As we put January to bed, we can seriously think about pitchers and catchers reporting and the start of the 2024 baseball campaign. And one of the harbingers of that is the stories bound to come out touting that Player X is in the best shape of his life! Of course, we want players to come to Spring Training having done … something in the offseason to get better.

Mark Vientos is working on fielding drills with Francisco Lindor
Starling Marte is playing the field in the Dominican
Luis Severino is working on not tipping his pitches
Adrian House is working out under the supervision of Jeremy Hefner because they live nearby one another

And who knows – maybe this is the year that Brandon Nimmo starts stealing lots of bases!

Hey, it’s still miles better than reading stories on SNY or Metsmerized about how the Mets “must!” sign one of these guys way outside of their budget. Or how when one of those guys sign elsewhere, it’s framed as “Mets target…”

What fun it would be if the headline of those stories instead was — Guy who Mets talked to once and found out he was not interested in one-year deal for chump change gets lucrative deal elsewhere.

Let’s Go Mets!

22 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (1/31/24)

  • Mike W

    The Mets target stories are annoying. They have nothing better to write.

    Tylor Megill has allegedly developed a new pitch that may transform him as a pitcher, the split finger fastball.

    Let’s hope it us devastating and he becomes Mike Scott.

    • Bob P

      He will also need to learn how Scott got away with scuffing the ball…

    • Brian Joura

      Let’s hope he made a lot of improvement. Because those splitters he threw last year had a lot more in common with meatballs than they did Mike Scott.

  • NYM6986

    When I think about all of the potential free agents that the Mets have missed out on, it’s worthwhile to ponder that the Mets are not an attractive destination. When Justin Turner signed with Toronto, he was likely thinking that he has maybe a year or two left I would like to put another ring on his finger. The same would hold true for Yamamoto, who clearly has joined the best organization in baseball. Until we start contending for our division again against the Braves and the Phillies, I can’t imagine that a free agent would come here knowing that they can get similar at a team, that’s a stronger contender.

    • Brian Joura

      The only free agent that they missed out on with their offseason plan was Yamamoto. And that was a case where he preferred a specific team, one on the West Coast and closer to his homeland.

      The rest of the offseason plan was to get guys on short-term deals, preferably just one year. Did Justin Turner turn down the Mets because he didn’t find them attractive? Or did the Mets merely check in on him to see if they could get him for a song – because they didn’t really want to block Brett Baty and/or Mark Vientos?

      There’s only so many roster spots on the Braves and Dodgers so it’s not like they can just sign every premier free agent out there. And there’s also legitimate reasons to think they’re near the top of their budgets. The Dodgers have seven players (counting Ohtani, who they need to start saving for his big payout) making over $12 million a year and only one of them will be a free agent next year, meaning not a lot of money comes off the books. And they have 3 SP who will be free agents. Yes, they hope Ohtani will fill one of those spots. Still, it’s a great roster without a ton of flexibility.

      As for the Braves, as a publicly traded company, they need to pay more attention to the bottom line than the Mets or Dodgers. They’re CBT payroll is at $265 million. Do you think they’re going above the draft-pick penalty threshold?

      The Mets need to figure out what they have with their young players. They have a GM … ok, PoBO … who understands that young guys need a legitimate chance. And the plan is to give them those chances in 2024 and 2025. You don’t have to like the plan. But you have to keep the plan in mind when assessing this offseason.

  • Footballhead

    I am not embarrassed at all to state that I am a staunch supporter of what Stearns has done so far, and the direction he seems to be taking the franchise. For those pundits who b*tch about his being a “small market GM”, obviously haven’t done their homework in checking out his career. To have him being called “Wilponian” is also quite unfair. In my mind, I see him establishing a mature and professional organization to; as Brian wrote, ” give young guys a legitimate chance”. For instance:

    We know that Vientos has been a notoriously slow starter at each level of his professional career. I fully expect him to get the vast majority of his playing time in ST as a DH. For those of you who insist that the Mets extend Alonso at his asking price, you better hope that Vientos does poorly at the start of the season. Conversely, his success as a DH will mean the end of Alonso’s time in NY, especially when the $$ he’s demanding could be used for Soto next season.

