The New York Mets bench coach search has led them to another former NL East manager, Fredi Gonzalez.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the New York Mets are set to interview Fredi Gonzalez for their open bench coach position.
The Mets have spoken to Fredi Gonzalez about their bench coach opening. Gonzalez is expected to interview with team officials in New York after the GM Meetings. He joins Jerry Narron as a known candidate for the position.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 12, 2019
Fredi Gonzalez would be an excellent hire for the New York Mets. For starters, he has a decade of managerial experience in the NL East having been the manager of the Marlins from 2007-2010 and the Braves from 2011-2016.
Over that decade Gonzalez had a poor run of luck. He took over the Marlins after Joe Girardi was fired. Taking over an awful Marlins team with a payroll less than some players’ salaries. Despite that struggle, Gonzalez led the Marlins to an 84 and 87 win season in 2008 and 2009.
He was fired partway through the 2010 season when he was 34-36. The team finished the year 81-81.
It didn’t take long for Gonzalez to find a new job as he was hired by the Braves in 2011 to replace legendary manager Bobby Cox. In his first three years with the Braves Gonzalez won 89, 94, and 96 games. During that span, Gonzalez’s Braves made the playoff twice. Missing out on the playoffs in 2011 by one game, that was the season before the two wild card teams was instilled. Meaning he would have made the playoffs three times in his first three years under modern baseball rules.
In 2014 the Braves lost many of their key pieces to free agency and the team didn’t recover. After that year the Braves went full rebuild leaving Gonzalez in no-man’s land. He was fired partway through 2016 the second year of the Braves tear down.
He has been the Marlins third base coach since then, though he has interviewed for numerous manager jobs. Gonzalez is a well-respected and a well-liked person. He was considered one of the better strategists in baseball during his time as a manager.
During his decade in the NL East, his average bullpen ERA ranking was 11th in baseball. Compare that to genius baseball strategist Joe Girardi who’s bullpen ERA ranking over the same period averaged 13th in baseball.
Fredi Gonzalez may not be the flashy guy with a title and a big name, but he’s an incredibly competent manager and strategist. Putting him next to a young up and coming manager like Carlos Beltran would be as good as it gets for the Mets.
His vast experience and understanding of NL strategy could be a huge boost for Beltran. Gonzalez may not be a flashy hire but he would be a good one.