Mets Monday Morning GM: 3 best smaller market moves of the offseason

A smaller market mindset isn't always a bad thing.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
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Paraphrasing with a thick Northern Jersey accent: “Steve Cohen hired this guy to run the New York Mets like a small market team.” This was the take by WFAN’s Joe Benigno who you’d swear never enjoyed a day of sports in his life.

Benigno was, of course, referring to David Stearns. Bringing him over from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Mets was the most impactful move of all by the organization this offseason. Hiring him was the butterfly wing flap in Nebraska that creates the weather a decade later in Japan. He’s the one calling the shots. A small market mentality still present at times, three stand above the rest as the best ones of the offseason made by Stearns.

While they don’t fit snuggly all the way through as small market moves, they feel very much more like Stearns decisions than Cohen ones.

1) The Mets waited on J.D. Martinez until the final bell almost rung

By waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more…the Mets were able to snag J.D. Martinez off the street for a fraction of what they would have if the team quickly went out and signed him. For months, free agents were inking deals that the Mets should have made if only they had the room to do so. Eddie Rosario after a 20+ home run season and Gold Glove finalist candidacy on a split contract with the Washington Nationals? It’s outrageous!

Martinez for a total of $12 million with all but $4.5 million of it deferred is a good combination of small and big market. It’s small market because of the overall value. It’s big because it’s only those larger spending teams who seem to willingly defer money. Further fitting into the big market picture is the luxury tax penalties which will follow.

Stearns wasn’t willing to match Martinez’s expected asking price or even go beyond one year with the veteran. It’s an unequivocal win for him, the Mets, and fans who’ve bought in completely to what Stearns is all about.