Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With the Mets' second managerial search of the offseason starting to wind down, three names have emerged, according to SNY's Andy Martino.
Barring a late entrant or unknown candidate, the race is down to internal options Luis Rojas, Hensley Meulens, and Tony DeFrancesco.
The most recognizable name is Meulens, but it can be argued that Rojas and DeFrancesco have even stronger credentials.
Let's break down the pros and cons...
Rojas has been in the Mets' organization since 2007, has extensive managerial experience, and is already a familiar (and well-liked) name among players expected to be on the big league roster.
The 38-year-old Rojas also has tremendous baseball lineage (he is the son of Felipe Alou and brother of Moises Alou), is well-versed in analytics, and is already on the big league staff as a quality control coach -- a role where he serves as a bridge between the dugout and front office. So it's fair to believe a transition to Rojas would be very smooth.
If the Mets want a "name" hire, Rojas isn't it. Though if his last name was Alou instead of Rojas, people who now view him as an uninspired choice might have a different view. Still, the main issue (or perceived issue) with a Rojas hire could boil down to one question: If he wasn't deemed ready in November (or the best option), what makes him ready/the best option in January?
The 52-year-old Meulens began his coaching career in 2003 and has served in many different coaching capacities since then in the minors and majors. His experience includes serving as a coach with the Giants from 2010-2019.
Meulens has interviewed for numerous big league managing jobs (including the Yankees in 2017) and was hired as the Mets' bench coach earlier this offseason.
While he has nearly two decades of coaching experience and is familiar with the New York market from his time as a player for the Yankees, Meulens has never managed at any level. That didn't bother the Mets when it came to Beltran, who had zero coaching or managing experience.
Like Rojas and Meulens, DeFrancesco is already on the big league staff, having been named the first base coach earlier this offseason. He also has an existing familiarity with the organization, having served as manager for the Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the last two seasons -- first in Las Vegas and then in Syracuse.
The 56-year-old began his minor league managing career in 1994, coached for the A's in 2008, and was interim manager of the Astros in 2012.
DeFrancesco was the manager of the Astros' Triple-A affiliate from 2015 to 2017, with 2017 being the year where the Astros violated Major League rules with an electronic sign-stealing scandal that has swallowed three big league managers -- A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora, and Beltran.
Fair or not, and whether he had any knowledge of what was going on at the big league level or not, DeFrancesco is a bit stained due to being part of the 2017 Astros. Would the Mets want to go from 2017 Astros player Beltran to 2017 Astros Triple-A manager DeFrancesco?