NEW YORK -- Ten days after the Mets extended the contract of manager Willie Randolph through the 2009 season, they announced they have signed pitching coach Rick Peterson for the same period. Peterson and the other coaches --- all are returning except for Manny Acta -- have been signed for some time, but the announcement came Friday afternoon.
Acta left to accept the Nationals' manager position late last year. His replacement, Howard Johnson, had signed a one-year contract. Johnson will coach first base, and Sandy Alomar moves from first base to third. The others retained the same responsibilities they had last season -- Guy Conti (bullpen), Jerry Manuel (bench) and Down (batting). The three have agreed to two-year contracts, as has catching instructor Tom Nieto.
Alomar, who served as bench coach in 2005, Manuel, the first-base coach that year, Conti and Nieto have been with Randolph for two years. Peterson began his tenure with the Mets after the 2003 season, while Art Howe was the manager.
Under Peterson's guidance, the Mets staff produced the third lowest ERA (4.14) in the National League last season despite a series of injuries that struck the rotation and the bullpen. The club lost Juan Padilla in Spring Training, two of its season-opening starters, Brian Bannister and Victor Zambrano, before mid-May and Pedro Martinez for extended periods and Martinez and Orlando Hernandez for the postseason. And Duaner Sanchez was disabled for the final two and a half months of the season after being injured in a taxi accident.
"Rick has done a great job with the pitchers," general manager Omar Minaya said in a statement Friday. "He has a personal approach for each guy, and I think his success over the last three years speaks for itself."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.