Mets’ Collins Gets Two-Year Extension After Third Place Finish

New York Mets manager Terry Collins agreed on a two-year extension after leading the Major League Baseball team to a 224-261 record over three seasons.

The extension includes a team option for the 2016 season, according to General Manager Sandy Alderson. While the team didn’t announce financial terms, reported it was worth about $1 million a year.

Collins, 64, was hired in November 2010, inheriting a team that had finished fourth in the National League East for the second consecutive year. During his tenure the Mets unloaded talent, including All-Stars Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran; cut payroll by 44 percent; and settled a $303 million lawsuit brought by the liquidator of convicted Ponzi scheme developer Bernie Madoff’s company that team owners said limited their financial flexibility.

“Terry has done an outstanding job for us,” Alderson said today at a televised press conference. “The team never quit, continued to play hard, continued to play with the resources it had at hand and finished as well as we could have expected.”

The Mets will also bring back Collins’s entire staff, Alderson said.

The Mets have missed the playoffs for the last seven seasons, and 2006 brought their only postseason berth since losing to the New York Yankees in the 2000 World Series.

The Mets were 77-85 in Collins’s first season, fourth in the NL East. New York finished fourth in the five-team division again in 2012, at 74-88, a record matched this season as the team climbed to third.

Both Alderson and Collins said they were unhappy with the win-loss record the last three years.

‘High Expectations’

“Each of those years we went into spring training with high expectations, higher than most people had, because we knew the personnel,” Collins said. “Certainly there were a lot of things beyond our control and we didn’t perform up to what our expectations were.”

Collins arrived in New York after three-year stints with the Houston Astros (1994-96) and Anaheim Angels (1997-99). Known as an effective leader through rebuilding seasons, he has never led a team to the playoffs.

The Mets’ opening-day payroll was $132.7 million the year prior to Collins’ arrival, the fifth-highest in the major leagues. This year, the team ranked No. 25 with payroll of $74.1 million, according to Newsday, a 44 percent drop in three years.

Madoff Case

That coincided with off-field legal problems that limited the team’s financial options. In March 2012, owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz agreed to pay $162 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the liquidator of Madoff’s firm, who alleged that the owners ignored signs that the investor was running a Ponzi scheme. Those losses were likely mitigated by money they later collected from net winners of the Madoff accounts and the Mets announced that same month that they had repaid a $25 million loan from MLB and a $40 million loan from Bank of America.

The team allowed Reyes, the franchise’s all-time leader in triples and stolen bases, to leave via free agency after the 2011 season. The Mets also traded away Beltran, an eight-time All-Star, and starting pitcher R.A. Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner.

Collins has a reputation of developing young players, and through those trades the Mets were able to bring in prospects such as starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud. With the emergence of second-year starter Matt Harvey, an All-Star who is currently rehabilitating a torn arm ligament, Collins said he would enter 2014 with “very, very high expectations.”

“We saw some bright things that happened this year with some of our young players,” he said. “It’s time to put some wins on the board.”

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