Jeff Pickler has removed his name from consideration for the Mets’ bench coach position, per C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. The Reds’ planning and outfield coach will stay with Cincinnati for 2022.
Pickler had recently been identified as one of the candidates for the position, as the Mets have been actively filling out their coaching staff in recent days. The Mets are behind most other teams in putting their coaching staff together, as they also had to make a front office hire that occupied the early part of their offseason. They eventually hired Billy Eppler as general manager in mid-November, but he had to focus on free agency with the ticking clock of the looming lockout.
Once the lockout was implemented in December and big league transactions were frozen, the club shifted their attention towards the coaching staff, with the majority of the crew from 2021 not being retained. Buck Showalter was the first piece of the puzzle, being hired as manager on December 20th. After a lull in activity around the holidays, the Mets have reportedly added first base coach Wayne Kirby, third base coach Joey Cora and hitting coach Eric Chavez in recent days.
The bench coach position remains an ongoing matter, with today’s news focused on who won’t be taking the position. Earlier today, it was reported that the Padres denied the Mets the opportunity to interview quality control coach Ryan Flaherty for the position, which would have seen him reunite with Showalter, his manager from his playing days in Baltimore.
Pickler was selected by the Brewers in the 11th round of the 1998 draft. He spent eight years in the minors for the Brewers, Rangers and Rockies before transitioning to scouting. After stints as a scout with the Diamondbacks and Padres, he joined the Dodgers in 2014 as special assistant in professional scouting and player development. The Twins hired him as a coach for 2017, with Pickler joining the Reds two years later.
It was recently reported that the Mets had a “headline-grabbing hire” lined up for their bench coach job, but that turned out to be the aforementioned Chavez, who actually settled on the hitting coach position.