The Mets report to Spring Training in just over a month. What have they accomplished with their offseason moves and could Brodie Van Wagenen have another move up his sleeve? Plus, what is the best Mets moment of the last decade?
Diane M (Twitter) >> What's one more thing you would like to see Brodie Van Wagenen add to the team before spring training starts?
I want a big move, which will likely also mean making a few more smaller moves. For instance, to pull off a trade for and afford Nolan Arenado, Brodie may first need to find a taker for Jed Lowrie and/or Jeurys Familia. If that sort of thing can happen -- something bold that excites the team, players and fans -- I'm for it.
Frankly, I wish they would ignore the luxury threshold and add Arenado or Mookie Betts or Kris Bryant -- or just sign Josh Donaldson -- regardless of moving Lowrie or Familia money. I'm so tired of the Mets laying up after making progress.
The Mets basically gave up on last season in late-July, after which they got hot, challenged for the Wild Card spot, gained credibility and now have realistic mission for this coming season. There was a palpable air of momentum in Citi Field during the last game of the season, despite missing the postseason. If there is a time to do what's necessary to add an impact player in his prime, this is it.
Anthony D (Twitter) >> Hey Matt, were the Mets able to take out an insurance policy on Dellin Betances? If so, does that mitigate the risk of the deal?
I have not seen this answer reported, nor have I heard if there's insurance or not. But in situations like his it is quite rare to find the type of policy that has been paid out on David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes, and others.
The way I've heard it, contracts worth under $80 million and with fewer than five years -- let alone just one year -- don't have policies like that. Plus, he signed the deal with a known and concerning shoulder injury, which makes it even less likely the Mets were able to get a meaningful policy against his money.
Ricky M (e-mail) >> Why did the Mets sign a risk like Betances when they could have signed someone else like Will Harris, who is now going to the Nationals? They already have risk tied up in Edwin Diaz. Why add more?
This is a fair question. However, in this instance, I like that the risk is spread out. Betances is one season removed from being one of the best relievers in baseball, while Diaz is one season removed from leading the league in saves. It's unlikely that they will both struggle to bounce back in 2020.
In terms of signing Betances instead of Harris, Harris is signing a three-year deal when relief pitching is one of the worst year-to-year investments you can make in a player. I'd much rather have Betances on a one-year deal. Van Wagenen made a nice move here, especially knowing Dellin has the mental toughness to be an elite reliever and do it in New York.
Van Wagenen still needs to add another reliever, though.
Sensie the Pitbull (Twitter) >> When is it realistic to expect Steve Cohen to be in charge of the purse strings?
This is "putting the cart before the horse," as people say, especially since Cohen and the team's current ownership group are still negotiating the terms of a deal. Then, once agreed upon, MLB owners and the commissioners office will need to give it a stamp of approval. Based on similar situations with the Dodgers and Royals, this is rarely a quick process. This is all to say, based on precedent and total guesswork, if a change in power occurs, I'd expect Cohen could have a say in dictating the budget before the end of this coming season.
Thomas, Meredith and Byron (e-mail) >> What is your favorite Mets moment during the past decade?
The 2015 World Series
The tailgate and anticipation prior to their first home game was fun, but there was a lot of anxiety and nervous energy in the air.
Not long after, the National Anthem ended, the ballpark got quiet, fireworks filled the air, music blared, the team took the field and all nervousness was instantly replaced by a frenetic energy that had been missing around this team for more than a decade. I'm not going to lie, I teared up because of the feeling of community, knowing other fans were feeling the same as I was feeling, knowing the players probably felt what we were feeling. It made a connection that is special in sports and something that doesn't come around every day.
Along those lines, to make it all more intense, the sight of Wright standing at third base during his first and only World Series, glove by his side, back to the infield, looking around the ballpark and simply taking it all in is a small, yet special moment that I can never forget.
The 2013 All Star Game
The moment when Matt Harvey took the mound is one of the best moments I have witnessed in person at Shea Stadium or Citi Field -- in part because it was a young, exciting, dominant Mets pitcher taking the mound, but also because I knew all of baseball was watching. The sound in the stadium when Harvey ran out from the bullpen was unique because it had nothing to do with the standings or postseason. It was an inconsequential moment in the context of the fate of a season, yet it is memorable, gave me goosebumps, and in many ways transcended the team.
David Wright's final game
It's difficult to put into words the level of sadness, respect, appreciation and adoration that filled Citi Field the night Wright played his final game. It was inspiring to see so many people in place paying such compliments and appreciation to someone that most fans never met in person.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is a senior writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime.