Followers have each proper to be cynical about this, and I’ve little doubt they are going to be, however sources with data of the Mets’ plans are telling me the entrance workplace will do extra to enhance the group this winter than is being portrayed publicly.
I’ve to consider that is already not less than partly a response to the pounding that homeowners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are taking publicly for his or her obvious intention to chop payroll.
Nevertheless, sources make the case that it is extra about seeing potential worth in a free-agent market shifting so slowly that gamers will finally signal for considerably lower than they have been asking in the beginning.
In fact, that would change into Jaime Garcia and Addison Reed, which would not precisely energize pissed off Mets’ followers who’re nicely conscious the membership had some $60 million come off the payroll final season.
However, one identify I heard talked about on Thursday was Mike Moustakas, the third baseman who hit 38 residence runs for the Royals final season, and to this point appears to have generated restricted curiosity at finest.
No person was saying the Mets are able to swoop in and signal him, however it appears truthful to say the group is monitoring his state of affairs, nicely conscious there aren’t many potential touchdown spots for third baseman on the lookout for long-term offers.
After the Giants traded for Evan Longoria, the truth is, the Cardinals look like the one apparent risk, however they’ve reportedly tried to commerce for Josh Donaldson this winter, and could also be extra inclined to attend a yr till he is a free agent.
Certainly, the potential availability of Donaldson and Manny Machado subsequent winter could possibly be a think about how different groups view the concept of paying large bucks for Moustakas or Todd Frazier as nicely.
As such Frazier too could possibly be in play for the Mets, however they see extra worth in Moustakas, not less than partly as a result of, at age 29, he’s two years youthful.
It isn’t clear how far his value must fall for them to behave on that worth, and it is price remembering that Moustakas’ agent is Scott Boras, who’s extra prone to maintain out into spring coaching than permit a high-profile participant to signal a discount contract.
However you by no means know. Would the Mets signal Moustakas to a four-year deal for someplace within the $60-$70 million vary? I get the sensation they’d see sufficient worth there to justify that sort of spending, even when it is greater than they projected for anybody participant.
Backside line, for the umpteenth time, is that the Mets should not must search for bargains like some small-market group, that they need to be dedicated to spending sufficient this winter to provide them an opportunity to win large in 2018 — with good well being from their beginning pitchers.
It is laborious to get solutions as to why the Mets aren’t keen to function with the monetary would possibly of a New York group. In spite of everything, they’ve spent at that degree at completely different instances over time, with various levels of success.
However in any case, sources have been making the purpose on Thursday that, perceptions apart, their low season is not all that completely different from that of just about all the opposite groups in baseball.
The Yankees are the obvious exception, as they traded for Giancarlo Stanton, making the Mets’ inactive low season look worse by comparability. In fact, it is price noting the Yankees have been capable of tackle Stanton’s wage and nonetheless anticipate to remain beneath the luxury-tax threshold largely as a result of their farm system has produced sufficient younger, low-salaried gamers to offset the large contract.
And I as I detailed in a column earlier this week, the Mets do not have that luxurious in the meanwhile because of years of dangerous drafting that has left their farm system virtually barren of blue-chip prospects — not less than at any degree above Single-A.
Yankee comparisons apart, nevertheless, Mets’ folks level out that few groups have made large strikes in free company, as GMs on this period appear decided to be smarter about limiting the size of even mega-deals.
And, in reality, that has lengthy been GM Sandy Alderson’s mode of operation.
“He is all the time decided to seek out worth,” was the best way one individual put it.
His endurance paid off two winters in the past, keep in mind, when Yoenis Cespedes could not discover the long-term deal he was in search of, and the Mets signed him to a three-year take care of an opt-out. That did not occur till Jan. 22, so possibly for Alderson it is nonetheless early.
Perhaps that endurance will repay once more in what’s the slowest-moving free-agent winter ever. There may be loads of potential worth on the market, if costs fall on the likes of Jay Bruce, Lorenzo Cain, and Lance Lynn, in addition to Moustakas.
And no matter payroll limitations Alderson is coping with, sources insist the GM has the latitude to convey potential offers to possession for approval that may lengthen these limitations.
We’ll see. To be sincere, I will consider the Mets are making a big-splash signing this winter after I see it.
However from what I heard on Thursday, I can not say it is out of the query.