Mets manager Luis Rojas walks to the dugout during the...

Mets manager Luis Rojas walks to the dugout during the eighth inning against the Phillies in an MLB game at Citi Field on Sept. 17. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Luis Rojas, a steady and professional voice during perhaps the most chaotic 20-month stretch in franchise history, will not return as the Mets’ manager, the team announced Monday.

His contract is expiring and the Mets will not exercise their 2022 option or re-sign him, the potential — but not definite — end to his 16-season run with the organization. They did offer him an opportunity to stay with the club in a to-be-determined capacity.

"The entire Mets organization is grateful for the dedication and devotion that Luis has exhibited over the last two seasons as manager," team president Sandy Alderson said in a news release. "He has shown a great commitment to the Mets over many years in multiple capacities. These decisions are never easy, but we feel a change is needed at this time."

Owner Steve Cohen added in a tweet: "Want to thank Luis for his work as a manager. He is a good man who represented the Mets with dignity and calm during two extremely trying years."

Rojas, 40, managed 222 games under two owners and four general managers. The Mets went 103-119, drastically underperforming their own expectations.

"I want to share such heartfelt gratitude to so many in the Mets organization for not only the last two seasons as manager, but for the last 16 years in a variety of roles," Rojas, who was hired by the Mets as a low-level minor-league coach ahead of the 2006 season, said in a statement issued by the team. "In each and every position I held, striving for excellence was our daily mission. I will always hold the relationships and friendships, developed over the years, dear to my heart, and am forever grateful to have been able to wear the Mets uniform for so long. We live in a results oriented business, and am deeply disappointed for our staff and fans that we didn’t reach our goals this season."

The Mets said decisions regarding the rest of the coaching staff will be made in the next several days.

Making this move now will help Cohen and Alderson sell the top job — president of baseball operations, or whatever they want to call the department’s leader — to prospective candidates. The person they hire will be able to choose his own manager, which was not immediately true for Mets general managers of the recent past.

In some ways, Rojas was a victim of circumstances — at the end of his managerial tenure, with a new boss incoming, as well as at the start.

Rojas interviewed for the opening in October 2019, but the Mets’ then-bosses, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and GM Brodie Van Wagenen, decided the longtime minor-league manager wasn’t the best option. They chose Carlos Beltran instead.

In January 2020, when Beltran was let go before ever managing a game because of his involvement in the 2017 Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, they promoted Rojas from quality control coach to manager. Among their reasons was Rojas’ deep familiarity with the organization after working more than a decade in the farm system and one season on the major-league coaching staff.

He had maybe several normal weeks on the job before the coronavirus pandemic hit, thrusting the team and the sport into a shutdown that lasted months, then a 60-game 2020 season. When Cohen finalized his purchase of the Mets that November, the newly returned Alderson chose to retain Rojas, whom he had taken a liking to during his time as GM.

But after another losing season, which ended with the Mets missing the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, Cohen and Alderson opted for change.

Rojas drew frequent praise from Alderson and other key organizational figures — including acting GM Zack Scott, who is on administrative leave after his arrest on driving while intoxicated charges — while leading the Mets to an injury-plagued but nonetheless successful first half of the season.

But as the wins became rarer, so too did the public approval, including when Rojas assessed himself.

"Managers get paid to win games, and we won less than we lost this year," he said Sunday after the Mets’ season finale. "I feel responsible for a lot that happened this year. We could’ve won more games. We could’ve been in a different position."

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