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  • 2020/21 Hot Stove - What's Cooking?

    As the Steve Cohen Era Nears,
    Five Big Questions Facing the Mets This Offseason



    by Tim Healey timothy.healey@newsday.com
    27 Sep 2020. 4:07 PM ET


    With the offseason upon us, here are five major questions facing the Mets as they approach a new era.
    1. When will Steve Cohen’s purchase of the Mets get voted on?

      Multibillionaire Steve Cohen’s $2.475 billion deal to buy the Mets is done, pending approval from MLB, which will put it to a vote by team owners. Cohen needs yeses from 23 of 30 teams — he already has one, outgoing owner Fred Wilpon — to join the club.

      Every indication has been that Cohen indeed will get the necessary support. The bigger unknown is when that might happen. MLB already has owners meetings scheduled for mid-November, so that would seem to be the latest a vote would occur. A source said this month that a vote is likely to be held well before then.

      In the meantime, Cohen is allowed to consult on Mets decisions. But the sooner he takes over for real, the more runway he will have to implement the changes he desires.
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    2. What will Cohen do with Brodie Van Wagenen?

      Of all the near-term decisions Cohen needs to make, the general manager’s fate is probably at the top of the list.

      Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter Receive stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

      That is especially true after Cohen announced Thursday that former GM Sandy Alderson will return as team president. Alderson will be the overseer of everything, including the GM, a job previously done by chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon.

      Two years is not long enough to fully and fairly evaluate a GM’s performance. But Van Wagenen’s track record — everything from the Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano blockbuster to everyday roster management — isn’t pretty, so it would be impossible to blame Cohen for designing his own front office.

      If Van Wagenen is gone, the status of his inner-circle members would also be in question to some degree. His hires include assistant GMs Allard Baird and Adam Guttridge and executive director of player development Jared Banner, plus manager Luis Rojas.
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    3. How will the Mets fix their catcher and centerfield problems?

      These are two of the most important positions on the field, and they are ones where the Mets have been deficient — especially defensively — for years.

      Wilson Ramos has a $10 million team option ($1.5 million buyout) for 2021. Robinson Chirinos has a $6.5 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2021. Neither is particularly good, and Ramos in particular took a step back offensively this season (following a step back last season).

      Fortunately for the Mets, J.T. Realmuto, probably the best catcher in the world, is going to be a free agent. Also fortunately for the Mets, they are about to have the richest owner in baseball. Under multiple GMs, they flirted with acquiring Realmuto from the Marlins in the couple of offseasons before Miami dealt him to Philadelphia. Now, he can be had for nothing but money.

      In center, Brandon Nimmo is more than adequate as a hitter with his elite on-base skills, so maybe the Mets roll with him again to keep leftfield free for Jeff McNeil/Dominic Smith. But, defensively, Nimmo is best suited as a corner outfielder.

      Connecticut native George Springer of the Astros is going to be a free agent. So is Jackie Bradley Jr., an exceptional defender but streaky hitter.
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    4. How will the Mets fill out the rotation?

      Gone are the days when flamethrowing homegrown arms make the rotation the Mets’ signature position group. Jacob deGrom will headline the starting five again in 2021, sure, but after that it is all question marks.

      When is Noah Syndergaard, who had Tommy John surgery in March, expected to be healthy enough to pitch? (Memorial Day-ish?)

      Did David Peterson do enough to earn a spot in the back end, or do team decision-makers prefer he go to Triple-A, a level at which he has never pitched? (The former, probably.)

      Do the Mets prefer Seth Lugo as a starter or reliever? (Depends, in part, on some of these other questions.)

      Can they count on Steven Matz for anything? (Good question.)

      NL Cy Young Award favorite Trevor Bauer headlines this year’s class of free-agent starters. Masahiro Tanaka, Marcus Stroman - who opted out of this season - and James Paxton are among those also available.
      .
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    5. What unexpected changes will occur?

      This, ultimately, is the biggest question of them all. Everything conventional wisdom tells you about the Mets may no longer be true. An ownership change is the kind of paradigm shift unseen in the franchise’s recent history, and there is no telling the extent to which Cohen does — or doesn’t — want to change the organization.

      Maybe he wants to shake up the major-league core. Maybe he’ll tap into his access to all sorts of top business executives to help Alderson run the non-baseball side. Maybe he is content to let the status quo remain while he learns about his new toy and doesn’t make many changes at all this winter.
    OK, fine, that last one seems unlikely.


    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    https://twitter.com/MetsmerizedJoeD/...30437047705600

    Drew's Sig

    Comment


    • #3
      I do wonder how they are going to fix Center Field...internal (why they never put Rosario out there for a looksee makes no sense if they were really considering it)? FA (Springer, Bradley, Taylor, Marte)? Trade (Marte if his option is picked up, etc)?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by saxon View Post
        I do wonder how they are going to fix Center Field...internal (why they never put Rosario out there for a looksee makes no sense if they were really considering it)? FA (Springer, Bradley, Taylor, Marte)? Trade (Marte if his option is picked up, etc)?
        Only reason that I can think of continuing to play Rosario at SS was to showcase him for a trade. Not only do we have Gimenez, but on of the team's top prospects is Mauricio, also a SS.

        As for your four possible CF suggestions - agree that we need a CF, badly so, but wow, most have warts.

        Taylor - batted .196/.253/.424/.676 - not far below his career OPS of .686

        Springer (31 years old) & Marte (about to turn 32) - an immediate solution, but will the necessary length of a contract soon turn them into a corner OF, giving us the exact same problem in a year or two, with a bigger contract. There is already talk that Springer will need to a corner soon, and both of Marte's Gold Gloves came in LF.

        Bradley seems to be the most attractive to me. 31 going into next season, but had better defensive numbers that Springer or Marte. Decent offensive numbers for a CF. Also had 5 SB (Marte 5, Springer 1, Taylor 0). After a first glance over these four, he would be the one I would prefer, both for results, and for the ability to stick in CF the longest.

        I 💗 Chipper Jones!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          5 Biggest Items on Mets' Offseason To-do List,
          including Extending Michael Conforto and
          Finding a Center Fielder


          George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and J.T. Realmuto
          could be among New York's free agent targets


          by Danny Abriano, Editorial Producer
          30 Sep 2020, 1:15 PM ET

          The Mets, with Steve Cohen's ownership and Sandy Alderson's return pending the approval of Cohen by MLB owners, are about to embark on an incredibly important offseason that could help shape the franchise for the next half decade.

          In addition to the potential change at owner and reshaping of the front office, the Mets -- who hope to contend in 2021 -- have a handful of big on-field things they need to handle.

          In no particular order, here are the five biggest items on the Mets' offseason to-do list...

          Fix the center field situation

          Brandon Nimmo is not a center fielder, so he shouldn't be blamed for being one of the worst defensive center fielders in baseball in 2020. Nimmo is also an elite offensive performer, so the Mets should be carving out a spot for him in left field.

          The above means that New York needs to find a center fielder who can handle the position defensively and provide average or better production at the plate. That will be easier said than done, and the answer is not coming from the Mets' minor league system.

          Options on the free agent market include 31-year-old George Springer and 30-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr., who had a resurgent season for the Boston Red Sox.

          Extend Michael Conforto

          Conforto, who can be a free agent after the 2021 season, recently spoke about the potential of signing a contract extension before that happens.


          "I think we'll know more when the time comes," Conforto said. "I haven't really gone that far into the future. ... As we get closer I guess I'll get a better feel for that."

          With the 27-year-old Conforto a huge part of the Mets both on the field and in the clubhouse, and with the state of their outfield very much in flux, they should do everything in their power to get him locked up before it's too late.

          It's unclear what it might take, but an extension that buys out Conforto's final year of arbitration and tacks on an additional four seasons beyond 2021 could be a good starting point.

          Find another ace to pair with Jacob deGrom

          The Mets are sitting at home right now because of how bad their starting rotation was. And if they want to contend in 2021, they have serious work to do when it comes to fixing it.

          With Noah Syndergaard's status uncertain following Tommy John surgery, multiple starting pitchers will be needed. And one of them needs to be someone who profiles as a top of the rotation starter who can slot in behind deGrom at No. 2.

          If the Mets want a true ace, the only one on the free agent market will be Trevor Bauer. If they can't reel him in and want an ace, they'll have to trade for one.

          Fix the catching situation

          Along with the starting rotation and center field defense, catcher was the Mets' biggest glaring weakness this past season as Wilson Ramos hit 239/.297/.387 and played poor defense.

          Ramos' struggles defensively, due in part to his lack of mobility, were glaring.

          As is the case with Bauer being a perfect fit for the Mets' rotation, pending free agent J.T. Realmuto would be an ideal fit behind the plate.

          If the Mets don't land Realmuto, they might have to get creative. Help could eventually be on the way from the farm system in the form of top prospect Francisco Alvarez, but he's probably three seasons away.

          Add another elite arm to the bullpen

          Edwin Diaz showed in 2020 that his disastrous 2019 was an aberration as he posted a 1.74 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while striking out 50 batters in 25.2 IP.

          Beyond Diaz, though, the Mets' bullpen is not in great shape. Moving Seth Lugo back to the 'pen could help, but New York needs to add another elite reliever no matter what.

          Liam Hendriks and Alex Colome are among the relievers set for free agency.


          Drew's Sig

          Comment


          • #6
            I see James McCann's named mentioned a bit in catcher free agent discussions...while not a brand name option like Realmuto, he appears to be solid defensively and decent offensively for a catcher (decent pop and OPS, despite not a great average)...THe White Sox are in the playoffs, they were 7 games over .500 when McCann caught and only 3 games over .500 when the other catcher caught

            As far as Bradley...good defensive OFer, but another LH'd hitting OFer that can't hit LHP...do we really need 3 LH'd hitting starting OFers, with 2 of them sucking versus LHP? This is a team that did not fair well vs LHP in several years

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by saxon View Post
              I see James McCann's named mentioned a bit in catcher free agent discussions...while not a brand name option like Realmuto, he appears to be solid defensively and decent offensively for a catcher (decent pop and OPS, despite not a great average)...THe White Sox are in the playoffs, they were 7 games over .500 when McCann caught and only 3 games over .500 when the other catcher caught

              As far as Bradley...good defensive OFer, but another LH'd hitting OFer that can't hit LHP...do we really need 3 LH'd hitting starting OFers, with 2 of them sucking versus LHP? This is a team that did not fair well vs LHP in several years
              Nice post Sax. Really like the suggestion of McCann. I am sure I differ than most here on this subject, but I do NOT want to go after Realmuto. Just too much money, for too long, for a player that will not be able to capably play his position for the length of his contract (Posey, Wieters). Catching just takes too much of a toll on the body, and Realmuto will get too long of a contract. Also, and more important to me, is that we are going to have to spend a LOT on starting pitching. Currently, we have deGrom, Peterson (hoping to duplicate a 9 start season), Lugo (uneven results and hoping that his partially torn UCL holds up as a starter), release candidate Matz & the hope that when Thor returns, he will be good. We will have to spend big on at least two starters, instead of trying to hope for better results from another Porcello/Wacha flyer. Also need a CF. We don't have the luxury of getting an all-star catcher with all of our needs (did I even mention bullpen yet?). Your McCann suggestion sounds great to me. Reamuto-lite. Get the defense we have so sorely lacked behind the plate with playable offense. Get it done Omar!! (Or should I have said Get it done Sax-mar!!)

              As for the CF situation, good catch on Bradley hitting LH. Definitely an issue. But of the other three candidates you presented, Taylor can't hit at all, and I am worried about the length of contract for both Marte & Springer (both RH hitters). They are already looking at moving Springer to a corner soon, and he will get the longer contract (last thing we need is another corner OF). And I would be surprised if Marte's $12.5M 2021 option didn't get picked up. We would jump all over a one year $12.5M contract for him, and I don't see why the Marlins would let him walk over that price, especially after making the playoffs this year,

              And let's be clear about one thing. In no way at all, am I advocating signing him when I say I 💖 Chipper Jones!!!

