Offseason Priorities for the New York Mets

This is a critical offseason for the New York Mets because it was a very disappointing regular season. Expectations were sky high after a very busy offseason. They brought in Francisco Lindor, James McCann, Carlos Carrasco, and Marcus Stroman (opted out of 2020). In addition, with new owner, Steve Cohen, all things were within the realms of possibility. Lindor got off to a very slow start, McCann disappointed for much of the season, and Jacob DeGrom did not pitch at all in the second half of the season. The 2021 New York Mets set a record that no one would want to match. Despite spending over 100 days in first place, the Mets failed to make the postseason. Major changes are in dire need. What should Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen prioritize this offseason? I have a few ideas.

1. Find a new GM/President of Baseball Ops

Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson need to find the right person to run the Mets

The search to find a person in charge has been a nightmare for the Mets. Jared Porter was fired for sexual harassment, Zack Scott was put on administrative leave and then not retained after a DUI during the season, and almost every major candidate since has withdrawn from consideration or the Mets failed to get permission to interview them. They talked to Theo Epstein, Billy Beane, and many others who have not worked out. Most recently, they wanted to interview Raquel Ferreira, Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, but that did not work out either.

Mets fans are growing impatient and wondering why so many candidates are turning away from the position. On paper, working with the richest owner in baseball seems very intriguing, but obviously I am just a fan and know nothing about the inner workings of a baseball front office. However, Sandy and Cohen need to figure it out soon and find their person to lead this team.

2. Find a new manager

Priority number 2 will not be completed until #1 is. Luis Rojas did not work out as team manager as the Mets declined the option on his contract. Again, I am just a fan so take what I say with a grain of salt. However, it seemed like Rojas tended to rely too much on the numbers and analytics instead of using his baseball eye. There were many questionable decisions (mostly pitching changes) throughout the season that bit the Mets in the rear.

Could the Mets bring back Carlos Beltran?

Once the Mets find their person to run things, then the search for a manager can really begin. However, we can still have some fun and toss some names around. The first name that comes to mind is Carlos Beltran. Beltran was hired to be manager for the 2020 season but was let go before he even saw the field. He was let go based on his role with the Astros cheating scandal. However, if AJ Hinch can get a job as a manager again, then Beltran should be given another shot. If the Mets want to go the more experienced route, they could look at guys like Buck Showalter (ew) or Brad Ausmus. Both guys have a lot of big league manager experience.

3. Finally sign that big name

The Mets big offseason acquisition last year was Francisco Lindor. They were also finalists for George Springer and Trevor Bauer (glad that did not work). They took themselves out of the market for JT Realmuto when they signed James McCann early on in the offseason. Steve Cohen has been on record saying he is willing to go over the luxury tax. He has also said that if they go over, it would be by a wide margin. Cohen sees no value in barely going over the tax.

See the source image

Therefore, the Mets will again be tied to many of the top free agents this winter. There has already be speculation of Carlos Correa wanting to come to a New York team. The Mets could sign Correa, bring back Javy Baez, and have an infield of Correa at third, Lindor at short, Baez at second, and Pete Alonso at first. If not Correa, they may target Kris Bryant. Bryant would be another welcome addition to the infield. With the DH likely coming to the NL this upcoming season, do the Mets target Nick Castellanos? Castellanos would add another great bat to the Mets lineup but he does struggle defensively. He would be a very welcome addition once the DH is finalized.

4. Figure out the rotation

Do they bring back Marcus Stroman? What about Noah Syndergaard’s and Jacob DeGrom’s health? Will Tajuan Walker regain his first half form? There a lot of questions that need answering. They extended a qualifying offer to Noah Syndergaard and he has until November 17th to either accept or reject it. I never thought I would say this but Jacob DeGrom is one of the biggest question marks for this team. His health was very frustrating last season. Fans became frustrated as it was set back after setback with really no clear answer to what was wrong with him. The Mets rotation went as far as DeGrom could take them. Where do the Mets go for rotation help? They could look to names like Robbie Ray, Zach Davies, or bring back Marcus Stroman on a new contract.

Final Thoughts

This is a very important offseason for the New York Mets. Steve Cohen said in his introductory press conference he expects a champion ship in 3-5 years and 1 year is already in the books. Former hitting coach Chili Davis called out the Mets about their use of analytics so it is clear that many changes are needed in many different departments. Was last year’s struggles a fluke or the start of a string of bad declines for all of their key players? They cannot afford to wait and find out and this offseason will show that.

-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

Featured image courtesy of NY Daily News.

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