The New York Mets, led by general manager Sandy Alderson, will be descending on Orlando, Florida for the Winter Meetings. What can we expect?
The New York Mets are expected to send their usual contingent to Orlando, FL for the 2017 Winter Meetings. It would be a stretch to believe the franchise can turn itself around in five days. But there are some areas where the team can move forward. Let’s explore a few of them.
By now, Sandy Alderson has hopefully drawn up a list of assignments for his direct staff with instructions to, for example, talk to so-and-so about Player X to see if he might be available. To another, he might only say, be a fly on the wall and make it a point to talk to the heavyweight reporters at the scene to hear the latest rumors. To another, it might be to find some poor soul who is willing to take so-and-so off my hands. And so it goes.
This year, unless Alderson intends to drop a bomb on the Mets and their fans by trading Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or Michael Conforto during the meetings, the Mets will probably be on the outside looking in on most of the action.
And that might not be such a bad thing for this team at this point. The problem for the Mets is any quick scan of their roster produces little in the way of trade bait other teams might be interested in discussing, except for the three cited above, along with Matt Harvey and Amed Rosario.
The opportunity will, however, arise at these meetings for Alderson and his team to plant the seeds of a future trade once the season is in full swing. For instance, Alderson should be interested in knowing what might happen on July 15 when the Mets are ten games under (don’t get excited, this is just a scenario) and he wants to explore trading DeGrom. He can spend time now for later when the crunch is on at the deadline knowing there are three or four teams he knows are worth talking to immediately.
There is one team Alderson might try to get palsy-walsy with and to spend some time schmoozing with and that’s the Miami Marlins. Derek Jeter, in his vanquishing of nearly everyone in his front office, is now turning attention to his players and, specifically, his payroll.
We all know about Giancarlo Stanton, but there are others on the Marlins roster the Mets might be able to pry away, solely as a pay dump by Jeter. A quick look at the Marlins roster with 2018 salaries, as provided by Baseball Reference, reveals a player like Martin Prado, a prototypical utility player who can handle both infield and outfield positions, and is signed through the 2019 season for a total of $28 million.
Too much for the Mets, you say? Okay, how about Marcell Ozuna then? Here’s a guy who is 27 and plays second base, where the Mets are talking about a sure-to-go-wrong reunification with Neil Walker. Ozuna is in his second year of arbitration and is projected to cost around $10 million to play in 2018.
Oh and by the way, did I mention Ozuna hit .312 last season, missed only three games, had almost 200 hits (191) and, to boot, smacked 37 home runs and drove in 124? Ten million for that kind of production? And the Mets would hesitate?
It’s becoming evident Jeter wants the Marlins to be his team, and to achieve that, he appears to be going out of his way to divorce himself from anyone tagged to the past, even a superstar like Stanton.
So, if the Mets want to get in on the action in Florida, Jeter’s team is the one you want to make sure you have dinner with – and do pick up the tab.
In sum, this series of Winter Meetings are all about the Mets gathering information, getting Mickey Callaway adjusted to the spotlight, sitting down seriously with the Marlins, and paving the way for future trades involving their “big names” if it becomes necessary.
Other than that, if you need to take a long nap, it’s probably okay and you likely won’t miss anything. Just in case, though, check back and we’ll have it for you.
The Winter Meetings are about more than what’s been discussed here. Here’s something that goes on behind the scenes except for those lucky attendees. Matt Vasgersian and Kevin Millar check out the sights and sounds at the 2016 Winter Meetings Trade Show.