Report: Robin Ventura and Kevin Long are early favorites for Mets’ managerial position

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Mets’ manager Terry Collins hasn’t been ousted from his position just yet, but there’s plenty of reason to think the club will be courting other candidates when his contract expires this offseason. Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the search for a replacement is expected to last into November, with former White Sox’ skipper Robin Ventura and current hitting coach Kevin Long as early favorites for the role.

Ventura, 50, hasn’t seen the inside of the Mets’ home dugout since he last suited up for them in 2001. He managed the White Sox for five straight seasons from 2012 to 2016, guiding them to a second-place finish with a 85-77 record in 2012 before watching the team stumble to four consecutive losing records. Despite his lack of success with Chicago, the Mets reportedly want someone with ties to the organization, and Ventura’s career .260/.360/.468 line with the Mets happens to meet that criteria.

Kevin Long never made it to the big leagues with the Mets — or any other club, for that matter. His professional playing career came to its natural end after an eight-year run in the Royals’ system, and he transitioned to a full-time role in coaching and managing in 1997. Well before he joined the Mets’ coaching staff in 2014, Long spent two seasons managing the Royals’ High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks and Short-Season Single-A Spokane Indians, leading the latter to their 15th Northwest League championship in 1999.

It’s still unclear who will gain an edge in the process, especially as the Mets haven’t officially severed ties with Collins. Former Mets’ infielder Alex Cora is also rumored to be in the running for the position, as well as former third base coach Chip Hale, bench coach Bob Geren and Rays’ third base coach Charlie Montoyo. Ventura and Long are the only named candidates with managerial experience so far.

Gallegos agrees to $11M, 2-year contract with Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Monday to an $11 million, two-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said Monday before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.