The Mets announced today that they have exercised the option on Jeremy Hefner’s contract and will retain him as their pitching coach in 2022. Hefner will be the only coach returning to the big league club next season.
While the move by itself is not surprising, as Hefner appears popular among the staff, the news comes as the club continues to search for a President of Baseball Operations, a general manager, and a manager. Typically, those roles would be filled first, and the manager would select his coaching staff. However, the Mets had to exercise his option before the end of the month, so they made the call while waiting to fill those other needs.
Hefner, who pitched for the Mets in 2012 and 2013, served as an advance scout for the Twins in 2017 and 2018 before becoming the club’s assistant pitching coach in 2019. From there, he jumped to the Mets to serve as pitching coach, where he’s been the past two seasons. In 2021, Mets pitchers posted a 3.90 ERA, which was good for ninth among the 30 MLB clubs. The news of his return elicited a positive response from Mets reliever Drew Smith.
Earlier this month, the team made the decision to part with the rest of their staff, including manager Luis Rojas. A select few, most notably Hugh Quattlebaum, were reassigned within the organization, with the majority of them being free to seek opportunities elsewhere.