NEW YORK – The New York Yankees hired former Mets manager Luis Rojas as their third baseman on Monday, a month after losing his job with rivals Crosstown.
Rojas has managed the Mets for the past two seasons. The team declined their 2022 option for him on October 4, a day after placing third in the NL East at 77-85.
Rojas will replace Phil Nevin, who was the Yankees third baseman since the 2018 season. Nevin was sacked last month, shortly after signaling Aaron Judge to return home to a key location in the Jokers game. AL in Boston – Judge was easily sent off and the Red Sox won.
The Yankees are tied with Kansas City for making the most strikeouts this season at 22.
Several ex-Mets have found success over the years after moving out of Queens and finding new homes in the Bronx.
Former Mets stars David Cone and Darryl Strawberry won the World Series rings with the Yankees and Dwight Gooden threw a hit for them. Former player and manager Joe Torre won four championships while guiding the Yankees.
Rojas, 40, son of former player and major league manager Felipe Alou, has spent the past 16 seasons with the Mets organization. The Mets were 103-119 with him as manager.
When the Mets fired Rojas, they said he was offered the opportunity to stay with the organization in a role that had yet to be determined. Rojas had been the Mets’ quality control coach in 2019 and had previously been a minor league coach and club coach.
The Mets were expected to challenge for the playoffs or even a pennant with $ 341 million newcomer Francisco Lindor on shortstop, a major move under new owner Steve Cohen.
New York has led their division for 90 consecutive days despite a wave of injuries and Rojas praised his steady hand and communication skills. But a lot has fallen apart in the final two months of the season with ace Jacob deGrom, Lindor and others on the injured roster and several stars stuck in the doldrums.
A 2-11 slip against the Dodgers and Giants, the two best teams in baseball, dropped the Mets five games to over 0.500 and tied for first place at 62-66 and 6 1/2 games on the August 26. In an intermediate division, they lost their heads for good on August 14 and never really recovered.
The Mets went 26-34 in Rojas’ first year as manager and finished tied for last place in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Rojas was promoted to skipper in January 2020 by former managing director Brodie Van Wagenen, replacing Carlos Beltrán. The promotion came just days after Beltrán was sacked without handling a single game in the fallout of the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in 2017.
Rojas turned 40 on Sept. 1 and was the majors’ second youngest coach, 24 days older than Minnesota’s Rocco Baldelli.
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