Kevin Long, Joe McEwing, Mickey Callahan Also Talking To Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets can thank the Yankees for making it a bit easier to interview Alex Cora for their managerial opening.

According to Jon Heyman of WFAN and FanRag Sports, the Mets on Tuesday are interviewing the Houston Astros’ bench coach, who is in town while his team battles the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

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Cora is one of a handful of candidates included in the Mets’ first round of interviews. The 41-year-old former Mets infielder came out of the broadcast booth to join the Astros’ staff this season.

Cora is a hot managerial prospect. He is also reportedly interviewing with the Red Sox, another team he once played for, and his name has been linked to the Detroit Tigers’ opening.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

He is considered an analytics-savvy baseball mind, which is a direction Mets general manager Sandy Alderson reportedly wants to move in with the hire, and the Puerto Rican’s bilingual skills are seen as an asset in the majors, where there were 226 players from Latin America on Opening Day rosters this year.

Cora played for the Mets from 2009-10. He also was a member of the Dodgers, Indians, Rangers and Nationals.

“He’s a guy that always is looking for information that he could use against the opposite team,” said Astros designated hitter Carlos Beltran, who was teammates with Cora when they played for the Mets. “He has good communication with the guys, respect the guys. He’s always in the clubhouse getting to know the players, getting to know which buttons he could push on each player to make them go out there and play the game hard, which is great.”

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The Mets already have spoken with their hitting coach Kevin Long, 50, who held the same title with the Yankees from 2007-14, about replacing Terry Collins, who stepped down moments after the regular season ended.

The Mets are also scheduled to interview Chicago White Sox bench coach Joe McEwing on Wednesday, Heyman reported. A fan favorite while playing for the Mets in the early 2000s, McEwing, 44, has spent the past six seasons on the White Sox staff.

Mickey Callaway, who has been the Cleveland Indians’ pitching coach the past five seasons, is also a candidate, Heyman reported.

Dodgers bench coach and former Oakland A’s manager Bob Geren and former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale, who is the A’s acting bench coach, could also still be candidates. Geren served as the Mets’ bench coach from 2012-15, and Hale is a former Mets third-base coach and was a candidate for the team’s managerial job in the fall of 2010.

Former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has removed his name for consideration with the Mets after reportedly speaking with the team. He, however, does remain interested in other openings, including in Boston, Heyman reported. Former White Sox manager and ex-Met Robin Ventura also does not appear to have a strong interest in managing the Mets.

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The Mets will likely beging the second round of interviews next week.