NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York Mets are keeping their front office intact, and manager Terry Collins is expected to return in 2015.
But a possible tweak to the coaching staff might bring a long-awaited face to Citi Field next season — on a full-time basis.
Wally Backman could stick in the big leagues if the Mets follow through on talks make third-base coach Tim Teufel the team’s new hitting coach, according to the New York Daily News. Backman joined the team last week and will finish out the season as a guest coach.
“There was some talk about (Teufel becoming the hitting coach), just talking through some ideas as far as I know,” a source told the paper. “It would be good for Teuf to work with the hitters a little more.”
Backman won PCL Manager of the Year honors this season after guiding Triple-A Las Vegas to the postseason for the second straight year. A fan favorite, Backman was a finalist for the managerial opening when the Mets hired Collins in 2010.
Meanwhile, general manager Sandy Alderson and the Mets have agreed to a multiyear contract, a person with knowledge of the deal confirmed to the Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday night because no announcement had been made. Alderson’s new deal is expected to be announced in the coming days.
Alderson replaced Omar Minaya after the 2010 season, signing a four-year contract with a club option for 2015. Rather than just exercise the option, the Mets are giving Alderson a new deal that keeps him in charge longer.
WFAN and CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reported Monday that Alderson and the team agreed to a three-year deal that runs through 2017. Several other media outlets reported earlier that Alderson was coming back and the sides were close to a multiyear extension.
Collins, who signed a two-year deal after last season, will return for a fifth season as Mets manager, Heyman reported.
New York (76-80) must win five of its six remaining games to avert a sixth straight losing season since moving into Citi Field.
The 66-year-old Alderson has pared the payroll from about $133 million in 2010 to less than $92 million on opening day this season. But a thin farm system has improved under his watch, and the Mets appear to be making progress — at least on the mound.
By trading older players such as Carlos Beltran, R.A. Dickey and Marlon Byrd, Alderson acquired pitcher Zack Wheeler, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, second baseman Dilson Herrera, reliever Vic Black and top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard.
With injured ace Matt Harvey expected back next year, the Mets have the makings of a promising staff that includes Wheeler, NL Rookie of the Year contender Jacob deGrom and young closer Jenrry Mejia.
The offense is a different story. Alderson signed All-Star third baseman David Wright to a $138 million, eight-year contract before the 2013 season, and he struggled with an injured shoulder during the worst season of his career this year.
Right fielder Curtis Granderson, brought in as a free agent, has 19 homers and 62 RBIs after signing a $60 million, four-year deal.
Alderson is expected to be in the market for bats this winter, especially at shortstop and left field. He also has a decision to make about the future of All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy, due a hefty raise in arbitration this offseason.
Murphy can become a free agent following the 2015 season.
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