On Friday afternoon, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen joined the Joe & Evan show on WFAN to discuss everything from hiring Luis Rojas to Yoenis Cespedes' progression this offseason.
The pair asked Van Wagenen what made Rojas (and Carlos Beltran) the right fit to manage the Mets.
"There was something we were looking for specifically for this club," Van Wagenen said. "We wanted a guy that could clearly be a players- first manager, somebody that could walk into our clubhouse and connect with the guys, be able to cross cultural lines with our clubhouse, be able to connect with the veterans, be able to connect with the young guys, the American kids, the international guys. And we felt like Carlos, and now Luis were the right fits."
Van Wagenen would go on to talk about how Cespedes' health could impact the team this season.
"If he's right offensively he has such a huge impact in the lineup that were going to want to get him in there. So there's excitement because I don't think any of us thought he'd be this far advanced at this point in camp," Van Wagenen said.
Cespedes said on Feb. 23 that he plans on being ready for Opening Day. The 34-year-old missed all of the 2019 season due to injuries, after playing just 38 games in 2018.
He believes that "if my legs are healthy" then he can hit 52 home runs this year to match his jersey number. He hit a career-high 35 home runs back in 2015, when he played for both the Detroit Tigers and Mets.
Van Wagenen also talked about the team's pitching options with Micahel Wacha and Steven Matz, making it clear that no decision on the rotation has been made yet.
"I hope we have some of those tough decisions to make, you see what happened with the Yankees over the last week, things can change really quickly in spring training with health of pitchers," Van Wagenen said. "We're in a situation where we feel like we have some depth to both the rotation and bullpen, I hope that depth still exists when we leave camp."
Former Yankees' All-Star pitcher Dellin Bentances is expected to make a big impact for the Mets this season, as Van Wagenen believes they signed a dominant relief pitcher, despite his past injuries. The Mets signed him to a one-year, $10.5 million contract on Dec. 24, 2019.
"He's feeling good," Van Wagenen said. "We have confidence in his health and if this guy's pitching anywhere close to what he was in the past we feel like we've got a real dominant back end guy that can supplement and fit right into these cats."