The New York Mets are nearing an agreement with Luis Rojas to become the club's new manager, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters, including MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. The Mets had an unexpected opening after the in the wake of the last week. The Mets announced Beltran, who was hired by the Mets in November, was out as the club's manager three days after Beltran was the only player named in the league's summarizing the investigation into the 2017 Astros.
Rojas, 38, has managed in the minors throughout the Mets system and was originally set to be the Mets quality control coach on Beltran's bench, the same role he had in 2019 under Mickey Callaway.
after Beltran's ousting. Here's what we wrote:
Rojas, whose father is former big-league skipper Felipe Alou, has managed in the minors throughout the Mets system. He's on the younger side for a big-league manager (he turned 38 last September), but that seems to be less of an issue these days than, say, a decade ago. Rojas, too, would represent the Mets taking the path of least resistance.
"He's respected by the players, he's trusted by the players and he's someone that we have great confidence in his ability to lead our team now and his ability to put our players and put us in the best position to succeed, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen told reporters on Wednesday regarding the Rojas hiring.
"He's very, very well qualified. We anticipate him to be a great addition to our team. We think he has the ability to be consistent, to be calm under pressure and to understand the opportunity that this team has as we head into the 2020 season."
Here are five things to know about the Mets' new hire:
1. Rojas has been around baseball his whole life
Rojas has spent the last 14 seasons working within the Mets organization, originally joining the club as a coach for the Dominican Summer League in 2006. Rojas coached the Mets' Dominican Summer League team in 2007, coached the Gulf Coach League Mets in 2008 and from there, he went on to manage the Mets' Low-A Savannah (2010, 2012-2014), High-A St.Lucie (2015), and Double-A Binghamton (2017-2018) before joining the MLB team last season.
Aside from his coaching experience in baseball, Rojas' family roots run deep in the sport. The 38-year-old Dominican Republic native is the son of former MLB player and manager Felipe Alou and brother of former Met Moises Alou. Felipe spent 17 years in the big leagues, playing for the Giants, Braves, Athletics, Yankees, Expos and Brewers. The three-time All-Star would then go on to manage both the Expos and Giants, earning NL Manager of the Year honors in 1994 with Montreal. Felipe's brothers brothers, Jesus and Matty, also played and excelled in the big leagues.
Luis and Felipe will join an exclusive list of father/son duos who became MLB managers:
Fathers and sons who became major league managers:— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) January 22, 2020
— Connie & Earle Mack
— George & Dick Sisler
— Bob & Joel Skinner
— Buddy & David (current Reds manager) Bell
— Bob & Aaron (current Yankees manager) Boone
— Felipe Alou & now Luis Rojas
Moises followed in his father's footsteps and played 17 seasons in MLB, with the Pirates, Expos, Marlins, Astros, Cubs, Giants and Mets. The six-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger won the 1997 World Series as a member of the Marlins. Rojas, himself, played minor league baseball with the Orioles, Marlins and Expos/Nationals from 2000-2005 but never made it above the Rookie level.
2. He interviewed for the job after Callaway was fired
"I think that, yes, it's a goal that could come up at some point, so you prepare for that. That's something that right now I can't control. I don't know, at the big league level, when or how it could happen. What I want is to keep preparing, keep adding to my experience with the guys and enjoy this."
3. Mets are first of three clubs to find new manager
With Rojas, the Mets decided to go with an internal hire for Beltran's replacement. He has extensive managerial experience within the organization and he's already a familiar name among current and future Mets players. After the commotion brought on by Beltran's involvement in the 2017 Astros' sign-stealing scandal, the transition from Beltran to Rojas should be a smooth one since he's not new to the franchise. Here's a little bit more about what Rojas' role was with the Mets last season (via MLB.com):
Rojas will sit in the dugout during games, feeding manager Mickey Callaway information from the team's analytics staff. He will also disseminate information and help players digest it before games, much as analyst T.J. Barra -- who will no longer travel regularly with the team -- did in recent years.
Rojas will also serve as the team's outfield instructor, a role he has already embraced. Before Spring Training, Rojas flew to California to work with Jeff McNeil on his transition to the outfield. Like several young Mets, McNeil played under Rojas each of the past three seasons in the Minors, climbing the organizational ladder alongside him.
Along with McNeil, Rojas has also had experience managing many of the members of the club's core in the minors, including Pete Alonso at Double-A Binghamton during his breakout 2018 season as well as Dominic Smith at the Low-A and High-A levels.
The Mets didn't waste any time announcing their new manager hiring, and out of the three clubs who lost managers due to the sign-stealing scandal, they're the first to name a replacement. The Red Sox and Astros, meanwhile, continue their respective searches for a new manager. After Houston manager A.J. Hinch was , he . The Red Sox and skipper Alex Cora after he was heavily .
4. Rojas expected to keep the same staff
The Mets' coaching staff under Rojas is expected to remain intact, staying the same as it was under Beltran. Rojas, who reportedly will sign a two-year deal with team options for more, will be the fifth Mets manager in the last ten years. Callaway was fired after two seasons in Queens, and the Mets have not reached the playoffs since losing the Wild Card Game to the Giants in 2016.
5. Meulens, DeFrancesco were the other two finalists
Two of the coaches who are set to aid Rojas next season happened to also be the other two finalists for the available manager job. Mets bench coach Henley Meulens and Mets first-base coach Tony DeFrancesco also interviewed for the job, and were both considered as Beltran's replacement.
Meulens was originally hired as Beltran's bench coach after spending the last 10 seasons with the San Francisco Giants. He was a hitting coach for eight seasons, and promoted to a bench coach for his final two seasons. Meulens has been connected to various manager jobs in recent years, including the Yankees manager job that went to Aaron Boone. According to Newsday's Tim Healey, the Red Sox have not requested permission from the Mets to interview Meulens for the available Boston job.
DeFrancesco has managed the Triple-A Syracuse Mets for the past two seasons, and he was promoted to the MLB level to be the club's first-base coach under Beltran. Prior to his time with the Mets, DeFrancesco had also been a coach with the Astros and Athletics.