2) Will the Mets attempt to compete if they miss out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
In many ways, it feels like this Mets offseason hedges entirely on what happens with Yoshinobu Yamamoto. We haven't heard much about them being connected to any other major free agent. Even Shohei Ohtani.
The Mets appear to be all in on this Japanese right-hander, and they should feel pretty good about their chances thanks to Steve Cohen's wallet. With so many teams interested in him, it's far from a guarantee that Yamamoto will end up in Flushing. What happens if he does not sign with the Mets?
Yamamoto is the top free agent remaining on the board, but there are still several starting pitchers the Mets can sign if they don't land him. Guys like Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell will fetch nine-figure deals somewhere. They can even turn to a guy like Shota Imanaga who should get close to nine figures. The problem with those guys is they're all 30 years old or older. Yamamoto is just 25.
If they fail to get the young ace, will they make win-now types of moves by signing expensive 30+ year olds? Or will they focus on more reclamation projects? If they do the latter, it's hard to see this team really competing in a tough division and league. If that's the case, is Alonso expendable?
The free agents New York has signed thus far are guys who have been good in the past but were bad last season. Luis Severino was arguably the worst pitcher in baseball when healthy. It feels like they'll try their best to compete if Yamamoto signs, but we could be looking at more bargain-bin moves if he doesn't.