YES ends talks with ex-Yankees skipper as Mets’ shadow looms large

Ex-Yankees manager Buck Showalter in 1993.

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The YES Network explored the possibility of bringing not just one, but two former New York Yankees managers into their broadcast booth this offseason. According to sources familiar with the discussions and reported by The Athletic, YES successfully recruited Joe Girardi, Aaron Boone’s predecessor, but also held talks with Buck Showalter.

However, a hurdle emerged due to Showalter’s existing contract with the crosstown Mets. His original three-year deal, worth roughly $12 million total, granted the Mets the right to block him from further discussions with YES. Despite this clause, a Mets spokesperson clarified that the team would have ultimately allowed the ex-Yankees manager to pursue the YES opportunity if talks had progressed further.

Yankees manager Buck Showalter in the dugout in 1992.
SI

While a YES Network representative confirmed the initial conversations with Showalter, they also explained that upon learning about the limitations of his contract, they made the decision to discontinue discussions.

Mets willing to allow Showalter on YES’ Yankees booth

The Mets, on the other hand, emphasized they wouldn’t stand in Showalter’s way if he pursued opportunities with YES, other media outlets, or any other ventures. They reiterated their openness to such possibilities, as this aligns with their approach to supporting former players and staff in exploring new career paths.

Buck Showalter, a 67-year-old baseball veteran with a long history as a manager, opted for a broader platform. He’ll be making monthly appearances on MLB Network, adding to his experience as a television analyst, having previously worked with ESPN, MLBN, and even YES Network itself.

Buck-Showalter-Joe-Girardi-new-york-yankees
AP

Showalter was associated with the Yankees between 1985 and 1995. He began his Yankees stint as a minor-league manager before being a coach in 1990 and the manager in 1992. Showalter managed the Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles before becoming the skipper of the Mets in 2022. He held the record of the MLB’s most winnable manager without a title win.

Showalter’s tenure with the Mets ended in 2023 with a disappointing 75-87 season. However, it’s important to remember his remarkable first year with the team, where he led them to an impressive 101 wins and a record-tying fourth Manager of the Year award. Interestingly, as part of his departure agreement, the Mets are honoring his contract by paying him $4 million for the 2024 season even though he’s no longer managing.

Meanwhile, YES Network successfully recruited Joe Girardi, who managed the Yankees before Aaron Boone. Girardi’s return is noteworthy considering he was let go in October 2017 after a surprising season where the Yankees, despite reaching the American League Championship Series Game 7, ultimately fell short.

Boone, who took over for Girardi, has yet to surpass the ALCS, and the team’s lack of playoff appearances in the last season further intensifies scrutiny on his performance.

It’s unclear whether Showalter, with his impressive managerial career and analyst experience, would have accepted YES Network’s offer. Some speculate that Boone’s current situation, with mounting pressure due to consecutive playoff misses, might have discouraged Showalter from joining the network. Potentially overshadowing the current manager could have been a concern.

Ultimately, Showalter’s choice of MLB Network provides a wider platform with a less demanding schedule. His monthly appearances eliminate potential conflicts of interest with any future managerial aspirations.

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