hogg goes on to say that “it’s unclear how serious their pursuit would be.”

It’s been reported that both the Cleveland Guardians and Mets have been granted permission to speak with Counsell prior to his contract with the Brewers expiring Tuesday.

While it’s unclear whether Counsell will move on or stay with Milwaukee, he’ll be free to negotiate and sign with any team starting Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Houston made it to Game 7 of the ALCS but were ousted by the Rangers. Dusty Baker retired as Astros manager days later. 

Oct. 30, 4:13 p.m.

While Craig Counsell is reportedly in Cleveland to meet with the Guardians on Monday, his interest in the Mets job is is still reportedly strong. According to Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Astros “have expressed interest” in Counsell, “but it’s unclear how serious their pursuit would be.”

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Counsell still has “serious” interest in the Mets, with Heyman noting that Counsell and his wife, Michelle, both “very much” like New York.

Heyman also notes that Counsell is interested in “raising the bar” for manager salaries, and the Mets are likely his best option to do so.

Meanwhile, SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino reports while the Mets and Counsell still don’t have a firm date set for an interview, there is “obviously strong mutual interest in talking.”

Oct. 30, 11:29 a.m.

According to The Athletic, potential Mets managerial target Craig Counsell is in Cleveland to meet with the Guardians about their vacant manager job.

This is the first reported interview for Counsell, who is the hottest name available on the market for clubs in need of a new skipper.

Previous reporting by The Athletic has indicated that the Guardians will make “a serious financial pitch” to hire Counsell, who made $3.5 million per season with the Brewers.

Oct 28, 9:20 a.m.

The Cleveland Guardians have received permission to interview Craig Counsell for their managerial vacancy, according to Paul Hoynes of

It was reported earlier in the week on Oct. 25 that Cleveland had asked the Milwaukee Brewers for permission to interview Counsell, per The Athletic. The report noted that people within the industry believe the Guardians will make “a serious financial pitch” to Counsell, who is looking to see a bump in pay from his $3.5 million deal with Milwaukee.

SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Oct. 25 that the Mets received permission from the Brewers to interview Counsell before his contract is set to expire on Oct. 31. New York’s interview with Counsell “will happen in the near future,” but a date has not been scheduled yet.

Oct. 25, 5:33 p.m.

Craig Counsell is being courted by the Mets, but it seems another club will also look to hire the soon-to-be free agent manager.

According to The Athletic, the Cleveland Guardians have asked the Milwaukee Brewers for permission to interview Counsell, but it’s unclear if their request was granted. The Athletic’s report also states that people within the industry insist that the Guardians will make a “serious financial pitch” to Counsell.

The Guardians have a managerial vacancy after Terry Francona retired for health reasons after the 2023 season. Francona was one of the highest-paid managers in the game, and since Counsell is looking to get a pay bump from his $3.5 million salary with Milwaukee, Cleveland has shown they can provide that.

SNY’s Andy Martino reported Wednesday that the Brewers granted the Mets permission to interview Counsell prior to his contract expiring on Oct. 31 and that those conversations will happen “in the near future.”

Oct. 20, 3:47 p.m.

“Comfortable where he is,” Rangers associate manager Will Venable declined to interview with the Mets for manager, he told Joel Sherman of The New York Post.

“I talked to them very briefly, but that was at the point where I already had made the decision that I was staying here,” Venable said of the Mets.

Venable, a 40-year-old native of California, is in is first season as the Rangers’ associate manager.

He is seemingly in strong position to take over as Rangers manager whenever Bochy’s tenure is over.

Before joining the Rangers, Venable worked as a special assistant for then-Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in 2017, and then spent three years (2018 to 2020) as a coach for Chicago.

In 2021 and 2022, Venable was the bench coach for the Red Sox.

Oct. 19, 10:52 p.m.

As the Mets wait for Brewers manager Craig Counsell‘s contract to expire on Oct. 31, president of baseball operations David Stearns could fall back on a first-time manager if he becomes unavailable.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, people close to Stearns “insist” that he would consider hiring a first-time manager if the Mets can’t lure Counsell away from the Brewers.

That seems to track with an earlier report that the Mets have Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski as a managerial candidate.

