The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 23, 2020 1:00 am

Baseball notebook

Bench coach picked to lead Mets

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Caught off guard in a quick split with Carlos Beltrán, the New York Mets want some continuity for a change.

So with spring training only three weeks away, they picked his replacement from their very own bench.

The club was working Wednesday to complete a multiyear agreement with quality control coach Luis Rojas that would make him New York's fourth manager in the past 21/2 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,” general manager Brodie 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.”

Rojas would take over for Beltrán, let go by the Mets last week before managing a single game as part of the fallout from the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Rojas, 38, is the son of former Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou and the brother of ex-big league outfielder Moises Alou, who spent the last two seasons of his career with the Mets from 2007-08. A minor league manager for eight years, Rojas has worked in the organization since 2007 but had never coached in the majors before joining Mickey Callaway's staff last season.

“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 was New York's outfield coach in 2019 and led the effort in preparing hitters for opposing pitchers, Van Wagenen said.

Extra bases

Kansas City signed outfielder Alex Gordon, 35, to a $4 million contract for next season. ... Free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna and Atlanta reached an $18 million, one-year deal. ... St. Louis signed catcher Matt Wieters to a contract, bringing back the 33-year-old veteran to fill the same role behind Yadier Molina as last season.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily