CARLSBAD, Calif. — This week’s basic managers’ conferences ideally would start for the Mets with a brand new entrance workplace chief in place, however a lot for the perfect laid plans.
As an alternative, a second-straight offseason is underway during which crew president Sandy Alderson has been entrusted with directing the strikes, because the Mets nonetheless seek for a baseball operations honcho. Over 4 days in Southern California he’ll lead the Mets delegation in discussions with brokers and opposing crew executives about potential participant acquisitions on this uncommon offseason.
And not using a collective bargaining settlement in place and the specter of a December lockout actual, it’s attainable this occasion — which usually serves as a primer for the winter conferences — will merely be a precursor to 2 or three months of vacancy.
Final winter, with the GM conferences scrapped due to the pandemic, Alderson presided over early enterprise to largely blended outcomes. It was Alderson — then nonetheless formally awaiting his return to the Mets upon Steve Cohen’s approval as the brand new proprietor — who informed former basic supervisor Brodie Van Wagenen, days earlier than firing him, to increase the qualifying provide to Marcus Stroman. That supply was accepted, giving the Mets an necessary beginning rotation piece.
Alderson later moved rapidly in reaching settlement with reliever Trevor Could on a two-year contract price $15 million (maybe overpaying for a reliever who produced a 0.four bWAR) after which miscalculated badly within the catching market. Unwilling to doubtlessly wait out J.T. Realmuto, the highest free agent on the place, Alderson gave James McCann a four-year deal price $40.6 million. McCann gave the Mets a presence behind the plate, however was a disappointment offensively — he owned a .246/.299/.387 slash line with 10 homers and 46 RBIs.
As this offseason commences the Mets have must fill within the beginning rotation and outfield and at third base.
The rotation want is obtrusive, after a season during which Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco spent important time on the injured checklist. The crew’s most reliable starter from 2021, Stroman, is a free agent and even when Noah Syndergaard returns — he’s anticipated to just accept the crew’s qualifying provide price $18.four million — there are questions on his sturdiness after practically two full seasons missed rehabbing from Tommy John surgical procedure.
The Mets must determine whether or not Stroman suits their long-term imaginative and prescient or if they could wish to head in a distinct course in a free-agent market that features names akin to Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman and Danny Duffy. Max Scherzer is an intriguing identify, however the future Corridor of Famer won’t embrace the concept of a return east after ending final season with the Dodgers. By waiving Wade Miley (he was claimed by the Cubs for $10 million) the Reds have despatched the message they’re in cost-cutting mode. Might Sonny Grey be out there? It’s definitely a query Alderson and his lieutenants ought to ask.
Michael Conforto was one other qualifying provide recipient, and the Mets should determine if there’s a long-term provide that is smart for his or her homegrown outfielder. Conforto confirmed life late within the season, however total was a disappointment in a 12 months he missed over a month with a strained proper hamstring after testing constructive for COVID-19 simply earlier than spring coaching began. With or with out Conforto, it’s attainable the Mets may pursue Kris Bryant as a hybrid who would fill two wants: an improve at third base and right-handed bat for the outfield. Starling Marte is one other right-handed bat on the free-agent market. If the Mets have been to signal him, they might transfer Brandon Nimmo to left subject full-time.
Javier Baez, who arrived from the Cubs on the commerce deadline, is a free agent and will present a long-term resolution at second base. However the Mets nonetheless have Jeff McNeil and 39-year-old Robinson Cano (coming back from a PED suspension and nonetheless owed $40 million by the Mets) as potentialities on the place.