    To me, the big question will be if the Mets hold on to Alonso at the trade deadline if they have a legitimate shot for a wildcard spot. Whether they do/don’t trade him; either at the deadline or if he signs somewhere else for 2025, I expect the “wailing and gnashing of teeth” of his departure to commence. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pete, would love him to be a career Met, but I’m (usually) a fan of letting the kids play.

    • T.J.

      To clarify my use of the term “Wilponian”, it is not a knock on Stearns. It isn’t even a knock on Cohen. It’s in reference to two specific attributes with regards to this offseason – 1. The caliber of free agents that they are pursuing and 2. The subjective claims that this is a playoff contender/competitive team. Now, the offseason isn’t over, and they can certainly still upgrade to back up that claim, but most reasonable people would see them as less than 50/50 to make postseason as currently constructed. So, that claim, to date, is a little disingenuous IMHO. Now, despite calling them Wilponian, I am with you in that this is the best path forward given past transgressions. I don’t see how signing a Turner for 1 season at a total cost in excess of $30 million makes any sense. Let the kids play some and spend that money in a wiser manner. If they are signing someone further, how about someone that can help beyond 2024? I’d rather the remaining budget to the dice on a guy like Woodruff, who could be done or could be a quality starter in 2025. And, if they stink and the kids fizzle, I’d much prefer getting something for Pete, and even Diaz, rather than losing Pete for nothing or holding Diaz while they are truly rebuilding. And I love Pete and Diaz.

  • Brian Joura

    “The Padres have agreed to a four-year, $16.5MM contract with free agent left-hander Wandy Peralta”

    • Mike W

      I was really hoping they would sign him. Foir years, 16 million. That’s not alot for a good reliever.

      • TexasGusCC

        Mike, it’s not always about the money. Seems Aroldis Chapman wanted to avoid a big market team, so he signed in KC. Any smaller and theyd name it Pittsburgh. He already burned his bridge in Cincinnati.

  • TexasGusCC

    In The Athletic fan survey results that were provided yesterday, over 50% of the respondents claimed Pete Alonso as their favorite Met and still a few percentage points more want the Mets to sign him n o
    m a t t e r what he wants. I’m stunned. For all the BS we hear about how savvy Mets fans are, they are obviously idiots. No matter what? Poor Cohen. Just sell it Steve, you’ll never win or be appreciated. Screw them, call ARos and JLo

    • TexasGusCC

      ARod, I hate my phone sometimes. Does it happen to anyone else where you typed something correctly and move on to another word and it goes back and changes a previous word for no reason?

    • Brian Joura

      “I’m stunned. For all the BS we hear about how savvy Mets fans are, they are obviously idiots.”

      This is something I struggle with a lot. I try to write intelligent pieces more often than not but the most-read piece on the site last year was the one where I goofed on Cohen’s combover. If there are 1 million Mets fans – how many are there that are both intelligent and hard core? You can be intelligent but only follow the team casually. You can follow the team daily and still think they’re going to sign Bellinger. Are there 100,000 fans who are both intelligent and hard core? I don’t know the answer. Maybe it’s twice that many. Maybe it’s less than half that amount.

      • T.J.

        Intelligence is not n the eye of the beholder…we live in a very polarized world, a world or absolutes. It’s love or hate, old school or numbers nerd, blah blah blah. “Smart” people, and baseball fans, are not immune from this. I know numerous Mets fans that would vote to keep Pete regardless of cost. These aren’t dumb people, but they look at the game differently than most of the readers on this site. They don’t care about the economics, the payroll totals, etc. They see Pete as a home grown middle of the line up bopper that can perform in and embrace NYC. They see him as a foundational piece on a winning team. They don’t care about sunken costs at the end of his contract, other winning teams are able to deal with those costs. Now, I certainly don’t advocate giving anyone a blank check, but those are all valid, debatable points. And, if Vientos puts up 38 hr and an .850 OPS, I suspect that some of those blank check for Pete folks will change their tune. So, I think the Mets have their share of clueless fans, but I think there needs to be more context and follow up to the 50% that says pay him whatever he wants.

        • Brian Joura

          I’m sorry, I can’t agree with this.

          Look, people have the right to be any kind of fan they want to be. But you can’t be an intelligent fan if you say that the Mets have to re-sign Alonso, regardless of the cost. Now, it doesn’t mean that they’re bad fans. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a favorite player and wanting him to be on the team for his entire career. But there’s simply a point where it’s just bad for winning to give him a giant contract. We can argue where that point is. But that point definitely exists. And anyone who can’t see that is not an intelligent fan.

