Collins accepts new position; Warthen out

Former skipper to be special assistant to GM; Long, Roessler, Sherlock remain; head trainer Ramirez let go

October 3rd, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Mets completed their most significant on-field staff shakeup in nearly a decade on Tuesday, announcing that longtime pitching coach Dan Warthen and head trainer Ray Ramirez will not return for the 2018 season.

The team has also given bench coach Dick Scott, first-base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones permission to interview with other teams pending the selection of the Mets' next manager, who will have some latitude to select members of his own staff. Scott, in particular, is unlikely to return to the Mets, according to general manager Sandy Alderson.

In addition, the Mets defined Terry Collins' next role as special assistant to the general manager, with a focus on player development.

"With Terry's departure as manager, we felt this was an appropriate time, at that level, to change direction," Alderson said.

Warthen declined comment when reached by telephone Tuesday afternoon.

The Mets' longest-tenured on-field staff member, Warthen joined the big club following the dismissals of manager Willie Randolph and pitching coach Rick Peterson in May 2008. His pitching staffs ranked second in the Majors in ERA from 2015-16, also grading highly in the preceding seasons. But as injuries to , Matt Harvey, , Zack Wheeler, and others ravaged this year's staff, the Mets finished 28th in baseball with a 5.01 ERA.

Syndergaard vocally defended his pitching coach on Sunday, and Alderson said he took his players' pleas into account. But ultimately, that was not enough to save Warthen.

"Dan did a terrific job for us as reflected by our pitching staff's recent years, and the fact that those pitching staffs were really the core of our success in going to the World Series and postseason play in 2015 and 2016," Alderson said. "He's an outstanding pitching coach and has positively impacted several, if not all of our pitchers. He's done a terrific job, and I want to thank him for that."

Of the Mets' other on-field staff members, only third-base coach Glenn Sherlock is under contract for 2018. Alderson said he expects hitting and assistant hitting coaches Kevin Long and Pat Roessler to return, though perhaps not in their current roles. Long is a serious candidate to replace Collins as manager, a move that would likely result in a promotion for Roessler.

Scott, Goodwin and Bones could also return, though that depends on the identity of the next manager and how much freedom Alderson gives him to select his own staff members. The GM indicated "major" changes are coming to the staff at Triple-A Las Vegas as well, where the organization has already dismissed hitting coach Jack Voigt.

For the Mets, who finished in fourth place with a record of 70-92, shakeups were inevitable. Alderson has spent several months evaluating the support staffs for a club that lost Syndergaard, Familia, and many others to injury for large swaths of the season. While Alderson defended the club's celebrity strength and conditioning consultant, Mike Barwis, Ramirez's 12-year run as head trainer came to an end.

"From my standpoint, the most important thing for us to do is to reorganize and restructure," Alderson said. "Ray has been a tireless worker on behalf of the organization and individual players. He's done a terrific job for us over that period of time, and I want to thank him for all he has done, and wish him well."