mets manager buck showalter
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We’ve talked about how disappointing the Mets’ 2023 season has been on these here interweb pages quite a bit over the past few months. Before team owner Steve Cohen held a recent press conference, I wondered when he’d lose patience with this futility. Would it cost Mets manager Buck Showalter, general manager Billy Eppler, or someone else their job?

Not at least until the end of the season. At least, that’s what he said back on June 28th:

Obviously, things can change and someone could still get their pink slip. But with the trade deadline approaching and the Mets looking like sellers, what’s the point of that? It wouldn’t accomplish much.

If New York’s disappointing season ends with no playoffs and maybe even a losing record, there will be some tough questions that need answers. One of those questions should be whether the Mets’ coaching staff should remain the same or get changed ahead of 2024.

I’m jumping the gun here a little bit, but let’s do it anyway, yea? Here are five potential options for Mets manager next season, with four dudes joining Buck.

Buck Showalter

Whether people like it or not, this is probably the most likely scenario. This is Cohen’s first situation where Buck is “his guy” whom he brought in after dismissing Luis Rojas at the end of 2021. And they’re just a year removed from winning 101 games.

The 2024 season will be the third and final campaign of Showalter’s three-year, $11.25 million deal with New York. I haven’t seen it written anywhere about there being a fourth-year option included. So, there are one of three scenarios for Buck once this year is complete: get fired (which feels unlikely), get another year added onto his deal (which I’d be surprised to see happen), or manage on a one-year deal (which feels most likely).

Carlos Beltran

Ah, yes — Carlos Beltran. The man is considered one of the best outfielders in Mets history. He’s also the guy who never managed a game for New York after getting hired to replace Mickey Callaway.

After working for YES Network, the Mets convinced him to join the organization in a front-office role. Back when news of this move first dropped, I openly wondered if New York wanted Beltran associated with the organization to have him be Buck’s heir apparent.

He’d technically be a first-year manager, but there would be a lot of advantages to a hire like this. Beltran is obviously familiar with the organization, and his current role helps him gain more knowledge of it than he otherwise would’ve. The soon-to-be Hall of Famer also played in New York for both the Mets and Yankees. So, he knows what it’s like to work in New York and deal with high expectations/being under a microscope.

Eric Chavez

The Mets clearly value Eric Chavez being a part of their coaching staff. The Yankees hired Chavez as their assistant hitting coach in December 2021. Just a month later, the Mets poached him from the Bronx to be their hitting coach.

He earned another promotion last winter to keep him with the organization. Chavez has served as Showalter’s bench coach throughout 2023. Having him essentially attached at the hip to a veteran skipper like Showalter is a lot of on-the-job training when it comes to learning the ins and outs of managing.

You’d have to imagine New York wouldn’t put him in a position like that if they didn’t think he could be manager material sometime in the near future.

Craig Counsell

These last couple of options are trickier because they currently manage other MLB teams. But hey, this is our way-too-early managerial conversation, so we might as well own it, right?

When talking about the Mets’ expected pursuit of former Brewers GM David Stearns last month, Jon Heyman of the New York Post said the following:

Some suggest universally respected manager Craig Counsell, a free agent after 2023, is a natural to join Stearns wherever he goes. Multiple teams have called with interest in Counsell, so he can call his shot.

But then again, it may not be so simple:

[Mark] Attanasio told him he’d re-sign him on a one-year deal, a multiyear deal or give him time off, whatever he prefers, Counsell, from the Milwaukee suburb Whitefish Bay, might consider taking time to watch his two sons, who play college baseball, and two daughters, who are high school athletes.

This would be one helluva two-for-one deal, right?

AJ Hinch

And finally, another dude that’s currently managing another team. AJ Hinch is under contract with the Tigers through the 2025 season. So, his becoming available is less likely than Counsell’s impending situation.

But then again, it’s not like things have been going swimmingly for the Tigers since he landed in the Motor City. After a 77-85 campaign in 2021, Detroit regressed to 66-96 last year. Currently sitting at 46-54 ahead of Tuesday’s action, the Tigers are trending to rebound from that rough 2022. They’ve also played better overall in spurts throughout this year.

If he were to become available, though, he’d fit the bill of being a veteran manager with various experiences and success (despite his suspension for the 2017 Astros cheating scandal).

Should the Mets decide to go in a different direction for their manager next year, some interesting options could be available to them. And this only scratches the surface. Once again, I think Showalter sticking around is the most likely scenario, but we’ll first see how the rest of 2023 finishes up before that becomes definite.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.