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DeGrom is healthy, Canó might say "sorry" and the Mets are moving beyond half-measures
New York's ace shows up to camp fully healthy. Plus, the organization's approach under owner Steve Cohen is refreshingly aggressive.
What’s Up with the Mets? 💭
The Mets added veteran length to their bullpen on Sunday, reportedly inking RHP Adam Ottavino to a one-year, $4 million contract
Jacob deGrom is healthy and will work a normal program this spring, Mets GM Billy Eppler told reporters on Sunday
Eppler indicated to reporters on Sunday it is unlikely the Mets would pursue another bat ahead of opening day
It’s unclear if Robinson Canó will apologize to his teammates for serving a full-year suspension for a PED violation, but Mets manager Buck Showalter said the veteran plans to speak with his teammates soon on the matter
Showalter is unsure what kind of workload Canó can handle physically going forward, but looked “solid” at the plate early in camp
Mets owner Steve Cohen told reporters on Sunday he expects to breach the fourth collective bargaining tax (luxury tax) tier of $290 million this season, and is “ok with it.” Currently, the Mets luxury tax payroll is around $284 - 286 million
The Mets Are Beyond Half-Measures 📝
Boy, it’s amazing how quickly things can change. The days of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha being the biggest prizes of a Mets offseason sure do seem long ago — all due respect to the Porcello and Wacha.
Under the thumb of the Wilpons, offseasons like those became the norm and after over a decade of unnecessary, self-imposed shrewdness (or, in a better word, cheapness) following the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, they felt like they would never end. As a Met fan, you were not even permitted to dream about high-end free agents.
Now, under owner Steve Cohen, Mets fans are allowed to dream again.
When this team has a hole, and they entered this offseason with many, they go out and address it. And not in a half-ass kind of way, either. The Mets needed help in the rotation, and rather than signing lower-tier free agents or resting on the laurels of unproven commodities like youngsters Tylor Megill or David Peterson, they went out and signed Max Scherzer, one of the best pitchers in baseball, and traded for Chris Bassitt whose 2.90 ERA over the last two seasons ranks 7th best in the majors (minimum 190 innings pitched). Oh, and lets not forget that the Mets also made the largest free agent offer to RHP Kevin Gausman, who ultimately signed in Toronto for less money.
New York also addressed their long-time need for a center fielder — a position that has been a revolving door ever since trading Carlos Beltrán in 2011 — by signing Starling Marte early in the offseason rather than sticking yet another corner outfielder into that square peg.
And this is what should have Mets fans feeling better than they have in such a long time. Yes, this team still has some holes to fill. They still need some help in the bullpen and I think they could use another bat to make their lineup truly complete, but there is a newfound confidence that they will get it done. Whether that will come during this free agent frenzy as Spring Training gets underway or during the season by the trade deadline, there is now a sense that this is an organization that is doing whatever they can to win. As long as it puts this team in a better position than they were before, the monetary cost is now irrelevant.
That, in itself, is truly refreshing.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Yankees and Twins made a trade - 3B Josh Donaldson and INF Isiah Kiner-Falefa and C Ben Rortvedt are headed to New York in exchange for C Gary Sánchez, 3B Gio Urshela
Trading Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa potentially positions Minnesota for a pursuit of free agent SS Trevor Story (The Athletic)
The Astros are making a play to retain star SS Carlos Correa (Heyman)
Free agent Seiya Suzuki is working out with the Padres (The Athletic)
The Diamondbacks will be signing free agent reliever Ian Kennedy (The Athletic), the Giants are signing RHP Carlos Martínez (The Athletic) and the Nationals will be signing DH Nelson Cruz (The Athletic)
The Nationals are also signing RHP Aaron Sánchez to a minor league deal (Washington Post)
LHP Sean Doolittle is returning to Washington, as well (Heyman)