              Comment


              • saxon
                saxon commented
                Editing a comment
                The rumor right after the Marlins traded Marte was that they didn't intend to pickup the option on him.

                Doesn't mean that the rumor is true, but if it is, Marte checks a lot of boxes for me: center fielder that hits Right handed, runs well, has good pop, and has a good enough OBP to hit at the top of the order.
                Last edited by saxon; 02-Oct-2020, 03:55 PM.

              • mjjm367
                mjjm367 commented
                Editing a comment
                That was the "rumor" then. I wonder just how true it would be with the Marlins now moving on to the NLDS.

            • #8
              Miss me? Time to dream again...

              If Steve Cohen wants to immediately contend, add Realmuto, Springer and Bauer however he can.

              Potential Lineup:
              Springer CF
              Realmuto C
              Conforto RF
              Alonso DH
              Smith 1B
              McNeil 3B
              Cano 2B
              Gimenez SS
              Nimmo LF

              Bench:
              JD Davis 3B/LF
              Nido C
              Guillorme 3B/SS/2B
              Heredia LF/CF/RF

              Starting Rotation:
              deGrom
              Bauer
              Syndergaard (mid-season return?)
              Peterson
              Szapucki / FA signing

              Bullpen:
              Diaz (CL)
              Lugo (Setup)
              Betances (Setup)
              Familia (Middle relief)
              Shreve (Middle relief)
              Castro (Middle relief)
              Brach (Middle relief)

              How do we get the 3 big names?

              George Springer - he might want to be closer to CT where he grew up. Best comp is probably Cespedes who got $27.5 million per year. Say we give him $29M over 4 years with a mutual option for a 5th year at $25M. That's 4/$116M or 5/$141M. Not bad for one of the best 2-way CF in the game.

              JT Realmuto - Best comp Yadier Molina got 3 years / 60M in his mid 30s. Figure Realmuto can get a slightly longer deal. I don't think he'd sneeze at a 5 year / $100M deal with an opportunity to play in arguably the best media market in baseball.

              Trevor Bauer - he has stated he would be open to betting on himself and getting 1-year deals at max salary. Clearly its worked in 2020...offer him the highest AAV of any other team. Say $36M?

              I'm an accountant, but I don't feel like crunching the numbers. Would anyone like to run the projected payroll figures under this scenario, while also taking account for arbitration raises or even player extensions (ie. Conforto/Alonso).

              Also, notice that Rosario isn't in the equation up above. I'm thinking we could package him with some other assets for starting pitching depth.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post
                Miss me? Time to dream again...

                If Steve Cohen wants to immediately contend, add Realmuto, Springer and Bauer however he can.

                Potential Lineup:
                Springer CF
                Realmuto C
                Conforto RF
                Alonso DH
                Smith 1B
                McNeil 3B
                Cano 2B
                Gimenez SS
                Nimmo LF

                Bench:
                JD Davis 3B/LF
                Nido C
                Guillorme 3B/SS/2B
                Heredia LF/CF/RF



                JT Realmuto - Best comp Yadier Molina got 3 years / 60M in his mid 30s. Figure Realmuto can get a slightly longer deal. I don't think he'd sneeze at a 5 year / $100M deal with an opportunity to play in arguably the best media market in baseball.
                I have read he wants a deal in the vicinity of Joe Mauer's 8 yr $184M. I doubt he gets that in the current climate but he may get more than what you suggest.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by West Coast Mets Fan View Post

                  I have read he wants a deal in the vicinity of Joe Mauer's 8 yr $184M. I doubt he gets that in the current climate but he may get more than what you suggest.
                  Joe Mauer got that deal right before his age 27 season. JT Realmuto will be 30 years old on Opening Day 2021. And given the result of Mauer's contract, I don't see anyone giving a catcher that much AAV. That's why I think he will be able to get a contract through age 35 at 20M/year. You are absolutely right, he may want a bit more AAV, I just don't know if owners will go there...

