The Mets have apparently settled on new manager Carlos Beltran’s right-hand man, choosing former Yankees prospect Hensley Meulens as their bench coach, according to multiple reports.
Meulens, 52, was the bench coach for the San Francisco Giants the last two seasons and spent a total of 10 years on their staff. He interviewed to replace retiring manager Bruce Bochy, but the Giants hired former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.
Meulens, who is from Curacao, managed the Dutch team at the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics. He also interviewed with the Yankees in 2017 for the manager’s job that went to Aaron Boone.
Meulens was a hot prospect with the Yankees in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was known as “Bam Bam” for his potentially prodigious power.
But Meulens’ bat never matched his nickname. He appeared in 159 games for the Yankees from 1989-’93 and hit .221 with 12 home runs, 46 RBIs and a .633 OPS.
After spending time playing in Japan, he resurfaced in the majors in 1997 and played in 16 games for the Expos before finishing his career with a seven-game stint with Arizona in 1998.
Meulens went on to become a highly-respected batting coach. He joins batting coach Chili Davis as known hires on Beltran’s staff with many positions still to be filled.
The Mets also reportedly interviewed former managers Fredi Gonzalez and Jerry Narron for the bench coach job. Former Mets manger Terry Collins – a Mets special advisor whose name was floated as a possible bench coach when Beltran was hired – was not considered for the position.
The Mets deciding on Meulens was first reported by Jennifer Mercedes of LaVidaBaseball.com.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen did not return a request for comment. The Mets apparently plan to announce Beltran’s first coaching staff all at once when it is assembled.
Mets to hold first FanFest. The Mets will hold an inaugural FanFest at Citi Field on Jan. 25.
Beltran and some players (to be named later) will be on hand to welcome fans, who will also get to take self-guided tours of Citi Field, including the home clubhouse, broadcast booths and press conference room.
Tickets will be available on Dec. 2 for season ticket holders and the next day for the general public at Mets.com. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Season ticket holders will be able to attend an exclusive session from 9 a.m. to noon. Non-season ticket holders will be allowed to attend from noon to 6 p.m.
Yankees trade Cortes to Mariners. The Yankees traded lefthander Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus slot money, the team announced.
Cortes, 24, had been designated for assignment last week. The 24-year-old went 5-1 with a 5.67 ERA in 33 appearances, including one start, for the Yankees last season.
The Yankees drafted Cortes in the 36th round of the 2013 amateur draft. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft and appeared in four games with the Orioles early in the 2018 season. The Orioles designated Cortes for assignment and returned him to the Yankees on April 14, 2018.