As the Mets aptly ended their season with a no-run effort, players far and wide brace themselves for what they know is coming, ready or not…
Yesterday, the Mets clubhouse carried a tone of relief, disappointment, and wariness about the future, and nowhere was that seen more than within one group of Mets. They know that the die has been cast for their departure from the organization with almost virtual certainty.
Davis, another of the Mets resigned to change, went on to say:
“I know there’s going to be plenty of changes from the front office down to here. My gut feeling? I could be out of here. That’s what it’s kind of leaning toward.”
In Conforto’s case, the Mets will dance the dance with a Qualifying Offer worth at or near $20 million.
On the advice of his agent Scott Boras, Conforto will reject it- causing the Mets to raise their hands in triumph as the winner of a high draft choice, repaying the team for “losing” Conforto.
In Stroman’s case, it’s likely the Mets will make a stab at re-signing him, but that goes in the face of Stroman’s already declared interest in the Chicago Cubs and vice-versa.
“Chicago’s a great city,” said the right-hander, who might wind up as the most coveted starting pitcher in the upcoming free-agent market.
Apparently not afraid of stepping into a rebuilding situation with the Cubs, Stroman added, “I’m open,” he said. “I want to be somewhere that wants me. I want to be on a team that wants me in their rotation for good and kind of go from there.”
“Whenever that (meeting with Mets President Sandy Alderson) will happen, it will happen, and we should find out soon,” adding, “You gotta feel responsible for not helping the team achieve the goal that was set at the beginning of the season.”
In the case of Javier Baez, the decision will come down to whether the Mets want to pursue it, and if Baez wants to remain in New York.
Alderson seems as perplexed about Baez as everyone else, at one point saying about the free-agent, “Is it possible? Yes. Is it realistic? Maybe, It’s hard for me to put odds on it”.
A select few, like Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, and Jacob deGrom, can go home with the knowledge they gave it their best, and there’s nothing left to do except go home, rest, stay in shape, and wait for February.
Mets: Make Him Earn It (Lindor)
For a Mets player like Francisco Lindor, who is tied by default to the team for the next nine years, there is only time for reflection on what can only be termed (generously) a disappointing season.
Even so, Lindor, as the self-appointed team leader, thought it was appropriate for him to demand an apology from Robinson Cano, who is eligible to return (as if the Mets don’t have enough problems) to the Mets from a year-long MLB imposed suspension in 2022.
“He probably has to apologize,” Lindor told the New York Post. “I am assuming that is what he is going to do when he comes back and just talk to the group and address the group and just be sincere and honest with himself and with us.”
Someone needs to put this guy in his place…
Mets Toss-Up Group
Others, like Noah Syndergaard and Jeff McNeil, fall into the Mets toss-up category. Do they take a chance of spending big money, betting that Syndergaard will return to All-Star form, and McNeil is due for a bounce-back year – or move on by cutting the ties to both?
In both cases, we’re probably moving in the direction of one-year “show me” contracts for both players, but that is subject to a strategy that employs an all-out purge and a complete renewal of the Mets roster.
Scapegoat The Players But The Top Is Still Barren
I wasn’t there, of course, during the flight to New York from Atlanta last night, but I can theorize that the tone on the plane was somber and reflective.
We say that it all ends with the players and coaches because, in the final analysis, they are the ones who play the games, win or lose. This year, there’s been more losing than winning, and the players will pay for it.
Some will be traded; others will see their free agency shunned, while still others will see less than generous offers (dare I say even pay cuts?) coming their way as one of the eleven Mets entering the arbitration process this winter.
We’ll see all of those things, even in the face of a Mets front office operating on one leg (Alderson), with two high-level jobs to fill, and a still wet behind-the-ears owner in Steve Cohen.
We’ll wait and wonder if Cohen will take the easy way out by splashing his billions around, signing free agents willy nilly, appeasing fans but having no regard for quality over quantity, and an effort that repeats the doomed cycle once again.
For the most part, Steve Cohen talks the talk, and Mets fans have found him to be engaging, or at least entertaining.
But to employ the cliche – now is the time to walk the walk. Promises about tomorrow will not hold with the media and fans unless they are supported with savvy personnel decisions that glow with knowledge of baseball and not merely headlines.
Mets: (Too) Many Mountains To Climb?
At this point, all I see is an overflowing plate of decision-making and policy implementation that I’m not convinced the Mets organization is capable of actuating.
In turn, this gives all the more credence to the Mets’ need for a Theo Epstein, Billy Beane, or Person X to take hold of all the things the Mets need to accomplish between now and February.
Prove me wrong, please.