The Red Sox have yet to seek permission from the New York Mets to speak with bench coach Hensley Meulens about their managerial opening, per Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Van Waganen made this news clear after formally announcing that Luis Rojas, the club’s quality control coach, would be named manager less than a week after Carlos Beltran stepped down from the role due to being a key figure in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal going back to the 2017 season.
According to multiple reports, the Mets interviewed three internal candidates in Rojas (quality control coach), Meulens (bench coach), and Tony DeFrancesco (first base coach), to replace Beltran before ultimately reaching a final decision on Wednesday.
Going back to this past Sunday, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Sox had ‘shown interest’ in Meulens while he was still a candidate for the Mets job.
Now that that hole has been filled by Rojas, there are only two open managerial positions remaining in Boston and Houston.
In regard to the Astros job, owner Jim Crane has interviewed six candidates in Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Will Venable, Dusty Baker, Eduardo Pérez and Joe Espada, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.
There have been no links between Houston and Meulens, so perhaps now would be a good time for the Red Sox to reach out to the Mets bench coach about their managerial opening.
Of course, that all depends on the direction chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom wants to take here in either hiring a stopgap for one year before opening up a more extensive search next winter or hiring the ideal long-term guy right now.
Looking at his resume, Meulens, 52, has plenty of major-league coaching experience under his belt, as he served as Bruce Bochy’s hitting coach in San Francisco from 2010 until 2019. He was one of several candidates interviewed for the Yankees’ managerial opening prior to the start of the 2018 season and was named Mets bench coach last month.
The Curacao native also fits the mold of former major-league veterans who have gone onto become major-league managers, such as former Sox skipper Alex Cora.
When asked about the qualities he would like in Boston’s next manager at the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner last Thursday, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said that he would want “someone like Cora.”
This is not to say that Meulens is comparable to Cora, because I really do not know if he is. What I do know is that Meulens does have a relationship with Bogaerts thanks to him managing Team Netherlands in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also speaks five languages, two of which being English and Spanish.
Since the Red Sox have yet to be seriously linked to any other external managerial candidates, there could still be a long way to go in this search. Either that, or the club decides to go with an internal candidate, like current bench coach Ron Roenicke, instead. Plenty more to come for sure.