Mets considering high-end bullpen options, possible destinations for Michael Conforto, and it’s good to be talking shop again
Andrew Chafin, Josh Hader and Collin McHugh are reported bullpen targets
What’s Up with the Mets? 💭
The Mets are centering their efforts on improving the bullpen, with LHP Andrew Chafin (free agent) and LHP Josh Hader (trade target) on their radar (Buster Olney on the Michael Kay Show on Friday)
The Mets have also shown interest in reuniting with free agent RHP Collin McHugh (MMO), and also held trade talks with the Reds for RHP Tyler Mahle (MMO)
The Mets are actively pursuing trades of their position players (ESPN)
The Mets will unveil their long-awaited Tom Seaver statue at Citi Field on April 15 (Newsday)
The Mets will not be signing LHP Carlos Rodon - he is joining the Giants on a two-year, $44m deal (ESPN)
The Diamondbacks are showing interest in OF Michael Conforto (New York Post) while the Marlins - who had Conforto on their radar prior to the lockout - remain interested in him as well (Frisaro)
Here is the revised 15-game spring training schedule for the Mets:
It’s good to be talking baseball again… 📝
It’s been a long 3 1/2 months.
I have to admit - I was very pessimistic the league and the union would come to terms on a deal when they did. For the longest time, the two sides couldn’t agree on the day of the week, let alone agree on a vision to modernize and progress the game of baseball.
The end of the lockout brought me more relief than it did joy. Don’t get me wrong - I am thrilled baseball is back, and am truly hopeful both sides are on a course for a restoration of truth and belief in one another. But as dug in as both sides were and the lack of both faith and trust the union had in the league’s willingness to even consider their position led a fear this lockout could not just cost weeks, but months into the regular season.
I’m glad those fears were never realized, both sides found at least a foundation for progression in the future, and the two can now move forward and begin to repair the damage caused by this labor dispute.
In the end, it never mattered who was right or who was wrong, and it never mattered what a new collective bargaining agreement looked like (quite frankly, I’m surprised there was as much movement as there was in the new deal).
What matters is baseball is back. There will be 162 games. And we can get back to talking about the Mets, their roster and the hope that always springs eternal this time of year.
Nobody cares about anything else.
It seems so long ago the Mets signed Max Scherzer, doesn’t it? Remember when they signed Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha?
So, what’s next for the Mets? They still have quite a bit of work to do with opening day just under four weeks away.
They have a ton of work to do in the bullpen, need to build back-end starting rotation depth, and find at least one more primary bat. They have the designated hitter now, which could help justify additional procurements for the roster too. As it stands post-lockout, their CBT/luxury tax payroll stands at around $270 million, putting them at around $20 million under the next tier of penalties.
And what the hell will the Mets do with Robinson Canó?
Despite the calculus GM Billy Eppler and the Mets front office have in front of them and the urgent need for Buck Showalter and the revamped dugout staff to figure out formulas to optimize the roster and clubhouse, these are the conversations I like having. Not the labor issues I can’t even begin to contextualize and relate to, and the unquestionable damage to the reputation of the sport.
It’s just good to be talking about baseball again. That’s what I’ve always loved to do. That’s the objective of this brand as well.
Hot Stove 🔥
LHP Clayton Kershaw is returning to the Dodgers on a one-year, $17 million deal (multiple reports)
The Dodgers are also inching closer to signing 1B Freddie Freeman (MLB.com)
RHP Trevor Bauer will begin the 2022 season on administrative leave as the league continues its investigation into allegations of domestic violence (Heyman)
The Cubs agreed to sign SS Andrelton Simmons to a one-year deal (Athletic)
The Braves have expressed interest in trading for 3B Matt Olson (MLB.com), as have the Rangers (Dallas Morning News)