The Mets did not interview Dusty Baker during their first managerial search that resulted in the Carlos Beltran hire, and they did not interview Baker (or any other external candidates) during their second managerial search that resulted in the Luis Rojas hire.
Now, Baker has reportedly landed a gig.
The 70-year-old is expected to join the Astros as their new manager, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Baker will replace A.J. Hinch, who was fired amidst the fallout of the Astros' involvement in the 2017 sign-stealing scandal. The scandal later led to Red Sox manager Alex Cora and Beltran losing their jobs.
During their process, the Astros also interviewed Buck Showalter, bench coach Joe Espada, and others.
While introducing Rojas last week at Citi Field, GM Brodie Van Wagenen explained why the Mets chose to go internal rather than expand their search.
"He has history with them," Van Wagenen said while referring to the Mets' current players and their familiarity with Rojas. "All of our homegrown players have had some touchpoint with him in one way or another. His authenticity as a coach and his commitment to their success as a player development guy is impactful on young players. The fact that he also stressed winning along the way in the minor leagues I'm sure has something to do with it. They're proud of him, they like him. This group has a real bond because they're homegrown players and they're an extension of that."
For the Mets, promoting from within made all the sense in the world due to how close they were to spring training. As far as Rojas specifically, he has been with the organization since 2007 and had already been helping Beltran prep for the season after spending 2019 as the team's quality control coach.
For the Astros, going internal would've likely meant tabbing someone who was on staff during the sign-stealing scandal. And fairly or not, it might not have been possible for an internal hire to be viewed as innocent when it came to the stench of the scandal that claimed Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow's jobs.
Instead, Houston will turn to Baker, who has had stints with the Giants, Reds, Cubs, and Nationals during a managerial career that began in 1993.