NY Mets: Acquiring free agents will not be a cakewalk
By Bernie Kastner
The New York Mets may have the advantage, but signing the best free agents won’t come without competition.
New York Mets fans remain excited about the prospects of significantly improving their team this winter. And rightly so considering the new ownership and the concomitant building of a sustainable management team.
The optimism over the last few weeks has boiled over into a frenzy about the assurance that the Mets were now going to be very aggressive in both the free agent market and via trade. As we say in tennis: Advantage Mets.
The rationale for the expectation of good times to come was based on Steve Cohen’s deep pockets, his commitment to putting a great product onto the field, and the distinct advantage that the Mets now have financially versus most other teams. In 2020, the new ownership did not suffer losses, and the shedding of many very good ballplayers from other rosters made the odds even more skewed in the direction of the Mets being able to now take advantage of the decreased competition from other ballclubs.
But is that so?
All I am hearing so far regarding Trevor Bauer, Francisco Lindor, DJ LeMahieu, Marcell Ozuna, Brad Hand, Lance Lynn, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, JT Realmuto and others is that many teams are very much interested in all of these players as well. Rumors about Lindor going to the Blue Jays, Arenado to the Dodgers, Springer to Boston, DJ to the Nationals, and Bauer to the Angels are all beginning to make me believe that this isn’t going to be a slam dunk after all.
Does this mean that we have been fed a smokescreen by the media regarding the non-ability of other clubs to be highly competitive even in this period of financial belt-tightening?
I am beginning to wonder. Despite all of the hoopla and optimism surrounding our ability to spend, until we make that first big splash, I am not going to be able to rest comfortably about securing those pieces that the Mets need to add to their roster. It seems that other clubs still have the ability to compete and hence it will not be like walking into a candy store free of other customers.
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Yes it is still early and the Mets didn’t even hire a GM as yet. But as the weather gets colder, I am beginning to get a bit hot under the collar.