Buck Showalter Agrees to 3-Year Contract as Mets Manager; Replaces Luis Rojas

Adam WellsDecember 18, 2021

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, file photo, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter watches from dugout railing in the second inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Baltimore. Showalter has been fired as manager of the Orioles, he confirmed in a text message to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Buck Showalter has been given the task of turning the New York Mets around.

Mets owner Steve Cohen announced the hire Saturday:

Steven Cohen @StevenACohen2

I’m pleased to announce Buck Showalter as the new manager of the New York Mets

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported Showalter signed a three-year contract.

For a franchise looking for a quick turnaround, Showalter is one of the best people to hire as manager. 

The Mets will be the fifth different team Showalter has managed in his career. The Texas Rangers are the only organization that the 65-year-old didn't make the playoffs with (2003-06). 

Showalter oversaw the development of the New York Yankees in the early-1990s before they became a dynasty under Joe Torre. He led the Arizona Diamondbacks to 100 wins and an NL West title in their second year of existence in 1999. 

Perhaps the most impressive feat of Showalter's career was leading the franchise resurgence for the Baltimore Orioles. He helped them to five consecutive seasons finishing at least .500 and made the playoffs three times in a five-year period from 2012 to 2016. 

Prior to Showalter's hiring in July 2010, the Orioles hadn't made the postseason since 1997.

With the Mets coming off a disappointing 77-85 record in 2021, manager Luis Rojas' option for next season was declined. 

Showalter becomes the fourth Mets manager since Terry Collins retired after the 2017 season. Mickey Callaway was in the role for two years before being sacked at the end of 2019. 

Former Mets star Carlos Beltran was hired to replace Callaway in November 2019. Two months later, Major League Baseball released a report about the Houston Astros' cheating scandal from the 2017 season when Beltran was on the roster. 

Beltran was the only Astros player named in MLB's report. He resigned his position with the Mets on January 16, 2020 before managing a game with the team.

Rojas was hired to replace the nine-time All-Star in the role. He ultimately finished 103-119 in two seasons. 

Expectations for the Mets in 2021 were off the charts. They acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco in an offseason trade from Cleveland to improve a core that already featured Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil. 

Lindor had a brutal start to the season with a .698 OPS in the first half. DeGrom was on track to have a historic season with a 0.56 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 64 innings over his first 10 starts, but a forearm injury kept him out of the season after July 7. 

Those were only two of the myriad problems that plagued the Mets en route to a 77-85 record. They missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year and have had just one winning season since 2017. 

Things even got so bad that at one point some players, including Lindor and Javier Baez, used a "thumbs down" gesture to mock Mets fans who booed them during a difficult stretch in August. 

“[It’s] to let [fans] know when we don’t have success we are going to get booed, so they are going to get booed when we have success,” Baez, who was acquired in July from the Chicago Cubs, told reporters about the gesture. 

Lindor and Baez later apologized to Mets fans for their actions. 

This offseason has given Mets fans a new sense of hope, though. Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar were all brought in as free agents. 

A new season will give the Mets a fresh start in their quest to compete for a playoff spot in the National League. Showalter will be tasked with leading the organization's turnaround on the field. 

There's a tremendous amount of talent already in place, so the Mets could be a sleeping giant in 2022.