And away we go. With the World Series now concluded after the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7, the Hot Stove Season officially kicked off at 9:00 AM this morning.
All players with no contractual obligations for 2015 officially became free agents this morning. For the Mets it’s a very short list that includes Daisuke Matsuzaka, who may be returning to Japan, and Bobby Abreu, who announced his retirement last month.
MLB teams have until Monday to inform their eligible players if they are getting a qualifying offer of $15.3 million dollars. The player then has seven days to decide whether to accept or reject it. If the one-year offer is rejected by the player, the team then receives a draft pick the following June if that player signs elsewhere.
Among free agent players the Mets may kick the tires on, you have shortstops Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie, while outfielders Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Chris Denorfia,
Josh Willingham, Emilio Bonifacio, Colby Rasmus, Nori Aoki, Michael Cuddyer, Nick Markakis, Alex Rios and Yasmani Tomas, might be some of the names that will get varying degrees of buzz.
Of course, buzz is one thing and for the Mets’ reality is something altogether different. Both Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson already hinted that there would be no significant free agent additions this offseason and each cautioned against a spike in payroll, so most of these names fall into the “look but don’t touch” category.
My guess is that Cuddyer for two years will be as good as it gets for the Mets assuming they aren’t outbid by another team. But the trade market should be buzzing with activity for the Mets as Sandy seeks to improve the team using a surplus of starting pitching and possibly moving Daniel Murphy as well. Should be a fun Winter to follow the team’s progress.