Now that Steve Cohen has bought the Mets, many changes are expected to be in store (and some have already taken place) for the organization, though the turnover might not extend to the dugout. During an introductory media event with Cohen and team president Sandy Alderson with MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters in a Zoom call, Alderson said that manager Luis Rojas was “very likely” to remain in his current role for the coming season.
Rojas was unexpectedly thrust into the manager’s job last January after the Mets and newly-hired manager Carlos Beltran parted ways due to controversy over Beltran’s role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Rojas was already on the Mets staff as the quality control coach and had previously interviewed for the managerial position before Beltran was hired.
It was Rojas’ first time as a Major League manager, and he could hardly have been thrust into a more chaotic situation given both the events of the 2020 season and all of the behind-the-scenes tumult with the Mets. The club posted only a 26-34 record last year, though it is hard to tell how much (if any) Rojas can be faulted for the lack of results, considering the shortened season, multiple injuries to the pitching staff, and perhaps just an overall insufficient roster.
Clearly Alderson and Cohen agree that Rojas should be given a fuller opportunity to manage the team, but with one important caveat. Alderson said he “left the door slightly ajar” for a managerial change if the team’s incoming new president of baseball operations would prefer to make his own hire. Considering most executives indeed prefer to have their own personnel in place, this is no small detail about Rojas’ potential future, though the fact that Rojas wasn’t among the first wave of departures from the organization is a sign that Alderson and Cohen don’t feel a change is immediately necessary.
Alderson and Cohen are quite familiar with Rojas, whose long career as a coach and manager in the Mets’ minor league system predates both Cohen becoming a minority owner (in 2012) and Alderson being hired as the GM in 2010. Rojas’ contract is only guaranteed through the 2021 season, though the Mets have club options on his services for at least 2022 and 2023.