Throat grabs, interviews and what comes after the fog
Details come to light about the rat/raccoon incident. Plus, the latest on the front office search and what's coming for the Mets once it's complete
Welcome to the first edition of the Just Mets daily newsletter. Starting today, we will be putting out a brand new, original newsletter every day, Monday through Friday, with additional breaking news coverage throughout each week.
Our plan is simple: to provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to the Mets, without any of the noise or distractions.
Thank you all for your support thus far, and welcome back to Just Mets.
What’s Up with the Mets? 💭
Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, Jeurys Familia, Aaron Loup, Jonathan Villar, Brad Hand, Javier Báez, Heath Hembree, Dellin Betances and Rich Hill officially elected free agency
New York will interview Red Sox executive Raquel Ferreira for their GM opening (NY Post)
The Mets have interest in former Angels GM Billy Eppler for their front office vacancy (SNY)
Yankees assistant GM Jean Afterman “politely declined” the Mets’ interview request (SNY)
The Mets have until 5:00 PM on November 7th to extend qualifying offers to Michael Conforto and Noah Syndergaard
Francisco Lindor reportedly grabbed Jeff McNeil by the throat and pinned him up against a wall for refusing to shift properly during the May 7th “rat/raccoon” incident (NY Post)
What will the Mets look like when the fog clears? 📝
The Mets still have quite a bit of work to do before they can even think about player personnel — they still have to hire a President of Baseball Operations and/or a general manager, a manager and most of a new coaching staff — but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for us to wonder what their roster is going to look like when everything is said and done.
While we may not know what the team’s new philosophy will be once a new architect is installed, what we do know is that wholesale changes are on the horizon.
The club vastly underperformed expectations this season, as they let their hold on first place slip away after the All-Star break which resulted in the division-rival Atlanta Braves eventually winning the World Series. Several key homegrown players on the team did not produce anywhere near what the team had been banking on — namely Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and JD Davis. Other external additions like Francisco Lindor and James McCann had rough gos of it, as well, but it was those four who did not provide the offensive firepower the Mets witnessed first-hand in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
In addition to their individual struggles on-the-field, we have just now gotten a small glimpse into what was going on inside of their clubhouse as the NY Post reported on Wednesday that Lindor grabbed McNeil by the throat in their “rat/raccoon” altercation on May 7th over McNeil not shifting the way the team had instructed. With former interim GM Zack Scott and a number of coaches leaving the team this week, don’t be shocked if more stories like this start to come to light.
When you factor it all together, the Mets have no choice but to make changes. And, as I’ve mentioned in the past, they’re going to have to make some unpopular decisions.
Is it wise to trade Jeff McNeil coming off of a career-worst season? How much does the locker room dynamic or his refusal to comply with the team in the past play into that decision? Will Dom Smith be moved? Are they willing to take a chance and give Conforto, who’s coming off his worst year, a big contract assuming he rejects the qualifying offer?
It’s impossible to know what will ultimately happen, but based on everything that has happened it would not shock me in the least if at least two of Conforto, McNeil, Smith and Davis are wearing different uniforms in 2022. Eventually, once they’ve finally sured up their front office, we’ll know for sure what the future of this team is going to look like.
Hot Stove 🔥
OF Nick Castellanos has opted out of his contract with the Reds, making him a free agent (MLB Network)
Giants catcher Buster Posey will reportedly announce his retirement on Thursday (The Athletic)
The Tigers acquired catcher Tucker Barnhart in a trade with the Reds in exchange for INF Nick Quintana
The Phillies declined a team option on OF Andrew McCutchen, making him a free agent
Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi declined his player option, making him a free agent
RHP Kevin Gausman is likely to sign a multi-year extension with the Giants (SF Chronicle)
RHP Jon Gray recently rejected an extension offer between $35-40 million from the Rockies, making him set to hit free agency (The Athletic)
Prospect Watch ⚾
Yesterday’s stats in the Arizona Fall & Dominican Winter Leagues
Ronny Mauricio: 2-for-3
Carlos Cortes: 0-for-3, BB, R
Wilmer Reyes: 1-for-5