If you’re a fan of managerial hires, today was a good day for you. The Guardians hired Stephen Vogt, the Cubs signed Craig Counsell and the Mets inked Carlos Mendoza. There are conflicting reports if the Mets made their move before or after the Cubs. Many assumed that Counsell was going to wind up in Queens, both because of his relationship with David Stearns and his desire to make a lot of money and help raise the bar for managerial hires. Counsell pulled in a remarkable 5/$40 deal. Last year he got $3.5 million, so this more than doubles that number. No reports immediately available on what Mendoza will earn next year.

Mendoza has never managed in MLB before but has served as bench coach for Aaron Boone and the Yankees. Nobody knows if Mendoza will be a good manager. But it’s curious that Eric Chavez couldn’t get an interview while the Mets turned around to hire a guy from outside the organization with no managerial experience. Because, you know, that worked so well with Mickey Callaway and Luis Rojas.

You always hear how GMs should be allowed to hire their guy to be manager. Well, the GM-less Mets – in actual title – went ahead and hired a manager. No doubt there’s completely nothing that anyone should read into that, right?

My hope is that the front office will direct Mendoza to make rest for their relievers a priority. It was a huge step forward under Buck Showalter to no longer have multiple relievers having pitched in three of the last four days. Now, if they’d put a greater emphasis on leverage, that would be a good thing. No longer seeing one of your best relievers pitching with a five-run lead.

Speaking of relievers, Adam Ottavino declined his option and will become a free agent. My opinion is that this is a good thing for the Mets. Ottavino has been very good in his two seasons in Queens but he was fairly fortunate in 2023 – his 4.52 FIP was significantly higher than his 3.21 ERA – and it’s unlikely he’ll be that lucky next year.

Regardless what you think about Ottavino and his chances for success in 2024, it means the Mets will have to add another late-inning guy to team with Edwin Diaz and Brooks Raley. Some want the club to add three starters this offseason. But it seems more likely that they’ll add three relievers for the Opening Day roster.

7 comments on “Mets say hello to Carlos Mendoza and goodbye to Adam Ottavino

  • NYM6986

    What I will say about Adam Ottavino is that he is well on the other side of 30, so a decline can come at any time. He will likely get a $3-4 million raise from some team and I wish him well. Not sure that Mendoza is an improvement over Buck, but at least history shows us that after Showalter leads an organization, they win a title.

  • T.J.

    While I congratulate Mr. Mendoza on his new position, and have no idea of his skill set and whether he will succeed, it is hard to see this move at this point as anything but disappointing. Perhaps Freddie Galvis will be added to the organization, which would be interesting, with respect to cornering the market on “lines”.

    Ottavino likely did the Mets a favor. At a minimum, he provided more flexibility.

    • Brian Joura

      Thanks for remembering and using The Galvis Line!

      I agree on Ottavino.

      • T.J.

        I love the Galvis line. Plaweckian was another great one, but based on recent Met backup catcher performance, we’d welcome a KPish OPS in 2024.

  • Mike W

    If the Mets were shocked, the Brewers were shocked even more. They felt like they made him a fair offer to stay, but were really shocked that he signed with the rival Cubs.

    Maybe we never really had a shot at him and maybe he played us. I’m glad he signed with the Cubs because it means he really didn’t want to be in New York.

    Maybe Mendoza turns out to be a great manager. What I really care about is rebuilding the roster into a winner.

  • ChrisF

    I get the increasing sense of things that *a lot* of on field decisions will have been scripted from the numbers geeks before each game. How long a starter goes, what the relievers are and order etc. We shall see but almost never know who is pulling the strings, but Id bet dollars to donuts that Carlos Mendoza wont be given the keys to the car.

    • Brian Joura

      I think you’re right.

      My preferred way to do things would be to have the front office lay down guidelines and then get out of the way. A manager has to have “feel” – a sense when a player is productive and when he’s not. It’s not playing hunches. Rather, it’s watching the team on a day-by-day, inning-by-inning basis and making moves based on experience, both within the actual game and with the actual player.

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