NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets are finalizing a multiyear agreement with quality control coach Luis Rojas to make him the team’s manager, staying in-house to replace the ousted Carlos Beltrán, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Wednesday.
“I think it’s the fit. It’s where the team is. I think it’s the culture we’re trying to create,” Van Wagenen said.
Rojas would take over for Beltrán, who left the Mets last week before managing a single game as part of the fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
The 38-year-old Rojas is the son of former Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou and the brother of ex-big leaguer Moises Alou. The former minor league manager has been with the organization since 2007 but had never coached in the majors before joining Mickey Callaway’s staff last season.
“He has a good finger on the pulse of this team,” Van Wagenen said.
Callaway was fired after the season, and Rojas interviewed for the vacancy in November before New York hired Beltrán.
Beltrán’s tenure lasted 2½ months and ended after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred singled him out in a report on a cheating scheme used by the Astros during their World Series championship season in 2017. The Mets announced he was out as manager three days later.
Rojas, born in the Dominican Republic, played minor league ball with the Orioles, Marlins and Expos/Nationals from 2000-05 but never got above rookie ball.
He coached for New York in the Dominican Summer League in 2007, got his first managerial role with the Mets’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League team in 2011 and also coached at Class-A and Double-A. Notably, he was manager at Double-A Binghamton during Pete Alonso’s breakout 2018 season, when he led the minors with 36 home runs.
“Loved having Luis in ’17 and ’18 as my AA manager!” Alonso tweeted. “It’s awesome playing under him and having him on staff last year as well!!! Super pumped to have him as the Jeffe. Also he throws some damn good bp.”
“LUIS ROJAS! Love love love it,” added pitcher Marcus Stroman on Twitter. “Loved being around him on the bench last year. Always teaching and full of knowledge. Super laid back and brings nothing but great vibes each and every day. Beyond even keel. Excited even more for the year!”
Rojas was voted Best Managerial Candidate by his peers three times as a minor league manager in polling by Baseball America. He also managed the Dominican team at last fall’s Premier12 Olympic qualifying event.
Houston manager AJ Hinch and Boston skipper Alex Cora were also fired after being named in MLB’s sign-stealing report. Neither the Astros nor Red Sox have named replacements.