Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that “Terry Collins, Clint Hurdle, and Bob Melvin have emerged as leading candidates in the Mets’ search for a manager.”
However, new general manager Sandy Alderson apparently hasn’t officially trimmed his list to three names, as Rubin adds that “a potential fourth candidate for a callback is current third base coach Chip Hale” and “one potential additional interviewee is ex-Met Jose Oquendo.”
In other words, they probably still aren’t very close to deciding on a new manager. It does suggest that DeMarlo Hale, Dave Jauss, Don Wakamatsu, and Wally Backman are no longer serious candidates for the job.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.