Mid-November has become a time when New York Mets fans can dream big about the offseason. Max Scherzer. Justin Verlander. Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
The presence of Steve Cohen and new addition of the baseball mind belonging to David Stearns has put the potential for a wild Mets offseason at the front of everyone's minds. But maybe that won't be the case.
Management has been upfront about this offseason looking different. Many of us wanted to deny it. From the early rumors and information Stearns has revealed, the Mets most certainly won't be "all in" this offseason.
If the Mets aren't "all in," what can we expect?
The Mets haven't been secretive about how pitcher-needy they are. It would be the worst kept secret in baseball if they tried to. Their rotation is far from complete. Adding in the free agent market is the priority, but those early vibes seem as if the Mets will be more cautious than aggressive.
Seeing the rumored notion of the New York Yankees being perceived as the bigger threat to sign Yamamoto than the Mets definitely doesn’t feel good. Taking a step back, this could all simply be a part of playing the game of throwing out information. Are they going to add a third $100+ million pitcher to the rotation when offense has been an ongoing issue?
Whatever the case may be with Yamamoto and the Yankees, it definitely doesn’t seem like the Mets are early favorites to land him. They definitely won’t get any of the qualifying offer free agents. A big trade sounds less likely, too. Your definition of "big" may vary from others. The notion of trading for Juan Soto and probably even Corbin Burnes is only happening at night or at an early office meeting when our eyes flutter to sleep.
Free agency offers the Mets an abundance of different types of pitchers to explore from the higher-priced Jordan Montgomery down to a rebound candidate with a problem staying healthy such as Luis Severino. The Mets probably only have room to add one of the top free agent starting pitchers. Beyond him, how much settling will there be?
Catching lightning in a bottle with a player is something the Mets have avoided under Cohen. They’ve always gone after the good ones. It’s the complete opposite of what the team did prior to 2020—thankfully. The Mets hoped Rick Porcello could become good again and that the talent Michael Wacha seemed to lose would return. A more pessimistic person might see the Mets doing nothing but fill in the starting rotation with short-term longshots. Will the Mets really be willing to become a destination, even for just one season, for a player to rebuild his free agency stock?
It’s a different direction for the ball club than what we’ve been accustomed to seeing after the ownership change. It won’t be a winter of big game hunting. Smart and savvy moves will be at the forefront of what this team attempts, for better or worse.