                  IMO our biggest competition will be the Phillies. And I just don't think they will outbid us. Wow, can't believe I just said that.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    So we are going to outbid all other interested teams for the #1 starting pitcher available, the #1 catcher available, and one of the best available CFs. And all of this doesn't address the fact that we either have to resign Conforto, or let him hit the open market at the end of 2021.

                    I understand the excitement of having the Wilpon's financial handcuffs removed, but our dream scenarios have to be tempered with a healthy dose of reality.

                    Comment


                    • NY FANG
                      NY FANG commented
                      Editing a comment
                      who do you love?

                    • mjjm367
                      mjjm367 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Damn, is it already public knowledge?????? Was it TMZ that spilled the info?

                      LMFAO - sorry, just spaced on it when posting. My mea culpa -

                      I really, really 💗 Chipper Jones!!!

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post

                    Joe Mauer got that deal right before his age 27 season. JT Realmuto will be 30 years old on Opening Day 2021. And given the result of Mauer's contract, I don't see anyone giving a catcher that much AAV. That's why I think he will be able to get a contract through age 35 at 20M/year. You are absolutely right, he may want a bit more AAV, I just don't know if owners will go there...

                    IMO our biggest competition will be the Phillies. And I just don't think they will outbid us. Wow, can't believe I just said that.
                    yeah I doubt that he will be seeking/gettting that long of a deal...I've read equavalent AAV but for 5 years'ish

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by mjjm367 View Post
                      So we are going to outbid all other interested teams for the #1 starting pitcher available, the #1 catcher available, and one of the best available CFs. And all of this doesn't address the fact that we either have to resign Conforto, or let him hit the open market at the end of 2021.

                      I understand the excitement of having the Wilpon's financial handcuffs removed, but our dream scenarios have to be tempered with a healthy dose of reality.
                      no they don't...we can dream in color if we want...even if we don't get it, it will be better than the overcooked, old, unflavored oatmeal reality that the Wilpons constantly delivered

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Looking at Bauer's career numbers, I wouldn't pay him anywhere close to deGrom or that POS Yankee ace salary...mediocre pitcher from 2012 until 2017...good season 2018...crap season 2019...good shortened season 2020

                        https://www.baseball-reference.com/p...ching_standard

                        every season other than 2018 & 2020, Bauer has had an ERA of about 4.2 or higher, and a WHIP of 1.31 or higher....his numbers tend to be driven by his walks more than anything else...

                        an ERA of 4.2 and a WHIP of 1.31 would likely not result in a lot of wins with the Mets defense and inability to score runs behind their pitchers...Mets get on base, hit HRs, but don't score, don't run and don't field...and their current catcher is not going to influence umps to expand the strikezone at all
                        Last edited by saxon; 07-Oct-2020, 05:53 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Personally, I agree with WCMF - the buzz around JT itself will cause teams to overbid. I'm guessing closer to the 7/8 range than the 5. But let's say he does take 5, there is no way in hell is't only going to cost 20MM per year. Top talent is signing for upwards of 40MM per year now a days, and whether he can sustain it is to be seem, but as of today, he is top talent. If he signs a 5 year deal, think closer to 150 - 170MM. I mean Brian McCann who was good, but never considered a STUD received 5x85 in 2014, and salaries have gone crazy since then.

                          My guess, he signs somewhere for 6-7 years at 25-30MM per year.

                          Springer, I think you're closer to realistic at 29MM per year over 4-5 years for a guy about to be 32. My guess is he actually gets a bit less than that per year. Closer to 20-25MM per for 4-5 years.

                          Baeur took a 1 year prove it deal once. Now he will want his just deserts. I can't say he'd turn down 1 year 36MM, but my guess is he looks for a happy medium and signs a Zack Wheeler type of deal (similar ages), and Baeur will look to cash in on his potential Cy Young year in his age 30 season. Think 5 year deal with 20 + million per year.

                          So as MJJM pointed out, day one, Cohen is going to lay out call in 80MM in these three guys, resign Conforto (costing another 20MM + per), and somehow fill out the rest of the squad. Not saying it can't happen, it's just not likely to happen. But I'm totally on board if it does. Love spending OPM.

                          Comment

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