What to Know
- The Mets were working to complete a multi-year deal that would make quality control coach Luis Rojas their next manager
- Rojas would be New York's fourth manager in the past 2 1/2 years — and third in four months
- Former manager Carlos Beltran and the team "agreed to mutually part ways" after only two months on the job following a report showed his involvement in a sign-stealing scheme
The New York Mets are finalizing a multi-year agreement with quality control coach Luis Rojas to make him the team's new manager, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Wednesday.
Rojas would replace Carlos Beltran, who left the team last week before managing a single game as part of the fallout from the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal. This would mark New York's fourth manager in the past 2 1/2 years — and third in four months
"He has a good finger on the pulse of this particular team. He was part of it last year," Van Wagenen said. "He knows these guys, and he knows how to communicate to them. Every returning player on the roster has a relationship with him, and that's valuable to us at this time."
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The 38-year-old Rojas is the son of former Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou and the brother of former big leaguer Moises Alou. The former minor league manager has been with the organization since 2007 but had never coached in the majors before joining Mickey Callaway's staff last season.
Callaway was fired after the season, and Rojas interviewed for the vacancy in November before New York hired Beltrán.
"Luis earned this job. He has literally trained his whole life to be a manager," Van Wagenen said. "He is considered one of the better in-game decision makers simply that we have in the organization."
Rojas' duties in the dugout as quality control coach included serving as "a conduit between the front office and coaching staff on all issues including game preparation, strategy and analytics," according to the team's media guide. He also was New York's outfield coach in 2019 and led the effort in preparing hitters for opposing pitchers, Van Wagenen said.
"It's always helpful to have familiarity," Van Wagenen said. "The fact that he was so actively involved with the coaches this fall in preparation for spring training, in preparation for the season - he was already asserting himself more in a leadership role with this new coaching staff and helping Carlos learn some of the managerial things that he hadn't been exposed to before."
That played "a significant role" in the Mets choosing Rojas, according to Van Wagenen. The team decided against external options such as ESPN analyst Eduardo Pérez, who interviewed for the job last fall.
"I think it's the fit, it's where the team is, it's what culture we're trying to create," Van Wagenen said, pointing out that most of New York's homegrown talent played for Rojas in the minors. "He's respected by the players, he's trusted by the players and he's someone that we have great confidence in."
Rojas, born in the Dominican Republic, played in the minors with the Orioles, Marlins and Expos/Nationals from 2000-05 but never got above rookie ball.
He is entering his 14th season working in the Mets organization, including those eight as a minor league manager. He coached for New York in the Dominican Summer League in 2007, got his first managerial role with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League team in 2011 and also managed at Class-A and Double-A. In the Dominican Winter League, he won a 2016 championship with the Leones del Escogido.
Notably, he was the manager at Double-A Binghamton during Pete Alonso's breakout 2018 season, when he led the minors with 36 home runs.
"Loved having Luis in '17 and '18 as my AA manager!" Alonso tweeted. "It's awesome playing under him and having him on staff last year as well!!! Super pumped to have him as the Jeffe. Also he throws some damn good bp."
Following a strong second half, New York went 86-76 last season but missed the playoffs, finishing third in the NL East behind Atlanta and World Series champion Washington.
"LUIS ROJAS! Love love love it," Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman added on Twitter. "Loved being around him on the bench last year. Always teaching and full of knowledge. Super laid back and brings nothing but great vibes each and every day. Beyond even keel. Excited even more for the year!"