A worn-down Terry Collins candidly disclosed at the end of the last season that 2017 might be his final year managing if he felt health-wise at the end of this season like he did at that time. And given Collins is in the final year of his contract and the Mets are 39-47 at the All-Star break, it's hardly a leap to suggest the Mets will be changing managers during the offseason, while portraying it as Collins' decision.
Assuming that materializes, who are the logical candidates for Sandy Alderson to turn to as manager?
Bob Geren, Dodgers bench coach
A former manager of the Athletics, Geren was well-regarded by the Mets front office while serving as bench coach in Queens. He opted to take the same role with the Dodgers after the 2015 season in order to be closer to his aging parents and in-laws. Another chance to manage presumably would entice Geren back to the East Coast. "I'm calling it's Bob Geren," one NL executive said when asked which name comes to mind as the next manager for the Mets, assuming Collins steps aside.
Chip Hale, Athletics acting bench coach
Hale returned to Oakland this season after managing the Diamondbacks for two years. He shifted from third base to bench coach with the Athletics last month, when Mark Kotsay took an indefinite leave of absence. Hale, a popular former third base coach for the Mets, was one of four finalists for the Mets job the last time it was vacant. The other finalists at the time: Collins, current Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, and Wally Backman (we think it's pretty safe to suggest Backman won't get an interview this time).
Dick Scott, Mets bench coach
Scott has long-established ties to the front office from his days in Oakland. After overseeing the Mets farm system, he moved into the bench coach role in Queens once Geren departed. The question: If the Mets finish this season under .500, can the Mets really sell a choice already on the staff? Other internal candidates presumably would include first base coach Tom Goodwin (who managed in the Arizona Fall League last offseason) and Triple-A Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez.
David Wright, Mets captain
Is this really that crazy a thought? Let's say Wright's latest comeback bid fails. He's already under contract through 2020. And there seems to be receptiveness in MLB to having former players step into managerial roles without first gaining experience in the minors. Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura are among the people who fall into that category.
Joe Girardi, Yankees manager
OK, this may be a long shot. But what happens if the Yankees don't reach the postseason and Girardi isn't re-signed? Now that would be a George Steinbrenner-type move.
Other names around baseball with the right experience include former Braves/Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and Red Sox coaches Gary DiSarcina and Ruben Amaro.
Adam Rubin (Facebook | Twitter | Contact) has covered the Mets since 2002. He previously worked for the Daily News and ESPN. He also serves as assistant athletic director for strategic communications at NYIT. He is a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the University of Pennsylvania.