Steve Cohen is one step closer. The change in ownership for the New York Mets is imminent and the reality for fans is to know the takeover is soon. And with that there are a lot of decisions and changes to come for this takeover to be complete.
First and foremost, where does GM Brodie Van Wagenen stand in the plan takeover? The manager, Luis Rojas deserves another year. Starting pitching is a priority and perhaps the Mets do need a difference maker in the outfield. Perhaps some more bullpen insurance.
And then there is Sandy Alderson. As I say, “The Master” is also a part of this takeover and Steve Cohen will put this in his hands.
Regardless of the decisions and takeover, the Mets are expected to be different. Next October, assuming all of Cohen’s money is spent wisely, postseason baseball could also be a reality again at Citi Field.
But the outlook for baseball in 2021 all depends on where this coronavirus stands. And the hope is baseball will resume on time and play a normal 162-game season. As the Dodgers and Rays play on in the World Series the Mets hope to be there next October.
Economics will play a major role in the construction of the 2021 Mets. Though Cohen and his billions are a blessing to MLB, that does not account to all the financial losses that the Mets and 29 other teams incurred with a 60-game season and no revenue with the absence of fans in the ballparks.
But from all indications, and reports from insiders, the Mets with Steve Cohen will proceed with a takeover and go with the plan. The emphasis is put a winning team on the field, play baseball in October, and restructure player development and the minor league system.
A minor league system that was shutdown for all 30 teams in 2020 and reportedly will see change with fewer franchises ranging from the short season, Single A, to the Triple A level.
For Steve Cohen, the work with a new front office will begin soon and not much after the required 23 of 30 votes of approval come from owners next month.
Let’s not go into specifics and how much it will take to acquire J.T.Realmuto. He is the coveted and most sought free agent for teams in need of a difference maker behind the plate.
If not Realmuto, there are other options on the market but he is at the top of the class. The others, all over 30-years of age, and could be a minor improvement over Wilson Ramos.
Ramos, 32-years old, and with a good second half in 2019, is better suited to be elsewhere as the Mets need a desperate upgrade at the position after a 2020 slash line of .241/.301/.376.
And the Mets can’t get better at the position with Rene Rivera or 36-year old Robinson Chirinos and his $6.5 MM club option with a $1 million buyout. So assume, Steve Cohen with expected control reportedly will go all out and sign the 30-year old Realmuto,
But in the event the Mets fail in acquiring the coveted free agent, and with the Yankees and Phillies reportedly in the hunt, there are some options. Again, factor the veteran catcher on the market and at what cost?
Some of the free agents if the Mets lose out on Realmuto: James McCann, Austin Romine, Mike Zunino, Jason Castro, Alex Avila, Welington Castillo, Sandy Leon, Tyler Flowers. Yes, a good catcher is good to find and there are more veterans on the market.
And there are trade possibilities but the Mets don’t have much to offer. Pitching is a commodity and the once and rich prospect list is no longer a part of the Mets. Anyone interested in Gary Sanchez? The Yankees are hinting at moving Sanchez, but the possibility of a Mets-Yankees crosstown trade is not happening, unless of course, a real blockbuster serves needs for both teams.
Of the available free agent options, and putting Relamuto on the side, the names of Zunino, Romine, McCann, and Flowers are interesting options. Again, how much of the expected Steve Cohen money will get this done?
Regardless, the catching position needs an upgrade and for the better. Francisco Alvarez, their top prospect is a few years away and with no minor league system this year his progress was difficult to determine. Any thoughts of reacquiring Travis d’Arnaud are out of the equation with his permanent spot in the Braves lineup.
And a back-to-back rotation of Trevor Bauer who would follow Jacob deGrom is as good as any one-two in baseball. Bauer is the big game pitcher and another of the coveted free agents on the market. A one-year contract is his preference so the Mets best pitch here is to offer a long term deal.
And that could be the difference maker for the Mets when it comes to signing a free agent or two. Though teams are claiming financial hardship, reportedly MLB revenue lost was in the billions, Steve Cohen has the money.
Those other MLB owners will be watching this up close. Too bad for White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. He will be outnumbered by his colleagues.He will go against Cohen and his money because his cohort Alex Rodriguez lost out in his bid to purchase the Mets from the Wilpons.
Oh yeah, the Wilpons. That’s a name synonymous with the Mets and their fans. The takeover for Mets fans is almost here and something that has been anticipated for years.
Comment: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso Subscribe and watch Sports With Rich on YouTube
Photo: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire