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How the Mets can become the Gold Standard of Major League Baseball

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: J.D. Davis #28 and Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets celebrate an 11-6 win against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on August 12, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: J.D. Davis #28 and Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets celebrate an 11-6 win against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on August 12, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Sep 9, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Reward players with extensions

The relationship between the front office and the players is sometimes overlooked. We’re seeing it a little more this winter as players can finally express some positivity toward Cohen and Company.

One way to build a positive relationship is to reward players with extensions. They shouldn’t be handed out haphazardly without much thought. However, if you go through any MLB roster, there are surely at least one or two players worthy of a long-term deal.

This does a few things. It builds trust with players. Not only will the ones you have under team control have a little more respect, but so will those free agents you may target in the future. Unfortunately, we sometimes get caught up in thinking of players as salaries and statistics. In actuality, they are human beings with souls, emotions, and grudges.

The Mets can start this process with an extension for Michael Conforto. It might not happen this offseason. What’s important is that it does happen before he reaches free agency.

I do believe extending Conforto is on Cohen’s to-do list. Whether it’s one of the first major moves the organization makes or something that takes until spring doesn’t matter. As long as Conforto feels the love at some point before the season begins, all should be well.

The Mets have several extension candidates coming up in the next few years. Conforto is the most pressing, but let’s also not forget about Noah Syndergaard. He also reaches free agency after the 2021 season.

For a Gold Standard franchise, the expectation should be that the team at least has a willingness to negotiate honestly and fairly. Keeping your top players in town is important for the fans and the team’s chemistry. It’s one thing we will hopefully see a lot more of in the coming years.

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