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.