The first managerial opening in Major League Baseball this offseason is not a surprise: The New York Mets decided against exercising the 2022 option on Luis Rojas. The Mets led the NL East for a large chunk of the season but largely collapsed in the final two months and finished third at 77-85. That being said, let’s have a look so you can wager their MLB odds.
Who will replace Luis Rojas as the next Mets manager?With ace pitcher Jacob deGrom sidelined since the All-Star break by a sprained elbow, New York went into a nosedive once August arrived. An untimely 2-11 stretch against the Dodgers and Giants, baseball’s top two teams, dropped the Mets from five games over .500 and tied for first place to 62-66 and 6½ games out on Aug. 26.
Rojas managed the Mets from 2020-21 under a two-year contract that contained a pair of club options for the 2022-23 seasons. He’s been offered a different position within the organization in a “yet to be determined capacity,” the Mets added.
Since the Mets moved on from Terry Collins after the 2017 season, they’ve cycled through Mickey Callaway (fired), Carlos Beltran (fired before he managed a game) and Rojas (out after two seasons).
If they want someone with big-league managerial experience, Ron Washington makes sense. He is currently the Braves’ third base coach, but managed the Rangers from 2007-14, winning two AL pennants. Washington is 69 years old, but there are several prominent and successful active manager — Chicago’s Tony LaRussa (76), Houston’s Dusty Baker (72) and the Angels’ Maddon (67).
Another hot name is Bruce Bochy. The 66-year-old stepped away from the Giants following the 2019 season. Previously as Padres manager, Bochy sought a contract extension from then-team president Sandy Alderson (now in that role with the Mets). Told he wouldn’t get the extension, Bochy was given permission to seek other jobs and landed with the Giants, where he guided the team to World Series titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14.
Before the Mets decide on a manager, though, they need to hire a general manager/president of baseball operations. Alderson made it clear after ousting Rojas that he would not be the one to name a replacement. Instead, Alderson and owner Steve Cohen plan to hire a president of baseball operations, who will make that decision.
The Mets plan on scheduling an interview with former Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox executive Theo Epstein for their front office opening as soon as later this week. Epstein ended long World Series droughts with both the Red Sox and Cubs.
Another possibility is A’s executive vice president Billy Beane. If the Mets are able to lure Beane, then his longtime manager Bob Melvin would become an obvious candidate.
Rockies Sign 2 To Extensions
The Colorado Rockies already have taken care of some pressing offseason business by announcing a five-year contract through 2026 with a club option for 2027 with starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela and a two-year deal through 2023 with first baseman C.J. Cron. They were the first big moves from new GM Bill Schmidt.
Senzatela went 4-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 28 starts this season, with 105 strikeouts in 156 2/3 innings. Senzatela was set for two more arbitration years, so this deal buys those out as well as three years of free agency. The Rockies have three pieces of the rotation in place for next season. Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Senzatela are the holdovers.
Senzatela, the 26-year-old right-hander, will earn $7.25 million in both 2022 and ’23 and then make $12 million from 2024-26. There is a club option in 2027 for $14 million.
Cron had a big after signing with the Rockies as a free agent in February. The 31-year-old slugger batted .281/.375/.530 with 28 home runs, 92 RBIs and a .905 OPS in 142 games. The overwhelming amount of Cron’s damage came at Coors Field, where he batted .326/.412/.661 as opposed to .235/.337/.397 on the road. He was also, as is typically the case, much more productive against left-handed pitching (.311/.393/.583) than against right-handed opponents (.269/.368/.503).
Schmidt, who’d been the Rockies’ interim GM since early May, was given the full-time job. The Rockies, who finished the season with a 74-87 record, still have a lot of work to do. Schmidt said the team plans to add a bullpen arm or two and would like to add another power hitter.