Its only been five weeks since the last time the Mets played a baseball game, but the club has spent those five weeks looking for ways to get over the top of the mountain and win the 2016 World Series, exactly 30 years after their last championship.
They will begin to do so at the Winter Meetings which technically begin tomorrow morning at the at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Mets are already projected to have a $92-95 million in payroll for 2016 with players currently under contract, projected salaries through arbitration, and players earning the league minimum. That’s all without adding new talent.
And the Mets need to add and replenish some of the talent lost on the big league roster.
Yoenis Cespedes, Jerry Blevins, Eric O’Flaherty, Bartolo Colon, Bobby Parnell, Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard, and Daniel Murphy are all free agents.
The Mets added OF Brandon Nimmo, RHP Seth Lugo, and RHP Robert Gsellman to the 40-man roster in late November to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, which takes place Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings. They did not protect Matt Bowman or Wuilmer Becerra, so they could conceivably taken in the Rule 5 draft by other teams.
The 40-man roster currently stands at 39.
The Mets have already signed RHP Jim Henderson, RHP Stolmy Pimentel and infielder Ty Kelly to minor league contracts, but have yet to sign anyone to a Major League deal this winter.
That could change this week, as team insiders insist they will be active in their attempt to fortify the roster this week in Nashville.
However, the front office will be missing a key presence to their contingent in Nashville this week, as Sandy Alderson will stay in New York as he undergoes treatment for cancer.
Instead, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon will join assistant GM John Ricco, manager Terry Collins, Vice President, Player Development & Amateur Scouting Paul DePodesta, and special assistant JP Ricciardi as the continent for the Mets at the Winter Meetings.
The Mets have identified three primary needs as they head to the Winter Meetings, with hopes their activity can lead to solutions as they look ahead to Spring Training.
Their goal is to lengthen their lineup by improving their contact rate, reducing their strikeouts, and lengthening their lineup with a greater ability to get on-base.
They also want to create a lockdown formula in their bullpen, and improve their overall defense behind their championship-caliber starting pitching, the latter they hope will make them more efficient and lengthen their outings.
Here’s a look at how the Mets hope to reach those goals this winter… Continue reading