The New York Mets have decided not to pick up the option on manager Luis Rojas' contract for 2022. That means they're back in the market for a new skipper after back-to-back disappointing seasons. It will be a fascinating offseason for the Mets, with a lot of high-profile free agents available, an owner willing to spend and a managerial opening.
Here's a look at four options to replace Rojas.
The Mets hired Beltran to replace Mickey Callaway in November of 2019. But the two sides mutually parted ways in January of 2020 after details of his involvement in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal were revealed. At the time, Beltran and others were toxic. Now? He likely isn't anymore. The other two prominent names involved in the Astros scandal were Alex Cora and A.J. Hinch. Both are now managing MLB teams.
Beltran spent seven seasons with the Mets and has long been considered a future manager. Now that things have cooled down a bit after the Astros scandal, he should be a serious candidate again.
Perez got a second interview after Beltran was fired and has been a popular name in managerial circles for years. From his work at ESPN as a commentator, it's clear he knows baseball inside and out. He played 13 years in the big leagues and was the hitting coach for the Marlins in 2011 and 2012, and the Astros' bench coach in 2013. He also worked in baseball operations for the Indians before moving into coaching.
Perez would be a risk, but could come with significant upside.
Bochy has been pretty open that he's ready to manage again. A future Hall of Famer who managed the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles in five years, Bochy would bring immediate credibility to the Mets. He spent a season with the franchise as a player back in 1982, so he knows what to expect from the New York lifestyle.
Bochy is almost certainly going to get a look from the San Diego Padres, who are expected to fire Jayce Tingler. The 66-year-old managed the Friars from 1995 to 2006 and took them to the World Series in 1998. The Mets would need to make a seriously compelling case to get Bochy to change coasts at his age, but it would be worth it.
Kotsay is on all the lists of the next coaches likely to become managers and he'd be a great fit with the Mets. The current third base coach of the Oakland A's, few players were more dedicated during their careers than Kotsay. Universally praised as a great clubhouse guy, Kotsay is the ultimate grinder, who hung on in the major leagues for so long due to an incredible worth ethic.
He would immediately command the respect of his players and could present a ton of upside for the Mets.