The 2018 GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA have officially come to a close on Thursday, with each team's GM heading back to their respective cities to gear up for the Winter Meetings next month.
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen was at the meetings for the first time in his new role, and though he had to walk back a few comments, we learned a lot about what he plans on doing this offseason. Also, SNY's Andy Martino got some inside scoops on what players the Mets could be targeting as well.
Here are the top storylines from the meetings...
On the first day of the meetings, Van Wagenen told Martino in a one-on-one interview that he was open to all avenues heading into the offseason, which included the prospect of trading aces Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. But, on Wednesday, he immediately clarified those comments, saying it was taken out of context.
"I think Jacob and Noah have been and will continue to be really important pieces in this organization," Van Wagenen said. "... I think my comments were to the same point that I would characterize all of our roster right now. We're going to continue to look for ways to improve the club. I love our starting pitching, I love our rotation right now."
After the deGrom trade comments, Van Wagenen was asked whether or not the Mets have delved into talks on a possible extension for the Cy Young favorite. He said "we'll explore that in the coming weeks."
"Outside of just an expression of interest, which has been consistent. ... we have not gone down to the point where we'd be exchanging proposals," Van Wagenen said.
One of the biggest questions heading into Spring Training is whether or not top prospect Peter Alonso will make the 25-man roster when camp breaks. He has obviously shown tremendous power and success at the plate, but the biggest knock on him is his defense.
However, Van Wagenen noted he got a chance to talk to coaches in the Mets' development system, who say he has taken great leaps of improvement at the position. And he didn't knock the chance he could be the team's starting first baseman on Opening Day.
"He is a really hard worker and he has a burning desire to succeed, and he communicated that very clearly to me," Van Wagenen said during the first day of the GM meetings in Carslbad, CA. "I told him that we're gonna give him every opportunity to try to capitalize on that both in the short term and the long term. "
Van Wagenen and the Mets are definitely going to gauge the catching market this offseason, whether it be via trade or free agents.
But, with the Braves reportedly having a "strong" offer on the table for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto, the Mets may find better options in signing someone like Grandal or Ramos in the free-agent market.
Both catchers are going to gain interest, with Ramos expected to sign early in the offseason. Grandal was the second-best catcher with a 3.6 fWAR this season behind Realmuto, while Ramos hit .306/.358/.487 between the Rays and Phillies last season.
Van Wagenen announced the Mets will be going in a different direction in multiple coaching facets. The biggest was hitting coach Pat Roessler will be let go, while bench coach Gary Disarcina will move to third base coach. In turn, Glenn Sherlock will move to first base coach as well as Ruben Amaro Jr. heading to the front office.
So, the Mets will be exploring their options for a new hitting and bench coach in 2019. Martino says Chili Davis, who let go by the Cubs, is among the candidates for the hitting coach vacancy. The Mets have also reached out to Jim Riggleman and Pete Mackanin for the bench coach role.
Van Wagenen's comments on Tebow had to be reeled in as well, after he stated he has a shot at breaking camp with the Mets. Instead, he clarified that Tebow will likely start the season with Triple-A Syracuse, and expects him to come into Spring Training with the mindset every other player does.
"Knowing Tim Tebow, if you say he can't do something, he's just going to work that much harder to try to prove you wrong," Van Wagenen said. "But for Tim our full expectation is that he will start in Syracuse. That's a great next step for him. Clearly he had his season cut short last year, so his momentum was stopped a little bit, but I have every expectation that he will pick that momentum right back up."