Well, it’s that time of the year again: Let’s talk about Mets manager candidates. Following some mixed results and a massive meltdown in the second half of the season, the New York Mets decided not to pick Luis Rojas‘ option for next year.
Among all of the recent Mets managers fired, Rojas perhaps leaves the most bittersweet sensation. The team had it all to make the postseason, they added Javier Báez to an already elite infield defensively, yet they couldn’t string wins together during the most important stretch of the season.
Now, the team needs to endure a tough offseason with a lot of uncertainty in the front office. And, even though the new ownership has made it clear that they’re willing to go the distance to go back to contention, there are more questions than answers.
Mets manager candidates to succeed Luis Rojas
With that in mind, information and rumors continue to flood the internet. Among all of the potential Mets managers, there aren’t that many interesting names that pop to mind. Here, we’ll break down the top 3 best and most realistic options:
Even if that could raise plenty of controversies, it’s not like the New York Mets have cared that much about that in the past. Carlos Beltrán was going to be their manager until he was tied to the Houston Astros‘ cheating scandal, but the league seems to be over it.
If both Álex Cora and A.J. Hinch were able to get jobs in Major League Baseball, then Beltrán should get the nod as well. He wanted to work with the organization and is a respected veteran around the league, so they should at least consider him.
That being said, the questions about his managing skills would be as valid nowadays as they were when they first hired him. He’s never coached and being a great player doesn’t always translate to being a successful manager, so there’s that.
Although not many people mention him among the potential Mets manager candidates, we have to talk about Dusty Baker right here. He did an outstanding job of helping the Astros prove that they could win without cheating, and he’ll be a free agent next season.
Baker has never shied away from controversies and he proved it again by taking the reins of a team that everybody else hated. He could try and work that same magic again in Queens if they make him an offer that he can’t refuse in the offseason.
"That was the hardest but greatest year ever for me."
— MLB (@MLB) October 1, 2021
This season, Baker became the first manager in MLB history to lead five different franchises to the playoffs. Also, he became the first manager to win 5 division titles with 5 different teams and is one of just 6 managers to reach the postseason 10+ times. He’s a living legend and the guy they need to finally turn the page, assuming the Astros are willing to let him walk away.
As of now, Ron Washington seems to be at the top of most potential Mets managers lists, and for very good reason. Extramarital and substance abuse controversies aside, it’s been long enough since Washington last managed a team, and it’s not a secret that he wants another shot.
Currently serving as the Atlanta Braves‘ third-base coach, Ron Washington is one of the most experienced candidates to get a manager gig next season. He was pretty good during his time with the Texas Rangers, even leading them to 2 division titles and a 664-612 from 2007 to 2014.
Age could be a concern for some fans as he’ll turn 70 pretty soon, but judging by the way Tony LaRussa and the aforementioned Dusty Baker (76 and 72, respectively) performed, maybe people shouldn’t read too much into that.
What’s clear is that, whoever takes the job, he’s going to have plenty of work to do, but at least the Mets are expected to have their top-notch rotation back to full strength next season.