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Mets Should Immediately Name Luis Rojas Interim Manager

For better or worse, the Mets felt compelled to fire Carlos Beltran before he even managed a game. Accepting the Mets at face value, they were blindsided by this, and they believed this was the best thing to do for the organization.

Hanging over the organization right now is who is going to be the next manager? The longer that question lingers, the worse the Mets look, so it would behoove them to act quickly.

On the one hand, the Mets already did their homework. Beltran was one of several candidates they interviewed, and in the case of Eduardo Perez, some of the very good candidates considered are still available.

However, with all due respect to those candidates, including Perez who could be a good manager, the Mets put their vetting of external candidates for the position when they said in their conference call they were unaware of the widely reported sign stealing reports and rumors, and they did not investigate it nor ask candidates like Beltran about it.

Regardless of the quality of their vetting, the Mets went out and built an entire MLB staff under the presumption Beltran was going to be the manager. More than that, this is a group who has already been working together and formulating plans for Spring Training and the regular season.

It would at least seem an external hire would be counter-productive. This late in the game you would not want anyone reinventing the wheel. Furthermore, a new hire would like some say about a staff which has already been completely filled.

To that end, the Mets best course of action is to hire someone already on the staff. Looking at the staff as it is assembled, the best candidate by far is Luis Rojas.

First and foremost, Rojas has already managed the Mets core. In his time in the minors, he served as a minor league manager for Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, and others.

Rojas has had a hand in their development and success. Moreover, they respect him.

Looking at the complete roster, Rojas was one of the holdovers from Mickey Callaway‘s staff. In his role as quality control coach, he was a liaison between the front office and the clubhouse handling strategy, preparation, and utilization of analytics.

Rojas is already aware of the front office expectations are, has dealt with them on a daily basis, and he’s developed relationships with the Mets players.

On the latter point, Tim Healey of Newsday reports, “The Mets promoting Luis Rojas to manager would go over very well in the clubhouse.”

Overall, when looking at Rojas, it’s the smoothest possible transition. He’s respected by the front office and clubhouse, and he’s seen my many to be someone who could be a very good manager one day. Looking at it from that perspective, he’s the natural choice.

That said we should all be keenly aware the Mets didn’t hire him. In fact, he wasn’t even a finalist for the managerial position.

Presumably, whatever issues led the Mets to believe Rojas was not the best candidate for the job still exist. To that extent, it would not be the best decision to name Rojas the manager when the team had some reservations about his being the manager in 2020.

Taking that and everything into consideration, the Mets should name Rojas as the interim manager.

After all, anyone who is named now should be named as an interim. As noted, the Mets vetting had its issues, and they’re going to hire someone to lead a staff they had no input in its choosing.

Moreover, this is late in the game. In many ways, this is not much different than Beltran having been fired mid-season. In those circumstances, teams routinely name an interim manager so they can conduct a full scale search for a manager in the offseason.

Perhaps, the Mets should be doing that anyway as they will have a new majority owner at some point during the 2020 season.

As it pertains to Rojas, the decision has its benefits. It allows him to prove himself with some of the heat taken off. There will be fewer articles about the Mets rushing the process to hire someone who might not have been ready, and instead, there will be more of a focus on how he improves. Ideally, at some point, there will be articles about how the Mets should remove the interim tag.

Ultimately, the Mets firing Beltran has had them lose who they thought was the best man for the job. Other candidates like Derek Shelton have accepted positions elsewhere. This is a bad situation which can be made worse by rushing the process and hiring the wrong guy.

Accordingly, the best course of action is the smoothest transition possible with Rojas at the helm with an opportunity to prove he’s truly the man for the job.

25 thoughts on “Mets Should Immediately Name Luis Rojas Interim Manager”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    I feel like you have become “secret shopper”…saying the most dumbass things just to get attention.

    All MLB managers serve at the pleasure of their employees. Do you understand that? The Mets have a hard enough row to hoe to get back the perception they are stable as an organization.

    The greatest way you could shake that perception and appear an organization in chaos is to, for absolutely no reason, tag “interim” on a guy before spring training. It guarantees a constant churn of media speculation about his status. This happens anyway if you given a manager a one year deal or he is going into a lame duck year on his contract.

    The only reason an “interim” tag should be hung on someone is a guy filling in after a in-season firing, when there wasn’t time to do a proper managerial search and some of your favorite candidates are in the middle of seasons on other teams.So you name the 70 year old bench coach “interim” manager.

    That is not the case with the Mets, who had a protracted search this offseason.

    A one or two year contract signals a short leash on a new manager. My guess is the new guy, if he isn’t a veteran manager, gets two.

