The 2015 Baseball Winter Meetings are set to begin tonight as all 30 MLB front offices, agents and players arrive on Sunday at the world-famous Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
With GM Sandy Alderson getting treatment for cancer and unable to attend, representing the Mets is Assistant GM John Ricco and a contingent that includes J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta.
The Winter Meetings will run through Thursday when the Rule 5 Draft will be conducted.
The Mets essentially have three things they are looking to accomplish this offseason.
1. Ben Zobrist – The versatile and very sought after free agent has more than a dozen teams interested in him, but it’s reported that he’s narrowed it down to four teams and one of them is believed to be the Mets. Zobrist and his wife met with Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon last week and he was treated to a fine dinner, a tour of Citi Field and a housing market excursion in some desirable neighborhoods. The Mets say a four-year contract is not a deal-breaker and by all accounts are truly committed to signing Zobrist.
2. Bolster Bullpen – The Mets are looking for a legit setup man to pair with Jeurys Familia however they are hoping to cash in on a low-cost option like Tony Sipp, Antonio Bastardo and Steve Cishek and have distanced themselves from high-priced options like Darren O’Day and Joakim Soria who will get closer-type deals.
3. Outfielder – It’s become very apparent that the Mets are looking for someone to pair with Juan Lagares in a center field platoon. Gerardo Parra and Denard Span are two names that keep coming up, while interest in Dexter Fowler has reportedly cooled. While things could change at any given moment, for now it doesn’t appear the Mets are looking at Jason Heyward and Yoenis Cespedes.
Let’s Make A Deal!
There hasn’t been much trade buzz concerning the Mets in the last four weeks, that could all change this week.
John Ricco has been emphatic that the team won’t deal any of their young pitchers including Zack Wheeler. But you never know what kind of a deal can fall into their lap so let’s see how this plays out.
Three players who could be dealt – at least according to MLB Network – are Jon Niese, Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares. If that were true, the Mets would be selling them with their values at an all-time low. That doesn’t sound like something Alderson would do based on past history.
Of course there will be 29 other teams we’ll be following as the rumor mills kick into high gear. I love this time of the year. Will we see and blockbuster trades this week? Will Zobrist, Upton, Heyward and Cespedes get signed? Where does Daniel Murphy end up? What about lesser players like Tyler Clippard, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson?
For the first time in our 12 year history, we’re going to post a Winter Meetings Thread every afternoon for everyone to share links, rumors, news, etc. as things start getting crazy and exciting. You can post Twitter Statuses in our threads and we’ve expanded that to include Instagram as well.
Looking forward to talking Hot Stove with all of you over the next five days. Let’s Go Mets!