SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Meet the new hitting coach, same as the old hitting coach.
The Mets and Chili Davis agreed to a two-year contract that brings him back as hitting coach, the same role he had with the team in 2019, a source said Wednesday.
That news came a day after Davis visited for several hours with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, assistant GMs Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge and other team higher-ups Tuesday night at the GM meetings. Those are held through Thursday at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, near Davis’ Phoenix-area home.
Van Wagenen — who has declined to discuss the Mets’ coaching search until they are done filling out manager Carlos Beltran’s staff — said Davis did well last season.
“Chili did a great job in 2019,” Van Wagenen said. “He developed a good relationship with our players, he helped our guys understand the value in using the whole field. And I thought he was a great addition to our staff last year.”
Under Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater, also a free agent, the Mets ranked 13th in the majors in runs per game — 4.88, a tick better than the major-league average of 4.83 — 11th in average (.257), 10th in OBP (.328) and 11th in slugging percentage (.442).
Pete Alonso hit a majors-leading 53 homers on his way to the National League Rookie of the Year award. Jeff McNeil was in the running for the batting title until a late slump and finished with a .318/.384/.531 slash line, an improvement over his impressive rookie season. Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto also had strong offensive seasons.
The rest of the Mets’ field staff remains a question mark. For bench coach, Fredi Gonzalez and Jerry Narron are known candidates, and reports Wednesday added Ron Wotus to that growing list.