New York Mets Rumors

New York Mets
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New York Mets Rumors

With the annual Winter meetings producing major news, one team has not made any significant transactions. There is a lot of rumors surrounding the New York Mets but so far no action.

The biggest news to come out of Queens is the pending sale of the Mets to minority owner Steve Cohen. Cohen is a hedge fund billionaire who will certainly make the Mets players with any free agent. But the sale is not official and it has not yet been announced when Cohen will have a say in free agency and team payroll. Fred Wilpon reportedly will still be in charge for the next five years.

Starling Marte

The one trade rumor that just won’t go away has the Mets looking to add Starling Marte. The Mets just traded two prospects for Jake Marisnick. Jon Heyman is reporting that the Mets are still in on Marte despite acquiring Marisnick. Mets fans can only hope that Marisnick is not the answer in centerfield.

The New York Post is reporting one hurdle in a potential Marte trade is the Mets’ willingness to add a big contract without shedding a big contract of their own. The other hurdles are the compensation the Pittsburgh Pirates will need. It has been reported the Pirates are looking for a young catcher. This is a position the Mets are interested in filling themselves. Additionally, the Pirates would want an outfielder back. The best candidates are Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis.

The big question is does Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen feel compelled to make a big splash after the cross-town rivals New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole.

Rick Porcello

The Mets have been rumored to be interested in free-agent pitcher Rick Porcello. Porcello made 21 million dollars last year but went 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA. Since winning the Cy Young in 2016 Porcello has a record of 42-26 with an ERA of 4.90.

Cole and Stephen Strasburg both signed record-setting contracts but Porcello is not nearly on that level. With the Cole Hamels one year 18 million dollar contract and Zack Wheeler’s five-year contract averaging 23 million dollars a year, the market has been set for the middle of the rotation starting pitchers. Porcello is still only 30 years old but did not nearly have as good of a 2019 season as the latter two pitchers. Porcello would slot in as the Mets fifth starter and allow Seth Lugo to remain in the bullpen.

The presale Mets were looking for bargains. Could the interest in Porcello signal a change? Wheeler was a Met and you would think the Mets would rather keep one of their own. How the Mets handle this offseason could tell you a lot of how the finances will be handled for the 2020 season.

Dellin Betances

Andy Martino is reporting the Mets are interested in free-agent relief pitcher Dellin Betances. Betances who made 7.25 million dollars last year might not get the same money in his next contract. Betances was out for most of the 2019 season with an elbow injury. Upon returning to the Yankees in September, Betances tore his ACL in his second game back.

Betances 31, has pitched his entire eight-year career with the Yankees. So he does know how to pitch in New York. That point is very important considering Edwin Diaz was the best closer in baseball in 2018 with the Seattle Mariners. But in his first season as a Met in 2019 Diaz wilted under the New York pressure. It is not yet known if the Yankees are interested in bringing back Betances. Martino suggests the Mets could land both Porcello and Betances.

The Mets should be in on every free agent relief pitcher. As each day goes by the market for quality relief pitchers is slowly drying up. The bullpen was the biggest reason the Mets did not make the playoffs in 2019.

Mets Outlook

Met fans are finding it hard to find a clear direction this offseason is heading in. On one hand, the Mets have said they plan to be active in the trade market. Marte is the big fish they have their eye on. So it is curious as to why they would trade two prospects for a centerfielder when there are comparable options available as free agents. You would think the Mets want all of their prospects available for a potential Marte trade.

Nimmo at the very least certainly has more upside than Marisnick. Additionally, the feeling amongst some Mets fans is that Nimmo is every bit the player Marte is. However, acquiring Marte could mean Nimmo is a part of that trade or involved in another deal.

In an attempt to create salary relief the Mets are open to the idea of attaching a bad contract such as Jed Lowrie(9 MM) and Jeurys Familia(22 MM) to lower-priced assets such as Davis and Dominic Smith. This does not sound like something a team that has the cash to spend would do. Davis and Smith are two of the Mets’ best trade chips and should be used to acquire something of value.

But on the flip side, the Mets are looking to add Marte(24 MM with his 2021 option) and Porcello and Betances who surely will cost the Mets at least an additional 20 million combined. You could make the case that by adding Porcello and Betances the Mets pitching staff will look a lot better top to bottom especially in the bullpen.

As other division rivals and the Yankees continue to make moves the clock is ticking for Van Wagenen to improve his team for the 2020 season. Mets fans are waiting.