The New York Mets have run into a bit of a road block as they build new manager Buck Showalter’s coaching staff. They have been denied permission to interview San Diego Padres quality control coach Ryan Flaherty and San Francisco Giants pitching coach Andrew Bailey for their bench coach job, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
Teams often grant permission to interview personnel under contract when a promotion is involved and bench coach is a step up from quality control coach and pitching coach. That said, granting permission is not required, and Rosenthal says the Padres and Giants did not want to lose Flaherty and Bailey this late in the offseason, with spring training approaching and the lockout freezing roster moves.
Flaherty, 35, played for Showalter with the Baltimore Orioles from 2012-17. He joined the Padres in a scouting and coaching capacity in 2019. It is not certain the Mets would have hired Flaherty — Flaherty is merely one of several candidates the team is considering for the bench coach job — though they won’t even get the chance to interview him.
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The 37-year-old Bailey grew up in New Jersey and went to college in Staten Island, so joining the Mets would have been something of a homecoming. The 2009 AL Rookie of the Year was given his first coaching job by current Mets GM Billy Eppler, who hired him as a replay coordinator with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. Bailey has been San Francisco’s pitching coach the last two years.
The Mets will reportedly hire Eric Chavez to be their new hitting coach. The crosstown rival New York Yankees named Chavez their assistant hitting coach in December, but they granted him permission to interview with the Mets because it was a promotion, and the Mets offered the job. The Yankees are now looking for a new assistant hitting coach.
In addition to Chavez, the Mets are set to add Joey Cora as their third base coach, and Wayne Kirby is reportedly in the mix for the first base coach job. Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner is the team’s lone holdover coach from last year.
Teams can interview and hire (and fire) coaches during the lockout because they are not MLBPA members.