More teams are sniffing around Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza than ever this offseason, and the latest bite comes from their own backyard.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Mendoza completed a formal interview for the open Mets managerial job this week, taking that step before the presumed front-runner Craig Counsell officially gets in the building.
Add in Mendoza's appearance on the Cleveland Guardians' scoped-out search list, as well as his interview with the Chicago White Sox last winter, and smoke appears to be verging on a transformation into fire.
Sherman notes that Mendoza also discussed a promotion with both the Red Sox and Tigers following the 2020 season. Instead, both franchises hired disgraced candidates who lost their jobs in the Houston Astros cheating scandal, with AJ Hinch landing on his feet in Detroit and Boston reopening their arms to Alex Cora in an unparalleled sham.
Yankees could lose bench coach Carlos Mendoza to Mets (or Guardians, or...)
Ironically, if Mendoza does proceed past the interview stage to a hearty handshake, he'll be the third consecutive Mets manager to eventually have ties to both organizations. Luis Rojas is currently on the Yankees' staff, and Buck Showalter's "Good Luck Chuck" run before the '90s Yankees dynasty is well documented.
Mendoza still doesn't appear to be the favorite for either of the positions he's interviewed for thus far, with Counsell standing in his way in Flushing and Stephen Vogt wowing the decision-makers in Cleveland.
Still, as Sherman notes, Counsell is formally in the conversation in Cleveland, too, and actually took his first formal interview of this offseason's cycle there. He could also fill Dusty Baker's shoes in Houston, an attractive job for any manager.
Regardless of how this Mets conversation turns out, losing Mendoza feels like a when, not an if. You can't keep a young bench coach in place forever. Following the departure of Sean Casey, it could be time for the Yankees to get a few more ducks in a row in an expanded staffing search.