The Mets have declined their 2022 option on manager Luis Rojas, ending his tenure in the dugout after two seasons (one of them a pandemic-shortened campaign), per a club announcement Monday. The 40-year-old Rojas, who has been in the Mets organization since 2007, has been offered a new role in the organization, though it’s unknown if he’ll accept the reassignment or try to latch on with another major league staff.
The club will not pick up the option on Manager Luis Rojas for the 2022 season. Decisions regarding the remaining coaching staff will be made over the next several days. We have offered Rojas the opportunity to remain in the organization in a TBD capacity. https://t.co/Zq6sJmxiDR— New York Mets (@Mets) October 4, 2021
Rojas, the son of longtime major league manager Felipe Alou, had an interesting path to his first big-league managerial job. After a short playing career in the Expos/Nationals organization, he was hired as a Mets minor league coach in 2007 and eventually worked his way into a managerial role, getting as high as Double-A before he was promoted to the major league staff as a quality control coach in 2019. When the Mets fired manager Mickey Callaway following that season, they hired former outfielder Carlos Beltrán as their new skipper and retained Rojas on the staff. However, Beltrán was fired in January 2020 when his involvement in the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal became apparent, and Rojas was promoted to replace him.
Rojas had to deal with a multitude of obstacles during his tenure, including a four-month layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic in his first season as manager, an unexpectedly short 60-game schedule when the regular season eventually got underway, an ownership change following the 2020 season, a changing clubhouse dynamic as the Mets rebuilt their roster last offseason, a disappointing first half from star offseason acquisition Francisco Lindor, and injuries to Lindor and Jacob deGrom in the second half that changed the course of the Mets’ season.
While the bats of Lindor and trade deadline acquisition Javier Báez came alive during September, it was too late to save the Mets, who fell apart in the second half and finished 77-85 after holding a steady lead in the NL East until the first week of August. They posted a 29-45 record in the second half after going 48-40 prior to the All-Star break. A more experienced manager may have been able to survive that type of collapse, but with Rojas being a relative unknown and the Mets searching for a new president of baseball operations, the rough second half sealed his fate.
Rojas finishes with a 77-85 record as the Mets’ manager.