The Mets will begin the 2020 Grapefruit League season with split-squad matchups in Jupiter versus the Cardinals, and at home against the Marlins on Saturday, February 22.
Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo broke the news that the New York Mets are finalizing a deal to make Luis Rojas their next manager.
NY reportedly won't hire Eduardo Perez, who was considered to be a top candidate before Beltran got the job in November. The 38-year-old Rojas, son of longtime major-league manager Felipe Alou and half-brother of one-time Mets outfielder Moises Alou, had served as the team's quality control coach in 2019 after almost a decade in the club's minor-league system. "We anticipate him to be a great addition to our team". "It's awesome playing under him and having him on staff previous year as well!" Meulens was reported as a potential candidate for the Red Sox managerial vacancy, but the Mets have not heard from Boston on the matter.
"He comes from a legacy family". "When it came to this unfortunate circumstance, we didn't want to change the values that we outlined for ourselves in the initial process".
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Van Wagenen indicated that serious outside candidates for the job when Beltran was hired, such as Eduardo Perez and Tim Bogar, were not considered this time. He became the manager for the St. Lucie Mets in 2015, and managed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2017 and 2018. During his time in Binghamton he managed numerous current Mets players including All-Stars Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.
Rojas' strong working relationship with the Mets' players - many of whom played for Rojas in the minor leagues - also played a role in the choice, according to Van Wagenen. He's walking into the middle of Van Wyck Expressway traffic after the ousting of Beltran, just weeks before spring training, a tough ask and task for any rookie manager to handle, but especially with a team that must win now.
The Mets plan to hold a formal press conference in the coming days to officially announce Rojas' hiring. Even if the new owner Steve Cohen is ready to take the reins and maybe spend more money than the Wilpons for free agents and anything else that can buy money, we know that the Mets are also in a crowded and hard one Need to win environment classification.