    So…WTF? I’m curious how this dumbass stuff crawls into your brain. Has any club ever been stupid enough to tag their manager “interim” in the WINTER? Any club in the century and a half history on baseball? Just one example.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s beyond stupid to unnecessarily rush this entire process when you, as an organization, admit you didn’t properly vet candidates.

      On top of that, you just fired your top candidate, and another finalist accepted another managerial position.

      If you now hire someone, and they falter, you’re getting killed for a rushed process precipitated by your inability to properly vet candidates.

      Overall, you’d have to be incredibly stupid to not understand how hiring an interim manager is advantageous, especially after the Logic was spoon fed to you.

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        They probably looked a dozen guys 60 days ago. It’s simple, you look at your highest rated guy that is still available, check his interest, and vet the hell out of him. The should take about 72 hours.

        Are you NOT going to properly evaluate the best guy and vet the guy you want to call “interim”? Is interim just a cowardly loincloth for management in case something from his past comes back to bite him?

        Of the thousands of baseball managerial changes, has any team been moronic enough to name a guy interim in January?

        Just ONE example , please, where an organization was as muddleheaded as to tag a winter hire as interim, and a manager had such a low image of himself to accept it.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’ll give you that example when you provide me one example where a team previously fired a new manager weeks before Spring Training.

          1. Oldbackstop says:

            That’s a moot point. If a guy is fired after the World Series ends or in January, there is still time for an adequate search.

            So you are saying that the win-now Mets should just patchwork and fit in a guy without proper evaluation or background vetting, and that is okay if you call him “interim”?
            .

          2. metsdaddy says:

            When you say no one has ever gone with an interim manager in January, it’s imcumbent on you to present an analogous situation.

            As for the win-now Mets, plenty of teams have won with interim managers, so your underlying premise is false.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    I’d go with Showalter as a counterbalance to the current FO, and he’s about the only manager left out there capable of lashing this unimpressive team to the postseason, but either of Rojas or Bogar are probably perfectly adequate. It’s baseball. It’s difficult to play but the variables are few. Pretty much all you have to do is not xxxx up, bolster your front line talent, and not put yourself in a position where you have to give Aaron Altherr a job as early as May.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I like Buck, but there’s no chance they’ll even consider him.

  3. Oldbackstop says:

    Terry or Wright are the only way to get the fans and players at ease after this cluster hug.

    And they are both on the payroll.

    1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      @Oldbackstop – I always like to see a guy manage in the minors for a year or two, but Wright would hardly be the worst choice if you went with a novice. I’ve just never heard him talk like a manager (not saying he hasn’t–just that I’ve never heard him). With the stipulation for the moment that playing ability has no essential relation to managerial chops, what is it about DW that makes you think he’s cut out for the gig? (Rereading that it might sound like I’m knocking him, but that’s not the way I mean it at all–just interested in more information.)

      fwiw I think if the Mets pick someone competent soon, don’t drag it out, and we don’t find out that the new guy has a dogfighting pit in his backyard, they should move past this pretty easily. They can always dodge questions like “did you ask Carlos about his role in…” and “why didn’t you ask Carlos more about his role in…” with staples such as “that was yesterday. We’re here to talk about the future of a great Mets team with a ton of potential to go all the way in 2020…”

      1. metsdaddy says:

        Wright has said he never wants to manage, and you can’t hire Wright when one day you will have to fire him.

  4. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    Btw, wrt the Mets non-roster and minor league invites to ST, does anyone look like someone who might contribute in 2020?
    Here’s the list, afaict. Sorry for the formatting:

    Date of move: 1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster C Patrick Mazeika to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster LF Tim Tebow to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster LHP David Peterson to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster LHP Kevin Smith to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster RHP Matt Blackham to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster RHP Ryley Gilliam to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets invited non-roster C Austin Bossart to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent RHP Pedro Payano to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent C David Rodriguez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent RF Ryan Cordell to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent OF Johneshwy Fargas to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent 2B Jake Hager to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent RHP Francisco Rios to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
    1/9/20
    New York Mets signed free agent RHP Adonis Uceta to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

    And, fwiw, 1/10/20
    Seattle Mariners claimed 2B Sam Haggerty off waivers from New York Mets.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think Mazeika might’ve have an MLB future as a backup.

      I think Smith is going to be pretty good, and Peterson may emerge.

      The relievers have upside but are question marks.

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      You always need catchers in ST. You have tons of pitchers who want to throw, in games or on the side, and there are split squad games and it is hotter than hell. Your top three isn’t going to get it done.

  5. Oldbackstop says:

    Wright has never said he never wants to manage…he has said he didn’t want to replace Mickey. If MD has heard him say he never wants to manage, ever, cite it.