Oct. 19, 10:49 a.m.

It was reported on Wednesday that the Mets are expected to hire an external candidate for manager, and now a new report has identified one potential candidate.

According to Scott Mitchell of TSN, Toronto Blue Jays first base coach Mark Budzinski is on the list of managerial candidates for both the Mets and Guardians.

Budzinski, 50, had a brief major league playing career before joining Cleveland’s coaching staff after the 2017 season. He’s been with the Blue Jays since Nov. 2018.

Budzinski is the first candidate to be identified outside of Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell, who has been linked to the Mets repeatedly, especially with David Stearns joining New York’s front office.

Oct. 18, 2:19 p.m.

The Mets are expected to hire an external candidate for manager, reports Will Sammon of The Athletic.

That would eliminate current Mets employees, including Carlos Beltran and Eric Chavez.

Beltran was hired last offseason to work in a front office capacity. His very brief stint as Mets manager before the 2020 season ended with him being let go due to his involvement in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

Chavez, whom the Mets hired away from the Yankees before the 2022 season, served as hitting coach that year and was elevated to bench coach in 2023.

New York continues to be connected to Craig Counsell, whose contract with the Brewers expires on Oct. 31.

Oct. 10, 12:33 p.m.

Brewers GM Matt Arnold was peppered with questions about possible Mets target Craig Counsell‘s future on Tuesday during Milwaukee’s end-of-season news conference, noting that he’s in “regular conversations” with him.

“I’m excited about having those conversations with him, and looking forward to hopefully having some news for you guys — soon, if possible,” Arnold said. “Either way, we’re gonna be prepared to have a manager next year if it’s not Craig. I want to keep every line open for communication here with Craig as much as we can, because he’s our top choice for sure.”

Counsell, whose contract is expiring, is on record that he wants to explore his options. And Arnold said he didn’t have a timetable for a potential resolution.

“I want to respect Craig. I want to respect the time that he’s put in to this franchise and the opportunity that he has in front of him,” Arnold explained. “We have a really good relationship, and so I think it’s first and foremost what’s best for him and his family for sure. I’m excited to obviously partner with him. I’ve loved working with him for many years, and I hope he’s here a long time.”

Added Arnold:

“I really don’t want to put a timetable on it for Craig, out of respect to him and the opportunity he has here. I want what’s best for Craig, first and foremost. I obviously want that to be here with the Brewers.”

Oct. 9, 11:09 a.m.

Joe Maddon is “telling friends he’d love to manage the Mets, and is hoping to at least interview for the opening,” reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Maddon, 69, was fired by the Angels in June of 2022 after two-plus seasons as manager.

His tenure in Los Angeles included a power struggle with GM Perry Minasian over how he should manage, as documented in The Book of Joe, which was co-authored by Maddon and Tom Verducci and released last October.

Maddon’s issue with front office input while with the Angels would seemingly make him a poor fit for the Mets’ managerial job.

During his introductory news conference, David Stearns said one of the key traits for any prospective manager would be the ability to form a partnership with the front office.

Before his time with the Angels, Maddon managed the Cubs (where he won the World Series in 2016) and Rays.

Oct. 7, 11:35 a.m.

The Milwaukee Brewers season is over, but the Mets still may have to wait a little bit longer before they can speak with Craig Counsell about coming to Queens.

According to a report in the New York Post, Counsell’s contract with Milwaukee does not expire until Oct. 31.

It appears that before that date, New York and any other interested team in acquiring Counsell’s services would have to get permission from the Brewers before they could speak to the manager.

The Post added that as of Friday night, there had not been any official contact between new Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns and Counsell.

Counsell is regarded as the likely successor to Buck Showalter. Milwaukee’s owner Mark Attanasio could block the Mets from speaking in an attempt to retain his manager and, if he is successful, the Mets could lose out on a potential alternative candidate from Stearns’ “wide net” during that time.

Oct. 5, 5:12 p.m.

The dust continues to settle around the the Milwaukee Brewers following their Wild Card round ouster by the Arizona Diamondbacks, but it’s sounding more and more like manager Craig Counsell will not return, and New York could be a very real option for him.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that one baseball exec told him “it would be an upset” if Counsell does not end up with the Mets.

