Latest on Buck Showalter's future as Mets enter final week of season

Buck Showalter
Buck Showalter / Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

With six games left in the Mets' incredibly disappointing season, what does the future hold for manager Buck Showalter?

David Stearns will officially take over as president of baseball operations on Oct. 2 and GM Billy Eppler will remain and work under Stearns. But there isn't any clarity on Showalter, who would be entering the third and final year of his contract in 2024.

"That one has been tough to read," SNY's Andy Martino said Monday on Mets Off Day Live. "The best I can probably tell you is not that helpful, is that I'm hearing it's probably like 50/50 at best for Showalter to come back, which is kind of a hedge.

"But I think it also tells you that it's different from Eppler, obviously. I was able to report, as were others, immediately at the time of the Stearns news that Eppler would be the GM. And we haven't been able to report that about Showalter."

Mets owner Steve Cohen said earlier this season -- before the hire of Stearns -- that the jobs of Showalter and Eppler were safe through the season, but did not touch on Showalter's status for 2024. 

Much of what went wrong with the Mets in 2023 has had little to nothing to do with Showalter, including an Opening Day roster that was devoid of a legitimate designated hitter, woefully short in the bullpen, and lacking when it came to quality bench players.

The Mets were also derailed by the knee injury suffered by Edwin Diaz, injuries to Justin Verlander and Jose Quintana, a severe regression from Starling Marte (who was playing hurt early in the season before hitting the IL), and the first-half struggles of Jeff McNeil.

Everything that befell the Mets eventually led to the team selling at the trade deadline, leaving Showalter to manage out the string.

Showalter hasn't been without fault this season, though.

When the Mets were still in contention, there were a number of occasions where he arguably didn't manage with enough urgency -- especially as it pertained to his late-game bullpen usage.

Under Showalter, the Mets' lineups from game to game have also varied wildly when they perhaps could've used a bit more consistency. Additionally, Showalter was slow to allow the Mets' younger players to get a serious chance.

Still, throughout the Mets' struggles in 2023, Showalter has been a steady presence in the clubhouse who is respected by his players (who sang his praises on the record) and with reporters each day during his daily news conferences.