The Mets’ new coaching staff continues to grow this week. Ken Rosenthal reported on Thursday that the man taking over for Tom Goodwin as first base coach will be none other than Ruben Amaro Jr. That’s the same Ruben Amaro Jr. who was general manager of the rival Phillies from 2009 through 2015.
It was a big surprise when Amaro traded his suit for a uniform after being let go by Philadelphia. Instead of latching on with another front office, he joined the Red Sox as a first base coach for his first on-field job since retiring as a player in 1998. Amaro had been with the Philadelphia franchise since 1996, when he signed with the Phillies as a free agent outfield. Following his retirement, Amaro was hired into the front office by general manager Ed Wade.
Over the next 10 years, Amaro worked under Wade and his successor Pat Gillick, winning the 2008 World Series while serving as the assistant general manager. When Gillick retired following the banner campaign, Amaro took over as GM and guided Philadelphia to another National League pennant and three more division titles. However, following the 2011 season, it became apparent that Amaro wasn’t doing enough to support a winning future for the Phillies. The club collapsed under the weight of bloated contracts, with little remaining in the farm system to support the aging stars on the field.
Considered one of the worst GMs in baseball when he was fired in 2015, Amaro probably has more of a future in coaching than he does running a front office in today’s data-driven environment. In an interesting twist, new Red Sox manager and former Mets infielder Alex Cora has hired Goodwin as Boston’s new first base coach, so Goodwin and Amaro are essentially trading jobs. Hopefully Amaro helps the Mets return to the postseason instead of crushing them like he did when he was Philadelphia’s GM.