'Pleased' Mets keep Collins with 2-year deal
The New York Mets announced Monday they have signed manager Terry Collins to a two-year contract extension with a team option for 2016, and are bringing back the entire coaching staff.
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets said Monday that they have signed manager Terry Collins to a two-year contract extension with a team option for 2016 and also will bring back Collins' entire coaching staff.
"As I've said over a period of time and on many occasions, Terry has done an outstanding job for us," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said at a news conference.
"In many ways Terry had an outstanding year. The team never quit. They continued to play hard and continued to play with the resources it had at hand, and finished as well as we could have expected. So I'm very pleased Terry will be back and we're looking forward to 2014."
In evaluating Collins, Alderson said he liked how the team never let up this season while undergoing plenty of personnel changes and went .500 over the final 100 games.
"As Sandy said, he held the team together, we played good baseball for the last 100 games and that was very important," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. "Not seeing any collapse and not seeing anything fall apart was part of what we were evaluating. Wins and losses did matter to some extent but also seeing how the guys played for him with the adversity of losing some guys down the stretch."
Collins, 64, has been the manager for the past three seasons and compiled 225-261 record, missing the playoffs each season. The Mets finished third in the NL East with a 74-88 record this year, the team's best finish in the division under Collins. They finished fourth in each of his first two years.
Collins successfully integrated several young players into the starting lineup and kept the team on course as it was hit with injuries. The Mets lost ace Matt Harvey, third baseman David Wright and closer Bobby Parnell for stretches, and they traded away their best power hitter in Marlon Byrd.
Collins, who's also managed the Astros and Angels, has a 669-695 career record. The Mets hired him after the 2010 season to be the 20th manager in franchise history. He replaced Jerry Manuel.
"It's a true honor to be here," Collins said. "As I've said before, if you're going to manage, this is the place. There's no better stage, no bigger stage than to manage here. I love it here, I've had a great time here, I've enjoyed myself here more than any place I've ever been. It's great to be back."
Collins first joined the Mets as the minor league field coordinator for the 2010 season before talking over the squad in Flushing. He said he's excited for the opportunity to have the chance to manage the team as it looks to build a contender. The team has payroll flexibility and a strong core in Wright, Harvey, pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d'Arnaud to build around.
"To have a chance to take those pieces and move on absolutely is pretty exciting for me," Collins said. "I was thrilled when Sandy said, 'Hey, we want you to come back. And you know what? Maybe we can finish what we started.'"
The Mets have not been very active in free agency under Alderson, but he said the Mets are in position to offer a $100 million contract this offseason. The team is hoping they can make a serious push for their first postseason appearance since 2006.
"We're going into spring training with very, very high expectations," Collins said. "It's time to put some wins on the board. ... We have to start winning at home. That's going to be our No. 1 priority."
In bringing back the coaching staff, the Mets are retaining pitching coach Dan Warthen, hitting coach Dave Hudgens, bench coach Bob Geren, first base coach Tom Goodwin, third base coach Tim Teufel and bullpen coach Ricky Bones. The Mets finished 29th in baseball with a .237 team batting average this season, but their 3.77 team ERA placed them in the top half of baseball.
Wright, the team's captain and face of the franchise, was pleased the Mets brought back Collins.
"It's well-documented that there's been probably a lot more talent on teams that are in our division," Wright said Saturday. "And I think he's done a nice job keeping the young players motivated. And just, all in all, I think he deserves to be back. And then hopefully -- with the money we have to spend and some of the trade opportunities -- we're a better team for him to manage."
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