The Mets surprised no one when they did what teams do after a losing season that began with high expectations. That was easy; the rest isn’t.
Please take a close look at the Mets 40-man roster because you won’t recognize the one we’ll see when pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie next February.
The Mets wasted no time in releasing Luis Rojas of his managerial duties yesterday, a move that surprised no one, least of all Rojas who will ponder continuing to the 17th year of his association with the Mets – in a position as yet to be determined.
Mets: Nothing To Do But Wait On Cohen
There’s no point in playing the “Who’s Next” game, though, because nothing gets started for the Mets until Steve Cohen hires a Director of Baseball Operations (DOBO), a position with all the significance of the CEO or President of the United States.
On Thursday, Cohen will also have the results of a court appearance by their (still active) Acting General Manager Zack Scott, who will be in White Plains to adjudicate a drunk-driving charge.
If Cohen decides to forgive and forget by retaining Scott, it’s likely to be only because he has yet another hole in his front office to fill – a full-fledged General Manager.
In all cases, though, it will be up to the DOBO to make the ultimate hiring decisions. Check that – it should be up to that person to make those and all other personnel decisions if the Mets front office is functional, with clear lines of authority spelled out and known by everyone.
Mets Front Office: Lines Of Authority
Along those lines, here’s another thought, and it has to do with the role of Sandy Alderson, who currently holds the title of President of the Mets.
Thus, it follows that anyone interviewing for the DOBO job would want assurances from Cohen that he’s (she’s) the one with full authority, and Alderson is there to serve as a consultant (only).
A big step for Cohen to take, given his allegiance and gratitude for Alderson taking on a job when Cohen had no one else, but it’s something Cohen must do, or face the consequences later when power lines become blurred, and a power struggle erupts.
A Mountain Of Work To Be Done
Alas, all of the above only scratches the surface of all the work ahead for the Mets this offseason.
As delineated in-depth in yesterday’s column, the Mets have thirteen players on their roster who are free agents. Among that group are notables like Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Michael Conforto. The loss or retention of these players is huge in determining the structure and character of the Mets 2022 team.
Additionally, the Mets have eleven arbitration-eligible players. We find Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and Seth Lugo on this list.
In only two cases (Alonso and Nimmo) are the typical automatic raises warranted. If the Mets put their foot down (and they should), the possibility of an internal civil war between the front office and the individual player(s) rears its ugly head.
And keep in mind, we haven’t even touched on another primary task before the Mets – the reconstruction of their farm system.
Remember, one of the main reasons the Mets folded after the All-Star game is that they ran out of players in Syracuse, and the ones they did call up were not built for the long haul, despite the brief impact of the Bench Mob.
Barring trades by the Mets that bring in a haul of high-level prospects, resources at the Triple and Double A levels will not be there again in 2022.
The Clock Keeps Ticking…
So, the easy move was made with the decision not to renew the contract of Rojas.
But there is a mountain of work yet to be done, and if you think about it, last July is as close to today as next February.
With no exaggeration, the Mets are on the clocking, and the ticking never stops…