If there’s one thing I love about the Mets with Steve Cohen in charge, it’s that New York is always ready to strike. This pertains to their primary acquisition targets, as well as alternatives if Option 1 is no longer available.
Let’s not forget the Steven Matz situation from last winter, folks. It seemed like a reunion with the Mets was likely before he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for four years and $44 million. Cohen tweeted about how he wasn’t happy with what happened. The Mets then proceeded to sign Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and Max Scherzer in the next few days.
Let’s fast-forward back to the present day, though. Should starting pitcher Jacob deGrom leave the only organization he’s played for via free agency, it looks like the Mets will be ready with more than capable pivots. Andy Martino of SNY reports New York sees the Texas Rangers as a serious threat to sign deGrom (and, thankfully, the Braves don’t look like one).
With that in mind, Martino said the Mets are considering a run at Justin Verlander and plan to meet with Japanese hurler Kodai Senga.
We just saw news drop from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Monday night about Verlander’s potential interest in teams not named the Astros. The Mets were among the squads Rosenthal mentioned in a short list, along with the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.
As for Senga, the 29-year-old hurler is currently in the States meeting with MLB clubs. New York will be one of the squads he and his representation will sit down with. According to Michael Mayer of Metsmerized, Senga’s desires are the holy trifecta for any team. He not only wants to play on a win-now team in a big market, but he also wants to learn more about analytics.
Here’s a glimpse of what he can offer on the mound:
Kodai Senga has been up to 102 mph, throws a ghost forkball, slider, curve & cutter. 1.89 ERA in 148 innings this year.
Senga’s agent noted Kodai would like to play in a big market on a win now team and is versed in/wants to learn more about analytics.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) November 14, 2022
This is just another sign that these are no longer the same old Mets. You’d have to imagine New York’s preferred situation is to re-sign deGrom. But if that doesn’t happen, Billy Eppler and Co. won’t be wallowing in self-pity about watching an elite talent and homegrown player sign elsewhere. They’ll immediately pivot and fill the necessary roster holes to compete next year.
This is in stark contrast to the Wilpon-era Mets (as is most things). The situation that sticks out the most to me is Jose Reyes’ free agency. After he won the National League batting title in 2011, he hit the open market. He wanted to stay with New York but never received a formal offer before signing a $100-plus million deal with the Miami Marlins.
The agreement between Reyes and Miami happened at the beginning of December. I remember feeling like the wind was taken out of the sails for the remainder of New York’s offseason. It wasn’t that Reyes didn’t re-sign with the Mets. Teams can’t re-sign every single one of their homegrown players. It was that the organization was then left flat-footed and without a legitimate Plan B.
New York was in a much different situation then compared to now, but it also shows how much things have changed. If deGrom doesn’t return to Flushing, there will be many Mets fans who are sad about it. But there won’t just be a huge hole in the rotation moving forward. Eppler will fill it with a pitcher that should get the fan base’s juices flowing again.