Meanwhile, another rival GM said that if Counsell were to be hired by Steve Cohen, he would “set (salary) records.”

Heyman also mentions Don Kelly, Joe Espada, Raul Ibanez, Clayton McCullough, Eric Chavez and Joey Cora as potential Mets candidates.

Oct. 4, 11:35 p.m.

The Brewers lost, 5-2, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, and were swept out of the 2023 Wild Card round.

With the loss, manager Craig Counsell is officially a free agent, and teams can now speak with him for his services.

Following the game, Counsell was asked about his timeline on making a decision on whether to return to Milwaukee. The nine-year Brewers manager was not willing to comment, saying, “that ain’t for tonight, man.”

In nine seasons as the Brewers manager, Counsell is 707-625 (.531) in the regular season.

With the hire of former Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, the connection to Counsell is there.

Oct. 4, 8:23 p.m.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell has been a name linked to the Mets’ open manager position, but Milwaukee’s owner Mark Attanasio is keen on retaining Counsell.

Counsell’s contract will end once the Brewers’ season ends — the team is currently playing in the Wild Card round — and has not shown his hand on what he plans to do. However, Attanasio made it clear what his position is.

“That conversation will be open-ended, and we’ll see how he wants to handle it,” Attanasio told Newsday on Tuesday. “I think he has earned that right. Clearly we want him back, and we’ll see what he wants to do.”

The Brewers entered Wednesday down in the best-of-three series to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 1-0. If Milwaukee loses Wednesday, Counsell and the Brewers’ season will be over and Counsell will be free to speak with other teams.

Oct. 4, 3:26 p.m.

There had been plenty of speculation that Padres manager Bob Melvin could potentially be a fit for the Mets job, but Padres GM A.J. Preller seemingly shot down any chance of Melvin leaving.

“Bob is our manager, and he’s going to be our manager going forward,” Preller told reporters on Wednesday, via Kyle Glaser of Baseball America. “Both he and I are very excited about the challenge of getting this group back to the postseason next year.”

SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino notes that Melvin staying in San Diego is “a surprise to the industry.”

Melvin interviewed with the Mets following the 2010 season, when the team eventually hired Terry Collins. Prior to Buck Showalter being hired in 2021, there was some thought around baseball that Melvin would be a good fit in Queens and the Mets had serious interest, but he never had a formal interview with the Mets.

Oct. 2, 1:52 p.m.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, whose contract in Milwaukee expires after the season, is doing nothing to quiet the buzz that has connected him to the Mets’ manager job — and a potential reunion with David Stearns.

“I’m not under contract, so if other people ask, I’m not going to ignore it,” Counsell told Tyler Kepner of The Athletic.

Explained Counsell:

“I’m enjoying doing what I’m doing, so I would guess I’ll keep doing it,” Counsell said about continuing to manage beyond this season. “But the promise I made to myself was just get to the end of the year and see where life has you. And it’s unusual for a manager to do that — but when I think about it, I think it’s fine to do.”

The Brewers hope to retain Counsell, but owner Mark Attanasio knows that might not happen. And any talks have been tabled until after the season.

“Of course I want him to stay on,” Attanasio told The Athletic. “But he prefers to focus on the season, so that’s where that’s at. Hopefully the season goes deep into October and we’ll pick up the conversation when it’s over.”

A native of Wisconsin, the 53-year-old Counsell has been manager of the Brewers since May of 2015.

Oct. 2, 1:09 p.m.

David Stearns explained what he’s looking for as he searches for a manager to replace Buck Showalter.

“Someone who is working side by side with me and the rest of our baseball ops group and the manager has so many responsibilities these days, it is a big job,” Stearns said. “But first and foremost is the ability to manage people, manage personalities, and create and facilitate an organizational culture where people enjoy coming to work and work hard. That’s at the top of my list.”

Stearns added:

“There’s no one I have in mind, we are going to cast a wide net. We’re gonna have a real process, we’re gonna at some point interview candidates of varying backgrounds and I imagine we’ll interview candidates that have both been major league managers before and those who have not. The point here is finding the right person who we believe can grow with the organization and hopefully be here for a long time.”