The Mets' list of managerial candidates has shrunk by one, as Joe Girardi is headed to the Phillies, WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman confirmed Thursday.
The former Yankees manager was among those who interviewed twice to replace Mickey Callaway in Flushing. But reports in recent days indicated Girardi had become the Phillies' front-runner.
A decision might have even been made before Thursday, but Major League Baseball discourages teams from announcing hires on days when World Series games are played. Thursday is a travel day for the Nationals and Astros. An official announcement from the Phillies is expected Thursday.
Girardi, 55, had made it clear since the Yankees declined to renew his contract after the 2017 season that he wanted to manage again. He was also a candidate for the Cubs job that went to David Ross on Wednesday. Girardi spent 10 seasons as the Yankees' manager, leading them to a World Series title in 2009. The Yanks had winning seasons everyyear under Girardi and reached the postseason six times. He also managed the Marlins in 2006, when he was voted National League Manager of the Year.
The former catcher played 15 seasons in the majors for the Cubs, Rockies, Cardinals and Yankees, with whom he won three World Series. Still believed to be in the running for the Mets job are Yankees special adviser Carlos Beltran, Nationals first-base coach Tim Bogar, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, Twins bench coach Derek Shelton and Mets quality control coach Luis Rojas. SNY's Andy Martino also reported this week that the team could turn to a "bombshell" mystery candidate.
Girardi replaces Gabe Kapler, who was fired after the Phillies went 81-81 and finished fourth in the NL East despite adding Bryce Harper in the offseason.