Brodie Van Wagenen said Friday while introducing Luis Rojas as the 23rd manager in Mets history that a number of players had reached out on Rojas' behalf.
"The players knew him, the players trusted him, and he understands exactly what we're trying to accomplish in spring training this year -- because he's helped build our program," Van Wagenen said. "That was a big part of it."
We found out Saturday that Pete Alonso was one of the players that reached out.
"I talked to him," Alonso said Saturday at the Mets Fan Fest about his communication with Van Wagenen. "I just -- I asked him, 'Well if we're gonna get someone externally, are there gonna be any changes?'"
After Van Wagenen asked what he meant, Alonso expanded, recounting that conversation on Saturday.
"We've got such a great staff. At this point, all the positions were taken up other than the manager's spot," Alonso explained. "I love working with all the guys on the staff. ... It's just a great dynamic of people, and I didn't want that to change. Luis having continuity with the guys, he works well. We had a really great relationship, really great dynamic with the staff last year. And I think that Luis would really help just get the most out of the players."
"I was like, 'look, Luis works great with everybody and it would make sense to have someone that works well with other people,'" Alonso continued. "Because at the end of the day, if someone butts heads or (is) clashing in the workplace, it doesn't translate to good results. Luis is a great guy, has paid his dues. I think he's gonna be a great, great fit for us."
Mets ace Jacob deGrom also gave his thoughts on Rojas after talking about the Mets parting ways with manager Carlos Beltran.
"I didn't have too many discussions about it with anybody," deGrom said about the Beltran situation. "It's kind of out of our control. What happened is out of all of our control. I think everybody stayed focused and knows what they need to get done to get ready to play baseball this year."
As far as Rojas, deGrom was excited.
"Now we have Luis (Rojas) and I think we're looking forward to that," deGrom explained. "I had him in the minor leagues. Great guy, great manager. And last year being up here, fun to be around, communicates well with everybody, so we're excited about that."
"Just knows the game of baseball really well," deGrom continued about Rojas. "Being around him last year, knows the game very well. Communicates really well with everybody. And you ask every guy in here who's been around him -- just a good baseball guy and a really good person. ... In the minor leagues, his goal was player development. Even talking to him last year, you can tell that's still his mindset. He wants you to be your best. Any time somebody can get that out of players, it will definitely help the team."