Mets Rumors: Pirates' Don Kelly Withdraws from Manager Hunt

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2021

Pittsburgh Pirates coach Don Kelly watches a team workout at a "summer camp" baseball practice, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Don Kelly has reportedly withdrawn from consideration for the New York Mets manager opening, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Andy Martino of SNY reported Kelly was a candidate for the role earlier this month, with Joe Espada, Buck Showalter, Matt Quatraro and Brad Ausmus considered possibilities. 

Kelly spent the past two years with the Pirates after serving as first base coach with the Houston Astros in 2019.

The 41-year-old also spent nine seasons in the majors as a utility player, appearing on the field at all nine defensive positions.

Even with Kelly dropping out of the race, the Mets still have a variety of candidates who have already interviewed, per Mike Puma of the New York Post:

Mike Puma @NYPost_Mets

Astros bench coach Joe Espada interviewed for the Mets manager opening earlier this week, according to a source. Buck Showalter and Bob Geren went today. Brad Ausmus and Matt Quatraro are believed to have interviewed. First round will possibly wrap up Thursday with Don Kelly.

Mets new general manager Billy Eppler previously hired Ausmus as manager of the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, while Bob Geren has experience with team president Sandy Alderson as both a manager with the Oakland Athletics and bench coach with the Mets from 2010-15.

Showalter has 20 years of managing experience in the majors for four different organizations, most recently leading the Baltimore Orioles to the playoffs three times during his nine seasons with the team from 2010-18.

The other candidates would be in their first stint as a manager, although both Espada and Quatraro have plenty of experience at this level.

Espada has been the Houston Astros bench coach since 2017 while Quatraro has served the same role with the Tampa Bay Rays for the past three seasons.

The Mets are looking for someone to replace Luis Rojas, who managed just a 103-119 record across two seasons with the team. New York has gone five straight years without a playoff berth.