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Marte's status unknown, and let the Ohtani Games begin...
The latest on the Mets pursuit of another relief pitcher. Plus, how the club is gearing up for a big run at Shohei Ohtani.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
OF Starling Marte’s status for the start of Spring Training is currently unknown after undergoing core surgery in November (SNY)
Marte will no longer participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic
The Mets spoke to the Angels about a trade for RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani last summer and will be heavily involved once he hits free agency after the season (SNY)
New York is still in on LHPs Andrew Chafin and Zack Britton but reportedly prefer “optionable” relievers for roster flexibility (SNY)
18 days until Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie! ⚾️🌴
Let the Ohtani Games begin… ✍🏻
If you thought the speculation connecting the Mets with Shohei Ohtani was heating up before, well it’s surely even hotter now.
Earlier this week the news came out that Angels owner Arte Moreno shockingly reversed course, deciding to end his search to sell the team and continue having full control. This incredible pivot serves as the ultimate fake-out for fans in Anaheim (can you imagine if the Wilpons did this in 2020?) and puts even more things up in the air for that franchise going forward.
Nothing is in the balance more than the status of Ohtani, who is set to hit free agency after the 2023 season.
Perhaps if the Angels were able to find their own Steve Cohen to come in with a vision to win and massively deep pockets, the club could have had a far easier time convincing Ohtani to stay put and sign an extension. Now, though, it seems as if the two-way phenom is all-but gone with the only question being who will be the club lucky enough to win the sweepstakes?
That’s where the Mets come in, as they are set to be one of the biggest suitors if and when Ohtani does become available.
The club reportedly spoke to the Angels last season about a trade for him before the deadline (to no avail, of course), and owner Steve Cohen has already been openly speaking to upper-level Mets people about pursuing Ohtani in free agency, according to SNY.
But, the Mets won’t be alone here. There are going to be a ton of suitors for Ohtani’s services this upcoming winter, which are likely going to include other big-spending, big market powerhouses like the Yankees, Dodgers and perhaps even the Giants, who whiffed on their pursuits of both Carlos Correa and Aaron Judge this offseason. And I’m sure it won’t stop there.
There’s a long road ahead here, and a lot can change here if the Angels decide to make him available at the trade deadline. If a team were to trade for him with two months remaining on his deal, they’d likely be giving up a large chunk of their farm system and have some sort of agreement to a record contract extension on the books, which could be something the Mets are more hesitant to do than if it were just the money.
No matter what happens, though, this is going to lead to one of the most fascinating, aggressive, all-out free agency bouts among the likes we’ve never seen.
Let the games begin…
Hot Stove 🔥
The Rays officially agreed to a four-year, $31 million contract extension with LHP Jeffrey Springs
The Astros have not requested to speak with Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns (Houston Chronicle)
The Dbacks signed former Mets RHP Jeurys Familia to a minor league deal (USA Today)
Free agent RHP Ken Giles will hold a workout showcase for teams on February 8th (Heyman)