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David Stearns provides updates on off-season tasks, and why Craig Counsell didn't sign with the Mets
David Stearns clarified where the Mets were going this winter with their GM opening and how they plan to solve their pitching problem
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What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
Craig Counsell was never truly interested in coming to manage the Mets - he wanted to stay near his home in the midwest and set a new bar for managerial salaries (SI)
Mets president David Stearns told reporters at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, AZ on Tuesday the club will not look to hire a GM to replace Billy Eppler this off-season
Stearns said the Mets will be using both the trade and free agent markets to upgrade their pitching this winter
The Mets won’t necessarily fill all of their rotation spots via the external markets - Stearns said a spot could go to one of their in-house depth pieces (David Peterson, Tylor Megill, etc)
Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen introduced plans for Metropolitan Park, which will include a casino, music venue, 20 Acres of public park space, 5 Acres of community athletic fields and and playground (Empire Report)
Adam Ottavino attempted to redo his contract for 2024 - which he held as a player option - but the Mets weren’t interested. With the uncertainty following the firings of Buck Showalter and Billy Eppler, Ottavino decided to opt out (New York Post)
The Mets managerial decision… ✍️
First off, apologies for not being around over the last few days, as the Mets off-season began with me dealing with some health issues not just with me, but my daughter who had a little bit of a softball accident during her softball tournament on Sunday.
The good news is, they won the tournament. And, she will be fine. Just a sprained ankle and she will be back playing in a couple of weeks.
I’m in a bit of a weird place. I am supposed to leave for Port St. Lucie and be at fantasy camp on Saturday night, but I’ve had to spend a night in a hospital this week and while things are getting better and am still hoping to be there (I’ve been waiting a long time for this), I can’t will this away. I’ll spare everyone the details because it’s kind of gross, but lets just hope the next 24 hours brings continued improvement and I can test myself a bit physically.
While I was dealing with my daughter and my own bizarre problem, the Mets hired a manager who, to be perfectly frank, I don’t know a whole lot about. Most people don’t know a whole lot about him, either.
The Yankees know a lot about him which I assume is why we have been hearing a lot from Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman on the matter over the last few days, offering nothing but praise and admiration and in many ways, a big loss on their coaching staff.
His name is Carlos Mendoza. And honestly, I’d be lying if I said outside of what I posted about him in a bio in last week’s newsletter, that’s pretty much all I know.
And I don’t think that’s a bad thing, to be honest. Not now, not for these Mets.
I am not trying to rationalize hiring a rookie manager (again), or going at the entry point on the salary scale to fill the vacancy, especially since they’re paying Buck Showalter’s salary for 2024, one paycheck among a whole host of big and dead paychecks they’ll be direct depositing in 2024.
Here’s what I wrote about Mendoza last week:
Mendoza, 43, is a former Met who has been serving on the Yankee coaching staff since 2017 and was named Aaron Boone’s bench coach in 2019.
He was a career minor leaguer over parts of 13 years with the Giants and Yankees organizations. He began his coaching career in 2009 with the Staten Island Yankees, joined the coaching staff of the Charleston RiverDogs in 2010, returned to the Yankees to manage their Gulf Coast league squad in 2011, then went back to manage the RiverDogs in 2012. He returned to the Yankees again as a roving instructor in 2013 and never left again, working his way through the Yankee system before joining the major league coaching staff in 2017 as an infield coach.
So, that’s it on Mendoza, which is why I say that not having a big resume but the hunger and desire plus the great references I’m sure he got will make this, at worst, a neutral pick for the Mets. Every manager starts with zero big league experience, some flourish and some flounder. Lately, the Mets rookie pics have floundered but it seems like outside of Terry Collins, this job has been a revolving door for basically our entire lives for one reason or another, right?
That’s not meant to offer comfort. This is risky, this isn’t popular, and no matter who is running the show, it’s rare the club gets this job right.
But it is what it is now.
Let’s just hope it works out, Mendoza proves to be a strong leader and a figure that fits whatever form these Mets are about to take on, that which is clearly in transition and in a process-building phase.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Astros are considering hiring in-house candidate Joe Espada to be their next manager (Athletic)
The Angels plan to interview Braves third base coach Ron Washington for their managerial opening (Athletic)
The A’s have exercised manager Mark Kotsay’s option for 2025 (Athletic)
The Twins want to cut their payroll for 2024 (Star Tribune)
Two outfielders are on Yankee GM Brian Cashman’s off-season shopping list (SNY)