Terry Collins is likely to be brought back for a fifth season as Mets manager in 2015, sources familiar with the situation say.
While the Mets are planning to bring Collins back to manage, officials in the know say, and the expected return assumes the Mets remain on their steady path of improvement, avoiding anything close to a collapse over the final 42 games.
The Mets (57-63) have shown decent improvement over the 74-88 mark posted the past two seasons under Collins. But the bigger boost for Collins is improvement seen in some younger players, including first baseman Lucas Duda, outfielder Juan Lagares and pitchers Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. Mets people took a gamble that Duda was the right choice for first base, over Ike Davis, and it's paid off.
Those players and other emerging youngsters like Travis d'Araanud -- who has been much better since a return from a stint in the minors -- and young returning star pitcher Matt Harvey form the nucleus of a Mets team that will be expected to contend in 2015.
Most teams, the Mets included, prefer to avoid lame-duck managers, but it isn't known for sure whether Collins will be extended to avoid that next season. He had previously been extended through the 2015 season to avoid lame-duck status for this season.
While there was a spring report that general manager Sandy Alderson envisioned a possibility for 90 victories this season in behind-the-scenes meetings, that was never a prediction, nor any sort of mandate. The Mets played well enough to hang close to the cusp of the race right until the July 31 trade deadline and haven't shown the type of second-half slide that's become too typical for them, going 11-10 in their past 21 games.
Collins, 65, also is seen as having adjusted nicely to forge positive relationships with players in his third big-league managerial job after having issues in the his first two posts with the Astros and most noticeably with the Angels.
Alderson declined comment, as he has consistently on the managerial situation.