As expected, Clint Hurdle interviewed with the New York Mets yesterday. According to ESPN, the Mets may add one or two more candidates, but have pretty much finalized their field of candidates. New Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson is expected to start making call backs next week, and doesn’t expect to name a new manager before December 1st.
The delay by the Mets is also causing a delay for the Pirates. It’s not hard to see that the Pirates have decided on Hurdle as their next manager. Hurdle interviewed for the Pirates’ position a week ago. The Pirates announced they were down to two candidates, Jeff Banister and Hurdle, and that they might make an announcement as soon as Friday. Hurdle then announced he was going to wait to see how the Mets’ position turned out before making a decision.
If the Pirates have picked Banister over Hurdle, then there would be no delay in making the announcement, especially since they said the original announcement could have come a week ago. Since the Mets are doing call backs next week, Hurdle might know his status in their race, giving the Pirates a manager if Hurdle is eliminated. However, if Hurdle gets a second interview, the Pirates could potentially wait longer, with the possibility that they end up waiting until December, see Hurdle accept the Mets position, and announce Banister as the manager.
There are a lot of important dates in between now and December 1st. The 40-man roster has to be set by November 19th. The Pirates have a lot of Rule 5 eligible players, and will need roster spots cleared to protect those players. Those are decisions that a manager would want to be a part of. Free agency should also heat up around December 1st, following the November 23rd date where ranked free agents are offered arbitration, and the November 30th date where those free agents make decisions on the arbitration offers. There’s also the General Manager meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday, at which point General Managers can meet face to face and discuss potential trades.
It would be ideal to have a manager in place before all of these dates. The Pirates obviously wanted to have a manager named, since they said an announcement could have come last Friday. Since they seem to be waiting on Hurdle, and since Hurdle is waiting on the Mets, the Pirates will have to wait on the Mets, who don’t seem to be in a hurry. That raises the question as to how long the Pirates should wait on Hurdle before moving on to Banister? The answer to that question depends on how important the Pirates think it is to have a manager over the next few weeks.