Cora on Mets' radar for third-base coach

January 6th, 2022

NEW YORK -- Now that the Mets have a general manager and a manager in place, the team has begun the process of filling out Buck Showalter's coaching staff. As expected, team officials are spending the first week of 2022 vetting candidates for various jobs, according to multiple people with knowledge of the process.

The search has been purposefully deliberate, with one source saying the Mets aren't likely to make any job offers until later this week or next week.

Still, the team appears to be moving forward in the process. The New York Post reported Tuesday that the Mets were finalizing a deal with longtime Pirates third-base coach Joey Cora to assume that same role in Flushing. While a source later stressed that no offer has been made, Cora appears to be a notable candidate to replace Gary DiSarcina in Flushing.

Cora, the older brother of Red Sox manager Alex Cora, has been with the Pirates for the last five seasons. He previously coached in Miami and Chicago, winning a World Series with the White Sox in 2005.

Other Mets openings include bench coach, hitting coach and first-base coach, as well as any assistant roles or new positions the team wishes to create. The lone holdover is pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who has already begun communicating with Showalter about his plans.

At least one of those spots has likely been filled: Eric Chavez is in line to be the team's new hitting coach, a source told insider Mark Feinsand on Thursday. (The team has not commented.)

"I'm trying to fit the coaching staff to the situation we’re in,” Showalter said in an interview with CBS 880 late last month. “I don’t bring in buddies. I bring in people that can deliver what needs to be done for the players."

Upon dismissing manager Luis Rojas immediately after the season, the Mets chose also to part ways with bench coach Dave Jauss, hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum, assistant hitting coach Kevin Howard, assistant pitching coach Jeremy Accardo, first-base coach Tony Tarasco, DiSarcina, and bullpen coach Ricky Bones. Quattlebaum and Howard will remain in the organization in other roles.

That left seven openings on the big league staff, plus potentially others if the Mets wish to redefine roles or create new positions.

"I'd like to have it done yesterday, but we’re going to take our time,” Showalter said of the search. “There are so many good, qualified people out there. ... We’re moving as fast as we can, but we don’t want to make a mistake. These are very precious and important jobs, and there's got to be a collaboration with it."