    But maybe if it is put to him as the team needs him…he is all about the Mets, of course. He can bang around the front office all he wants, but I’m not sure how much that diploma from Hickory High taught him about business paper pushing (actually I know exactly how much it did.) By all accounts he is a gym rat and breathes baseball it killed him to lose the field role….this is the closest he will get.

    Sure we would all like somebody who has experience in the majors and minors on the bench, but…Beltran didn’t. As far as a spokesman, media relations, being trusted by the players….who on earth is better suited to that than the Captain. He not only never said a wrong word, I don’t think he ever thought a wrong thought.

    Managers walk around with a clipboard waving their arms around, but the work you have seen Walter Alston doing in the 1960s is all done by an army of wonks and coaches. Manager is a figurehead, and the two biggest requirements are being a spokesman for the team and a leader in the clubhouse. And Wright has done both those for more than a decade. He’ll slide right in like honeymoon night.

    He is damn near a dream candidate if you are going to get a first time coach…and he is ten times the candidate Beltran is.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Wright has continuously said he doesn’t want to manage. Better yet, he really has no interest in working in the Mets front office.

      https://twitter.com/nypost_mets/status/1218176880362315776?s=21

  6. Oldbackstop says:

    MD you loved the hiring of Beltran and thought the Mets should keep him right up to the gallows door.

    I remember back in 2016 you were howling that the Mets needed to tie up Yo-C long term. And wondering why Chris Davis could possibly still be out there available.

    http://metsdaddy.com/?s=Cespedes+sign

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Back in 2016, not knowing he had a double heel issue, yes, I thought the Mets should’ve locked him up

  7. Oldbackstop says:

    Do you think the Mets read your blog, MD. Because, while you hate the trade now, somebody with your password was advocating taking on Cano’s contract and throwing Pete Alonso into the deal to get Mitch Haniger and/or Edwin Diaz.

    http://metsdaddy.com/2018/11/mets-should-be-willing-to-take-on-robinson-canos-contract/

    I guess this obnoxious omniscience requires clearing your mental memory block, huh?

    Let’s take some select quotes from that over the coming months. Give it a hard read.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, I remember saying that. Instead of taking my advice, the Mets went and traded SP depth, which was a giant mistake, didn’t get Haniger, and they parted with Kelenic, who is the best player they’ve drafted since Wright.

  8. Oldbackstop says:

    Best of Metsdaddy from the archives….should we trade for Cano?
    =============
    “If you look at it through the prism of five years $120 million for Cano, you would not do that deal. However, five years and roughly $170 for Cano, Haniger, and Diaz doesn’t look too bad. That’s roughly $11 million per year per player. That’s certainly fair value for those players.

    Dumping some contracts like Bruce and Vargas could make it more palatable. It could also reduce the perspective prospect cost. Right off the bat, you could offer Alonso, Gimenez, and Dominic Smith. That’s a pretty decent haul, and it could prevent the team from having to have to part with another big piece. If the Mets did this, they ultimately become World Series contenders next year with that lineup:

    CF Brandon Nimmo
    RF Mitch Haniger
    LF Michael Conforto
    1B Robinson Cano
    3B Todd Frazier
    2B Jeff McNeil
    SS Amed Rosario
    C Kevin Plawecki
    ===========

    So, your trade would have been we give up Dom, Alonso, Gimenez, Bruce and Vargas….and get back Cano, Diaz and Haniger (batted .220 in 2019 in limited usage)

    Is that right?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, I would have been willing to give up a lesser haul of prospects to get more of return of players.

  9. Oldbackstop says:

    The lesser haul meaning you would have
    happily included Pete Alonso and Dom Smith and Gimenez. ..considering them a lesser loss than A baller Kelenic and 24 year old Bautista, who tallied an 11.00 ERA when brought up by Seattle?

    Well, let’s break this down…

    Haniger, Cano and Diaz totalled 1.1 bWAR in 2019. Haniger was done due to injury on June 6, when he was batting .220. Their salary commitments were something like $171 million. No money came back in the deal you proposed

    The guys departing in your deal Bruce, Vargas, Dom, Gimenez, and Alonso totalled 9.1 bWAR in 2019. Their salary commitments were @30 million.

    Basically, for the prospects, you advocated last winter for the Cano deal, only with Dom, Alonso and Gimenez replacing Bautista and Kelenic, which you believed was a lesser haul for us to give up.

    On the money, we would have been in the hole on salary commitments about $30 million more in your version than in the actual deal. Is that about right?

    Gee, this trade stuff ain’t so easy, huh? Given how barely an article has gone by without you assaulting the Mets for the resultant deal…well, I betcha that stops here!!!

    Do you think…could it be that your article gave the Mets the idea to trade for Cano? You said you have secret contacts with the team, right?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Yes, it’s a lesser haul, especially when you’re getting Haniger as well.

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