Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier today that the Mets have not yet really gotten into filling their managerial vacancy yet. Which makes sense, because they haven’t formally announced their new GM yet, and you have to assume Sandy Alderson will drive that train. Rubin nonetheless listed a handful of “logical candidates” for the job, including John Gibbons, Chip Hale, Clint Hurdle, Lee Mazzilli, Bob Melvin and Ken Oberkfell. If Alderson stays true to form and wants, for lack of a better term, a company man in the dugout, those are all logical choices.
Except you can take Gibbons out of the mix. Andy Martino of the Daily News just tweeted that Gibbons will not interview for the job. It’s unclear whether the Mets just aren’t interested in talking to him or if Gibbons has taken himself out of the running. Which is what he did in Pittsburgh recently.
Martino mentions a new name, though: Pete Mackanin, current Phillies bench coach. Mackanin has had a couple of stints as an interim manager but has never gotten a full time gig. His presence on a Mets short list might give Phillies fans some indigestion. They’re already not happy that the Mets have made a good choice for a GM, so they might just go bonkers if they poach their own Little Cholly from them.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.