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… (more…)
The Mets and Yoenis Cespedes took a necessary step earlier this month in clearing a major hurdle for the two sides to negotiate a new contract when they agreed to remove the provision stating he must be released five days after the conclusion of the World Series.
While the Mets now have a better chance of retaining their superstar hurdle, a major challenge remains in doing so, that being their willingness to meet Cespedes’ demands for a new contract
And those demands will indeed be steep, as he told Mike Vorkunov of the Star Ledger he will be seeking at least a six-year contract this winter. (more…)
The Mets apparently have a new and very significant fan as part of their re-emerging base in New York City.
His name is Yoenis Cespedes.
In an exclusive interview with Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Cespedes said he asked his agents at Roc Nation Sports to re-negotiate the terms in his original contract to void the clause that states the Mets had to release him within five days following the conclusion of the World Series, which would have effectively eliminated his current club from bidding on him in free agency this winter.
The reason being if the Mets or any team execute an unrestricted release on any player, he cannot be re-signed by his current team until May 15, the following season.
“I’m actually the person who told them to change it,” the outfielder told Davidoff. “It only gave me five days for the Mets to sign me after the World Series, so I wanted it changed so that it’s not just within those five days. So even during the offseason, they can sign me if that’s what they want.”
Of course, that can be interpreted as Cespedes – who apparently has a keen business acumen – wanting to include both New York teams in his field of suitors this winter, which could only improve his leverage when he is a free agent. (more…)
After each and every passing day, the dollar signs in the eyes of Yoenis Cespedes increase in size as the Mets rent-an-outfielder continues to produce at a historic pace for the NL East leaders.
In 41 games since the Mets acquired him at the trade deadline, Cespedes is hitting .309/.356/.691 with 10 doubles, three triples 17 home runs, 42 RBI and a 1.048 OPS. Uncle.
As the days go on and the production continues at a–frankly–stupid pace for Cespedes, the questions about the Mets ability to re-sign the 29-year-old slugger continue grow louder and louder. (more…)
Earlier this week, the Mets and the agents for Yoenis Cespedes cleared a major obstacle for the potential of a new contract between the parties by agreeing to waive the clause in his current contract stating he must be released five days after the World Series ends.
In other words, the Mets are now able to negotiate with Cespedes as an unrestricted free agent this winter.
If anything, the arrangement showed the two parties would at least be interested in a new agreement while also adding a second New York team to bid on Cespedes’ services throughout the winter.
But while Sandy Alderson discounted the club’s interest in a new long-term contract for Cespedes, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said on Friday they are expected to make a serious push towards a new deal this winter. (more…)