As you know, the Mets Hot Stove is as cold as ice, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on within various Mets circles.
It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago, that both the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants played in the NL wild-card game. Both teams entered the 2017 season with World Series aspirations and the Mets were even thumping their chests about potentially having one of the best rotations of all time. But unfortunately for both teams, things took a dramatic turn for the worse as the Mets struggled to a 70-92 record while the Giants finished in last place with 98 losses.
What I find most interesting is the contrast between both these clubs this offseason. On the one hand you have Brian Sabean saying the Giants will be back in the playoffs in 2018 and then making a legitimate run at Giancarlo Stanton. The Giants would have landed him if not for the no-trade clause. Then on the other hand you have the Mets and their lukewarm, wishy-washy approach that seems more like punting than it does pursuing a championship. The difference is stark.
After losing Stanton to the Yankees, Sabean struck like lightning to acquire third baseman Evan Longoria from Tampa Bay, a player that the Mets were also rumored to be interested in. And now the Giants are in hot pursuit of Reds speedster and elite defensive center fielder, Billy Hamilton, whom the Mets – yes wait for it – are also interested in.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the 27-year old Hamilton when we already have Juan Lagares under contract anyway. And I’m not so sure that rumors linking Hamilton to the Mets are accurate anyway. I just wanted to illustrate how different the Mets and Giants are going about their business this offseason, and how one team seems to really mean it when they told their fans they’ll be back in the postseason in 2018. I wish we were attacking the offseason with that same vigor.
Must Be Nice…
While here in small-market Metsville we’re discussing the team’s shrinking payroll, down in our nation’s capitol the Washington Nationals are shrugging their shoulders after learning that their payroll was so large that they’ve incurred competitive balance penalties for 2017, according to beat reporter Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.
The Nationals’ payroll currently stands at $197 million and is expected to climb some more this offseason and then possibly even more next offseason depending on things go with extensions for all-stars Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy. The team’s payroll could eclipse $210 million.
So far this offseason, the Nationals have secured setup man Brandon Kintzler, who they signed to a two-year deal, and they upgraded Adam Lind with a younger version in Matt Adams, who was also drawing interest from the Mets.
We Ain’t Done Yet…
If you thought the New York Yankees were done with their heavy lifting this offseason after adding National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, think again. Team president Randy Levine was on WFAN, where he boasted, “We ain’t done yet!”
“We’re the Yankees. We always want to get better, and Brian Cashman is always looking to get better and Hal Steinbrenner is always trying to make us better.”
“We don’t feel like we’re in a situation where we are desperate to go out and have to get something. But it is definitely something we would like to add,” said new manager Aaron Boone.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has said the team intends to get under next year’s tax threshold of $197 million, which now appears very unlikely unless they intend to shed some big pieces between now and opening day. New York has paid a luxury tax each year since the penalties began in 2003.