It's safe to say 99.9% of New York Mets fans are extremely thankful to have Steve Cohen as the owner of their team. Since taking over, Cohen has completely changed everything we knew about the franchise for the better. The Mets are coming off of a 101-win season and arguably improved despite having more free agents than I can remember.
We can only wonder how the last couple of years would have gone if the Wilpons were still in charge. What would happen if they somehow took over again? What moves would they have made this offseason instead?
We know Justin Verlander wouldn't be a Met. Jacob deGrom wouldn't be one either. How different would this roster look? Let's look at three moves the Wilpons would've had GM Sandy Van Minaya make if they took ownership of the franchise over from Steve Cohen.
1) Former MVP Cody Bellinger replaces Brandon Nimmo as the Mets center fielder
Steve Cohen did what he absolutely had to do by giving the financial leeway to Billy Eppler in order for Brandon Nimmo to be back in Queens on a long-term deal. There was no other realistic solution available for center field, and I'm so happy to see Nimmo back.
In this scenario, the Wilpons are in charge and do not overpay to bring their guy back. Nimmo walks in free agency, and the Mets are stuck bargain-hunting. Cody Bellinger was the second-best center fielder available on the market, and Sandy Van Minaya found his new center fielder for the 2023 season.
Bellinger of course won an MVP award in 2019 and won the Rookie of the Year award two seasons prior. He was on the trajectory of being one of the best players in the game. Following the MVP award, he hasn't been close to the same player.
Bellinger has slashed .203/.272/.376 averaging 14 home runs and 45 RBI over the last three seasons. This caused the Dodgers to non-tender him.
The Mets swoop in after Nimmo walks to sign Bellinger and bank on him reverting back to his MVP form. He likely hits in the middle of the Opening Day lineup.