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Final round interviews could begin in the coming days, and the mystery candidate has been revealed
Buck Showalter remains a top contender to become the next manager of the Mets
The latest on the Mets managerial search… 💭
The mystery candidate and sixth to interview for the Mets manager vacancy was Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough (New York Post)
Buck Showalter remains in a, “strong position” as the first round of interviews has wrapped up and the final round (in-person interviews) of 2-3 candidates could commence as soon as this weekend (SNY) or early next week (New York Post)
Joe Espada, who is a candidate for the Mets opening, is also a candidate for the managerial opening with the A’s (New York Post)
The Mets signed RHP Jesus Vargas to a minor league contract on December 6. Vargas, 23, has spent his entire professional career in the Dodgers organization, reaching High-A ball in 2021 for the first time. He has a 3.65 ERA in five seasons in the minor leagues, allowing 261 hits and just 49 walks with 223 strikeouts in 274 innings.
About Clayton McCullough…
McCullough, 41, began his playing career in 2002 after being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2002 draft by the Indians. In four seasons in their minor leagues, McCullough batted .197/.325/.230 with six doubles and one home run in 104 career games, reaching as high as Triple-A in 2005 but never getting to the major leagues.
He retired as a player after the 2005 and became the assistant coach at East Carolina in 2006. But in 2007, he joined the Blue Jays organization as a minor league manager in 2007, managing their Gulf Coast league team to a 36-24 record. In 2008, McCullough was named manager of Single-A Lansing and his club went 76-64 in his first year at the helm before struggling to a 54-84 record there in 2009. Still, the Jays promoted McCullough to their Single-A Florida State League club in Dunedin, where he managed that club to a 151-128 record from 2010-2011. He then moved on to manage Toronto's Single-A team in Vancouver where he continued his winning ways, steering them to an 85-67 record over the next two seasons.
McCullough joined the Dodgers as their minor league field coordinator and has been in the Dodgers organization since. He was promoted to the major league staff in 2021 as the big club's first base coach. He interviewed for the managerial opening with the Giants after the 2019 season, but they ultimately hired Gabe Kapler.