The New York Mets have been connected to every big-name free agent on the market. Now, it’s time for two top-tier individuals.
Over the last 24 hours, the New York Mets have been connected to Marcell Ozuna and Jake Odorizzi — two of the top-tier names on the market.
ESPN’s Buster Olney connected the Mets to Odorizzi. He also lists the Twins, Giants, and Blue Jays as teams with interest in the starting pitcher.
The connection is obvious. Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner worked with the Twins in 2019 during Odorizzi’s breakout season. It stands to reason that Hefner and the Mets believe that Odorizzi’s disappointing 2020 was caused by injuries and strange circumstances rather than any decline in stuff or control.
To Odorizzi’s credit, he’s been consistent throughout his career. His 3.92 career ERA is approximately equal to Trevor Bauer’s mark. His 4.12 career FIP is worse, but it’s indicative of who he is. Odorizzi is not a front line starter, but more of a solid third or fourth guy in the rotation. That’s all the Mets really need with Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and David Peterson slotted into their 2021 rotation. There’s hope that Noah Syndergaard will be available midway through next season as well.
The connection to Ozuna, as reported by Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, is much more difficult to decipher. There’s no obvious coaching or front office connection, and Ozuna doesn’t fit what the Mets really need. Sure, he’s a big right-handed bat, but his defense is atrocious and the Mets already have the designated hitter spot handled.
With the team on the lookout for improved outfield defense, especially in centerfield, Ozuna doesn’t make much sense. It would likely take trading Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis to open up some time at designated hitter, but even then, Robinson Cano may occupy that spot for the foreseeable future.
Ozuna seems more like a rumor started to drive up a price rather than any legitimate interest.