Remember when SNY’s Andy Martino told us that both Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Mets skipper Luis Rojas would be heavily pursued if either one of them was allowed to leave the building at the end of the season?
Turns out he might have been right, though it appears neither one of them will be allowed to leave the state of New York.
The Yankees re-upped with Boone fairly quickly this offseason (and for a very long time), while Rojas was shown the door as the offseason commenced. And good thing, too, because Steve Cohen clearly had a quality candidate lined up behind him, plus another for a front office role!
As for Rojas’ future? Well, he’s certainly going to have to be prepared to make a step down from a managerial role, but that’s no grand demotion for him. For years, Rojas has been known as a jack of all trades who’s been able to connect and instruct players of all levels, and he’ll probably get a second chance to lead a team someday that isn’t quite as dysfunctional as the Mets.
For now, he’s apparently looking at instructor gigs, and according to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are making a play to add him as one of their base coaches, in place of either Phil Nevin at third or Reggie Willits at first.
We’ve heard a lot of mockery already about the Yanks targeting retreads, but is this really a bad idea? Name us a time when adding an experienced coaching leader from a rival to a secondary role turned out to be a bad thing.
OK, fine, Jason Garrett. Name us another.
Could the Yankees add Mets skipper Luis Rojas to their staff?
The main criticisms of “Rojas the Manager” sound a lot like what we’ve all come to expect from Aaron Boone. He’s been dinged for following the patterns and codes, taking the information fed to him by the front office and regurgitating it into lineups and bullpen usage. In his very first stint leading a big-league club, he was thought of as someone who was too compassionate towards the players, considering how many of the young Mets he mentored at the minor-league level.
All of these are valid critiques, but none of them have anything to do with his rumored role as a base coach/base running instructor. Rojas is considered a great baseball mind, so narrowing his focus to one area of expertise seems wise. As for all his alignment with Boone’s struggles? He’s not being hired to be a bench coach or the angriest voice in the room. He’s not being hired as a polar opposite, nor is he being imported to contrast with his manager’s style. He’s just here to make the Yankees a better fundamental baseball team.
And if they don’t want him, it certainly seems like Bob Melvin will in San Diego.
I can’t give a full-throated endorsement that Rojas will be a phenomenal third base coach because … well, it’s hard to see the import of the job until you have a bad one smacking you in the face. Phil Nevin’s chaotic sends in 2021 proved … that he was losing it? That he’d never been that competent? We’re not sure. It was all very confusing.
Perhaps Rojas will be just as erratic, and we’ll have to reevaluate this following the hire. For now, it seems like a low-risk addition of an intelligent baseball mind.