Luis Rojas is moving across town, joining the New York Yankees as their third-base coach after his managerial option was not picked up by the Mets for the 2022 season while being offered another role within the organization.
The 40-year-old joins a Yankees club that at least provides a bit more stability — though they’ve fallen woefully short of their recent World Series goals — compared to a Mets club that is still without a manager and has finally addressed its general manager position after whiffing once again on a president of baseball operations.
“For me, it was a learning experience,” Rojas, who spent 16 years with the Mets and took over as manager after Carlos Beltran’s dismissal at the age of 38. “I won’t change it for anything at this point. I learned a lot and I do reflect… sometimes new ideas brew because of it. you can’t change that and I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to manage the team for the last two years.”
He certainly has the experience to perform in a diminished role in the Bronx, working on Aaron Boone’s staff as a replacement for the over-aggressive Phil Nevin.
“There were great lessons. Every day there was a lesson there,” Rojas continued on his time with the Mets. “Every day is a big stage. The passionate fan base, the demands, all those things. I think you only learn. There’s no way around it. I grew as a baseball person and as a man… I’m looking for more now and I’m looking to bring what I’ve learned to this organization.”
The decision to hire Rojas didn’t seem like a very difficult one for Boone, who realized just how good a coach was made available rather quickly.
“As we started to dig a little bit and try to find as much information when you’re going through interviews as you can,” Boone started, “the respect he’s earned across the board in this game from people who we contacted and just how highly people spoke of him certainly confirmed that we needed to interview him and talk to him.
“Our group fell in love with him… this is the guy we need to get with our staff and brings a lot of experience.”
Rojas now has a chance to grow under Boone, who was brought back on a three-year deal with an option for the 2025 season and a big reason why he decided to trade pinstripes.
“Changes can surprise you but changes are good things a lot of times. So I think after [the Mets didn’t pick up my option], I had freedom to talk to other teams even though an offer to stay with the organization was talked about,” Rojas said. “I talked to a few teams and running into Aaron over the phone, actually… there was just a lot of things from a personal level that were really interesting to me and also the organization itself, the tradition, the New York Yankees.
“Aaron Boone is a great baseball man, a great leader. The team is very talented. There are some things that were very attractive to me.”