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Mets postponed on Tuesday, and a note about Shohei Ohtani's free agency journey
The Mets and Marlins will play a single-admission doubleheader at 4 PM today. Plus, a nugget on the Mets and Shohei Ohtani
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets and Marlins were postponed on Tuesday due to unplayable field conditions resulting from this weekend’s storm - here is the ticket redemption policy for yesterday’s game
The Mets and Marlins will play a single-admission doubleheader today at 4 PM
The Mets and Dodgers are expected to be the frontrunners for Shohei Ohtani this winter (FOX Sports)
Prospect Watch 🌾
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies lost game 2 of their Eastern League Championship Series against Erie on Monday by a score of 10-0. They lost their best of three series 2-0 and Erie took the title.
All other seasons for the Mets minor league affiliates have concluded.
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (71-85) vs. Marlins (81-75)
Where: Citi Field - Flushing, New York
Starting pitchers: TBD vs. LHP Braxton Garrett (9-6, 3.53 ERA)
When: 4:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Starting pitchers: TBD vs. TBD
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Shohei and the Mets - it’s not as perfect as you might think… ✍️
In his Foul Territory podcast on Tuesday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal said he believes the Mets and Dodgers will be the frontrunners to land Shohei Ohtani this winter with the Giants, Mariners and Rangers contending for his services as well.
“I do not rule out the Mets. I cannot see Steve Cohen simply passing on Shohei Ohtani,” Rosenthal explained.
I personally don’t think this is news or a surprise. I agree with Rosenthal - how can the richest owner at least not be involved in the Ohtani derby, the game’s best and most intriguing player?
That of course doesn’t mean it will work and he won’t go to the Dodgers, Mariners, any of the other teams Rosenthal name dropped or some kind of mystery team the New York Post’s Jon Heyman is sure to identify as this process evolves over the winter.
But for the Mets specifically, it’s important to note Ohtani is an independent situation from any other situation the Mets are trying to solve with their franchise. He’s a generational star, the most interesting and dynamic player the game has seen pretty much ever, and players like this need to be exceptions to any roster, salary, or budgetary rule for all 30 clubs regardless of market size. He’’s a brand maker both on the field and off, a money maker for his next club regardless of wins or losses on the field.
In other words, every single team can pay for this player (or any player for that matter regardless of what they’ll have you think about their market, just ask the Padres) and should be trying to sign this player, not just the game’s most financially elite.
Of course, there’s a wrinkle, to all of this. After all, no free agent is perfect, not even those most perfect free agent ever.
He just underwent some kind of ligament repair surgery on his elbow after it was revealed in August he sprained or tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. It’s the second UCL surgery he’s had in his career and he isn’t even 30 years old. His agent didn’t get into specifics when he was peppered by reporters last week, so it’s not clear yet whether it was a full ligament replacement surgery or the modified brace surgery, the latter of which offers a moderately faster timeline back to the mound.
Either way, Ohtani isn’t pitching in 2024, but his agent fully expects him to be on the mound in 2025. He will be available as an offensive player in 2024, his agent said.
Now, does that impact his value? Yes, but I don’t think that will impact the price tag.
It means that any team that pays for him this winter - be the Mets or someone else - will be paying a dollar amount for something he will be unable to do in 2024. It’s also hard to predict how he will pitch or how long he will pitch once he does return to the mound in 2025. Will he be a starter or perhaps a closer? For how many more years can Ohtani keep this up?
After all, what looked to be nothing short of a miracle and one of the greatest sports spectacles in our lifetime ended with another shutdown due to a major elbow injury.
It’s not that I’m being cynical. Not by a long shot. I want the Mets to sign Ohtani, I want to see him hit home runs and strike 12 batters out in the same game. I want him to be the next great star in New York, I want Ohtani to be waving to Met fans up the Canyon of Heroes in this decade.
Preferably, next year.
He’s a modern day pioneer for the sport and I truly hope he’s inspired other players to follow in his footsteps. His hall of fame plaque should be sure to use the word, “pioneer” when he gets to Cooperstown.
But the Mets, along with the 29 other clubs, should be asking the same thing at these salary levels, especially for Ohtani who will likely command the highest average annual salary any baseball player has gotten to-date.
And it doesn’t matter how much money Steve Cohen has or whether or not he can afford Ohtani, either. Mr. Cohen checks that box. But he isn’t super loaded because he had blind faith in every single investment risk he ever took.
The Mets don’t exactly have the best track record with free agents, and that spans beyond Mr. Cohen’s watch on this team. Luck isn’t a factor either - they’ve made their own breaks in the risks they’ve taken.
It doesn’t at all mean they shouldn’t sign Ohtani. There’s no question they should and again, there’s no question that Ohtani is the exception to any free agent rule. And they shouldn’t be conservative in their pursuit, either. They should go for it and do everything they can to make this happen.
But there are issues, potentially serious ones regardless what his agent has to say. Remember, it’s his agent’s job to get Ohtani the biggest contract in professional sports history and will never undersell his client, even under the circumstances he finds himself in.
So, if the Mets are to sign Ohtani they have to make sure they get it right. As amazing as he is there are red flags everywhere with him at this point in his career. They should sign him and nothing except Ohtani wanting to be elsewhere should stop that from happening.
But, this isn’t as perfect as everyone wants it to be and nobody should be going into this with blinders. I know Mr. Cohen agrees with that too.
Around the League 🚩
The Brewers won the NL Central despite losing to the Cardinals 4-1 - Miles Mikolas gave the Cardinals seven innings of one-run ball
The Phillies clinched a playoff spot thanks to their 3-2 win over the Pirates. They walked off Pittsburgh in the 10th inning and have won six games in a row
The Diamondbacks helped to solidify their playoff position with a 15-4 rout of the White Sox. They pushed a full game ahead of the Cubs who lost 7-6 to the Braves for the second wild card spot, and remained 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins who lost ground after not playing on Tuesday night
The Mariners kept their slim hopes of an AL West title alive after beating the Astros 6-2 - they’re now three games out with five to go (Astros have four left).
The Rangers were unable to gain ground on the Astros after their 9-3 loss to the Angels - they remained 2.5 games ahead of the Astros for the lead in the AL West with five to go