Identifying 5 Candidates to Replace Carlos Beltran as New York Mets’ Manager
Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) tips his cap to the crowd after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
First, it was the Houston Astros firing manager A.J. Hinch for his role in the team’s cheating scandal. Then, the Boston Red Sox relieved manager Alex Cora for his participation. Finally, the New York Mets and manager Carlos Beltran have decided to “mutually part ways” following his involvement. Beltran was hired just this offseason and will now never manage a game for the team.
It’s important to note that Beltran was a player with the Astros when their scandal took place whereas Hinch and Cora were coaches. However, with Opening Day right around the corner, Beltran and the Mets’ brass clearly felt that any involvement would be a distraction from the team’s upcoming play on the field.
The Houston Astros’ cheating scandal has taken the baseball world by storm. In its grasp it has cost three managers their jobs and three franchises looking to begin a new era.
For the Mets, finding the perfect manager will be crucial to the team’s success. They have the talent to make a run to the playoffs, but former manager Mickey Callaway looked lost during his time at the helm. New York needs to focus on finding the right person who can translate on-field potential to real-life success.
The Mets are running out of time in their search for a new manager as pitchers and catchers report in less than a month. Yet, there are still plenty of candidates who can fill the role that has now been vacated by Carlos Beltran.
New York Mets bench coach
Hensley Meulens was hired by the New York Mets this offseason to serve as Beltran’s bench coach. He came over from the San Francisco Giants after being passed on by the franchise in favor of Gabe Kapler in their search for a new manager.
Meulens had been with the Giants since 2010 serving as their hitting coach before transitioning to San Francisco’s bench coach in 2018. He had been interviewed for previous managerial openings including the New York Yankees opening in 2017 that eventually went to Aaron Boone.
Meulens also has experience managing the Netherlands National team during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The team finished fourth in that competition.
The long-time Giants coach has been on the cusp of being an MLB manager for almost half a decade at this point. He has much more experience managing baseball players than Beltran did when he was hired.
In hiring Meulens, the Mets would be able to have consistency and not worry about bringing in a manager from outside the organization. Hiring from the inside might make the most sense with the season rapidly approaching. If New York does hire from what they already have, Meulens might hold the most potential as Beltran’s successor.
Current ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez was the runner-up to Beltran when the New York Mets made their original hire. With the latter now out of the picture, perhaps the Mets circle the wagons back to their second-place finisher.
Perez played in the majors from 1993 to 2006. Immediately after retiring, he began a career as an analyst for ESPN. While some fans might not expect media members to make strong managers, Perez has a solid amount of coaching in his background.
During the 2008 and 2009 seasons, Perez was the manager of Leones de Ponce in the Puerto Rico Baseball League. The 2008 season saw Perez’s team win the championship on his way to being named the Manager of the Year. He also managed Team Colombia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
When it comes to MLB experience, Perez served as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach in 2011 and the Houston Astros’ bench coach in 2013 as well as their first base coach in 2014.
Perez returned to Puerto Rico to manage the Santurce Crabbers in the country’s Winter League during the 2014-15 season, winning the championship.
While Perez has no official MLB managing experience, neither did Beltran. With him being a runner-up when the Mets made their original hire, there is a chance the franchise is more willing to give him the reigns after Beltran’s firing.
New York Mets Quality Control Coach
Another internal option the Mets are considering for manager is Luis Rojas. Rojas is currently the team’s quality control coach. He was promoted to the major league staff after serving as the manager of various Mets’ minor league teams.
Beginning his tenure with the Mets, Rojas has been the manager of the Savannah Sand Gnats, St. Lucie Mets and Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Rojas has also managed the Dominican Summer League Mets as well as the Gulf Coast League Mets.
Outside of New York’s minor league system, Rojas has also managed in the Dominican Winter League. He managed the 2015 and 2016 champions Leones Del Escogido.
Rojas may be the name least-known on this list. However, he has remained loyal to the Mets organization since 2007. Going on 13 years with a single organization could give him the upper hand.
If the Mets want to have an inside option in place, Rojas would provide them with a safe option. He has proven he could manage at the minor league level and perhaps the Mets think Rojas’ success can translate to the majors.
New York Mets Special Assistant to the General Manager
Terry Collins has the most managerial experience of anyone on this list. In fact, he managed the New York Mets from 2011 to 2017, compiling a 551-583 record. He was New York’s manager when the team advanced to the 2015 World Series, losing to the Kansas City Royals.
Outside of the Mets, Collins has managed both the then-Anaheim Angels and Houston Astros. His career record is 995-1,017.
While Collins’s managerial experience is impressive, it is his knowledge of the Mets’ organization that makes him a strong candidate. He has remained with the team after his retirement in 2017. He knows the players and knows what the franchise is trying to accomplish. He was even rumored to be an option for Beltran’s bench coach.
In hiring Collins, the Mets would get an experienced coach with a passion for the team. Since he is already familiar with the organization and their players, there wouldn’t be much of a transition period. Collins gives New York a manager who may not turn many heads, but a manager they can trust.
Going on 71 in May, perhaps the Mets could use Collins as a one-year stopgap in 2020. With the season approaching, perhaps they are uncomfortable bringing in a brand new manager and having them install a new brand of baseball. Hiring Collins gives them a serviceable manager in 2020 while they conduct a long-term search throughout the season.
Collins wasn’t the most popular manager during his tenure with the team. However, his passion and loyalty might be exactly what the Mets are looking for as they look to replace Beltran.
Plus, who could forget his all-time outburst at umpire Tom Hallion?
New York Mets Special Advisor
This selection is the most out-of-the-box pick on the list. Perhaps a name like Tim Bogar, who interviewed for the Mets job before Beltran was hired, makes more sense. But again, with spring training so close, perhaps the Mets want a manager they can trust. No other person evokes who the New York Mets are than David Wright.
Again, this must be prefaced by saying that Wright wasn’t interested when the job originally opened up.
For the multitudes who have asked: David Wright will not be applying for the Mets' manager job. He appreciates your interest, but is quite content right now spending time at home with his wife and two daughters.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 4, 2019
However, the situation has changed. No longer do the Mets have time and their choice of any manager available. They are fighting against the clock and looking for a manager who could begin the new era of Mets baseball on the right foot. While Wright has no managerial experience, he has always been a fan favorite for his loyalty and commitment to the Mets.
Nobody knows if he would succeed nor be interested at this point. But if the Mets want a hire that would get fans back on their side, Wright would be the pick.
Beltran’s hiring seemed somewhat out of the blue. He had interviewed for other managerial openings but never seemed like a serious candidate. Being a former Met himself, Beltran’s hiring, while surprising due to his lack of experience, excited a fanbase that was beaten down after Callaway’s tenure.
The four managers above him could arguably lead the Mets to more success. However, David Wright is and always will be the New York Mets. If they want to put this scandal behind them, hiring one of their greatest players of all-time could certainly do the trick.