The New York Mets have a lot to do this winter, so we’re changing Thursday Thought to accommodate that. Instead of an article covering one topic, I’m going to cover three or four topics each week, but only write a couple of paragraphs about each.
Hopefully this is an easy way to keep up with the major headlines each week. The Mets will be involved in a lot of free agents and trade candidates this winter, with rumors already swirling and one move already officially made…
The Mets are off to a strong start with the Edwin Diaz extension, which proves that they’re all in on 2023
Steve Cohen made a statement to Major League Baseball the other day: the Mets are here to stay. Locking him up before opposing teams even had a chance to sniff at him in free agency was aggressive. You don’t make a move like this unless you’re committed to winning.
Of course there are risks with signing a reliever to a long, expensive contract like this, but if they had let him go, there was no one that was going to come close to replacing his production. I wrote about how Kenley Jansen is the next-best arm on the market, and he doesn’t fit what the Mets would’ve needed at all.
The Mets will have to build essentially the entire bullpen, with the exception of Diaz and Drew Smith. Knowing who’s got the ninth inning takes a lot of pressure off of the other guys. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the moves the Mets will make this winter, and its impact can’t be understated.
Jacob DeGrom’s stove is heating up fast
Over the last few days, plenty of Jacob deGrom rumors have been flying around. Mark Canha, in a very candid interview with the New York Post, said that deGrom told him he likes New York and wants to stay. On the other side of the spectrum, Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are not going to get into a bidding war over a long contract at a high AAV.
It sounds like the Mets are willing to do a Scherzer-type deal for three years at a high AAV, but the fourth year scares them due to his injury history. A few weeks ago I wrote about a creative way the Mets could attempt to get an extension done, although a pitcher of this pedigree probably isn’t looking for a deal like this in his last chance to get a major payday. If Canha is right and he really does want to stay, maybe he'll consider something like this.
It appears that the Mets have two main opponents in the deGrom sweepstakes: the Texas Rangers, who have plenty of money to throw around and are desperate for pitching, and the Atlanta Braves, who, just, ugh. I would love to see deGrom come back, but if he’s going to hold the Mets hostage for an absurd amount of money over the long term, there are other options available…
Mets reportedly linked to Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner
Wouldn’t these guys look great in blue and orange? Carlos Rodon is a significantly younger, cheaper alternative to deGrom who will receive Cy Young votes. He will also receive a qualifying offer from San Francisco, which he will decline, which will mean whichever team signs him will forfeit a draft pick, but he’s well worth that.
Turner is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever seen, and the thought of seeing him on the Mets amazes me. I don’t know exactly where he fits, but he’s so versatile that he could move around as needed. I think the most likely scenario of him coming to Queens is if Nimmo doesn’t sign back, Marte would move to center, McNeil would play right, and Turner would slot in at second base. Although, it is worth noting, Turner did play center field earlier in his Nationals days, and he was pretty solid out there.
Shohei Ohtani is off the table
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the Angels officially announced that Ohtani is staying in Anaheim this winter. Expect him to be available at the trade deadline next year as the Angels look up to the Astros and Mariners in the standings and fall out of wild card contention by mid-June. Whoever acquires him will likely sign him to an extension, so the Mets should definitely be involved in those sweepstakes.