          Where I would place my comfort level with an Alonso deal is different from Metsense and different from ChrisF. And that’s okay. My belief is that both of those people would have a point where they said – eh, I’ll pass on that. At one point, Chris advocated for the Mets to sign Alonso to a 10-year deal. I doubt he would advocate for that today.

          Now, if you want to go semantics and argue with the word “intelligent,” I guess that’s okay. I’m happy to substitute another word that describes a move made 100% with emotion.

          • T.J.

            I think it’s reasonable to consider it unintelligent to truly pay an employee whatever they want. Most would agree. I suspect that if there was a follow up that asked if he should be paid more than Otani, the pay anything percentage would shrink dramatically. If they were asked if he should be paid more than Judge it would shrink. If they were asked if they’d prefer a trade where the Mets got back an ace and an MVP level position player, they’d reevaluate. So, yes, I think a large portion of the fan base for the Mets and for any team initially reacts on emotion over deeper insight, even some pretty sharp ones.

  • Metsense

    I understand why the Mets need to have a budget of $241 to reset the Luxury Tax for 2025 but don’t understand why all the one year deals for inferior players. if they didn’t sign Manaea then they have $103m to spend in 2025 and still get under the Luxury Tax threshold. They don’t have a rotation for 2025. The minors have some nice pitchers but they aren’t going to fill up the complete rotation. Eduardo Rodriguez and Shota Imanaga is better than Severino and Manaea. Their cost was more $6.25m this year instead Severino and Manaea. The 2025 team salary would increase by $33.25m leaving them still $69.75m spend. I would be more excited with their chance this year and the next three years with Rodriguez and Imanaga instead.

    • BoomBoom

      I can relate to this viewpoint. Especially since Luchessi, Megill, and Butto could plug in behind Senga and Quintana. But apparently Stearns feels like these additions with those 3 as depth makes us stronger and more likely to compete for a playoff spot. We have no way of knowing if Imanaga or Rodriguez would have had any interest in signing with us. The prices were right, but the Cubs and Dbacks might just be more attractive places to play next season. For the record I think Imanaga is going to be a relative bust.

    • Brian Joura

      I think this is a good question to ask and even though the expenditure would be more, I think Jordan Montgomery belongs in the conversation, too.

      The best answer I can come up with is that Stearns and the rest of the front office are more bullish on the minor league pitchers than the average fan. My hope is that eventually Tidwell, Suarez and Ziegler make it as SP while Vasil, Scott and Stuart make it as RP. But I recognize that as optimistic.

    • Metstabolism

      I don’t think Stearns is dead et on ducking the CBT in 2025. I think it is one goal, and one that he may or may not pursue, depending on how things break this year. But he does want to leave that option available.
      If you follow the math to its conclusion, the Mets are on track to be more than $60 million below the CBT in 2025 if they let all the expiring contracts go (including Alonso and Manaea). Trading Marte would drop them another $20 million.
      That savings would be enough to sign Burnes and Woodruff. That plus Senga, and you can cobble together the rest of your rotation in 2025, a year in which they’re not planning to contend for real, but do need to move forward.
      Then in 2026, they can spend like sailors again, if need be.
      The reality of this farm system is that there is a gap in talent behind the six or so names that keep getting talked about, all of whom are around or just leaving the AA level at this point. The trades the Mets make at the deadline can fill that gap between the AA’ers, and the group in DSL/rookie/low-A and give the org an actual pipeline of talent for if/when some of the prospects in the first crop fall short, and older players decline or leave.
      I’m not saying that is the plan, or that this plan is perfect. It is one idea, and what Stearns is really doing is leaving the options open to pursue all fronts.

  • Woodrow

    Vientos. MeGill? Oh boy it’s going to be a long season.

  • Steve_S.

    Now this Stearns bullpen is getting interesting, with the signings of Diekman and Fujinami.

    Diekman seemed to have turned it around with the Rays, achieving a great ERA with a good WHIP.

    And Fujinami throws 101 mph and improved his control with the Orioles.

    With Diaz coming back, along with Otto, the Mets still have a bullpen with at least three new arms (Diekman, Fujinami, Lopez). I wonder whether Megill or Butto might be a long man in the pen and a spot starter, too.

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