Mets enter GM meetings without new president for baseball operations

Mets enter GM meetings without new president for baseball operations

CARLSBAD, California – This week’s daily management meetings would ideally begin for the Mets with a new leader in place, but so much for the best plans.

Instead, a second off-season is underway where team president Sandy Alderson has been entrusted with leading the movements, as the Mets still searching for a honcho for baseball operations. Over four days in Southern California, he will lead the Mets delegation in discussions with agents and other team leaders about potential player acquisitions in this unusual offseason.

Without a collective agreement in place and the threat of a real lockout in December, it is possible that this event – which normally serves as a start for the winter meetings – will simply be a precursor to two or three months of emptiness.

Last winter, with the GM meetings disrupted due to the pandemic, Alderson led early business to largely mixed results. It was Alderson – who was then still officially waiting for him to return to the Mets after Steve Cohen’s approval as the new owner – who told former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, days before he fired him, to extend Marcus Stroman’s qualifying offer. . This offer was accepted, and gave the Mets an important starting rotation piece.

Alderson later quickly came to an agreement with the replacement Trevor May on a two-year contract worth 15 million dollars (perhaps overpayment for a replacement that produced 0.4 bWAR) and then miscalculated poorly in the catch market. Unwilling to potentially wait out JT Realmuto, the best free agent in the position, Alderson gave James McCann a four-year deal worth $ 40.6 million. McCann gave the Mets a presence behind the plate, but was a disappointment offensively – he owned a .246 / .299 / .387 slash with 10 homers and 46 RBI.

Sandy Alderson's role in the Mets' search for a president for baseball operations is unclear.
Sandy Alderson’s role in the Mets’ search for a president for baseball operations is unclear.
Robert sabo

When this offseason starts, the Mets need to fill in the starting rotation and outfield and on third base.

The need for rotation is stark, after a season where Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco spent considerable time on the injury list. The team’s most reliable starter from 2021, Stroman, is a free agent, and although Noah Syndergaard will return – he is expected to accept the team’s qualifying offer worth $ 18.4 million – it’s a question of his tenure after almost two full seasons missed rehabilitation from the Tommy John operation.

The Mets need to decide if Stroman fits their long-term vision or if they might want to go in a different direction in a free agent market that includes names like Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman and Danny Duffy. Max Scherzer is an exciting name, but the future Hall of Famer may not embrace the idea of ​​a return to the East after finishing last season with the Dodgers. By relinquishing Wade Miley (he was demanded by the Cubs for $ 10 million), the Reds have sent the message that they are in cost-saving mode. Can Sonny Gray be available? That is certainly a question Alderson and his lieutenants should ask.

Michael Conforto was another recipient of qualifying offers, and the Mets have to decide if it is a long-term offer that makes sense for their home-grown outfielder. Conforto showed life late in the season, but overall was a disappointment in a year he missed over a month with a strained right hamstring after testing positive for COVID-19 just before the spring training started. With or without Conforto, Mets are possible could pursue Kris Bryant as a hybrid that would fill two needs: a third base upgrade and right-handed bat for the outfield. Starling Marte is another right-handed bat in the free agent market. If the Mets were to sign him, they could move Brandon Nimmo to the left field full time.

Javier Baez, who arrived from the Cubs at the trade deadline, is a free agent and can offer a long-term solution on a second base. But the Mets still have Jeff McNeil and 39-year-old Robinson Cano (back from a PED suspension and still owed $ 40 million by the Mets) as opportunities for the position.

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