Mets and Yankees should have a hard-fought free agent battle this winter
By Tim Boyle
The center of Major League Baseball’s free agency news could be in New York. Both the New York Mets and New York Yankees should get involved in some of this offseason’s biggest bidding wars.
Everything seemed to be going well for the New York Yankees until October 9, 2020. The club looked like they would fulfill their destiny and win the 2020 World Series. Instead, they joined the New York Mets as one of the other 29 losers.
I’m not here to rag on the Yankees for getting eliminated by a team with a meager payroll. The Tampa Bay Rays have been built brilliantly. Through the draft, savvy trades, and good management from all areas, the club has overcome many odds this year.
As for the Yankees, they’re back to the drawing board. They will need to look at their roster deeply. Much like the Mets, they’ll need to venture into free agency to fix their problems.
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Wouldn’t you know, the Yankees and Mets both have some similar needs. Specifically, each could get into a bidding war for starting pitchers and catchers.
This means Trevor Bauer and J.T. Realmuto could call New York home in 2020 but not the way Mets fans would like.
The Mets were already facing the challenge of fighting against some of the league’s best teams for the rights to these two. Bauer appeared to be a possibility for just about any team ready to pay the price. The Yankees, bounced from the playoffs prematurely and with some notable free agent starting pitchers hitting the open market, could get in on the action.
Far more likely, the Yankees could look to move on from Gary Sanchez. His abysmal performance this past season has people talking. Could they pursue Realmuto?
Previous to Sanchez’s massive decline, the Mets were already competing with the Philadelphia Phillies for Realmuto’s next deal. Realmuto has spent the last two seasons in Philly. Fortunately, he never signed an extension.
Other teams could and should get in on the mix. However, it’s the Yankees we might want to worry about most. They never shy away from breaking the bank. Considering they haven’t even been to the World Series since 2009, the franchise could take even more drastic measures to ensure they finally get over the hump.
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For the first time in a few years, it really feels like the Mets will be right there with the rest of Major League Baseball when it comes to signing the best of the best. Big dollars and the appeal of playing in New York may not be enough if the other team in the Big Apple can offer just as much.