The following are insights, ideas and notes gathered from recent conversations with team sources, rival executives, reporters, front office assistants and talent evaluators...
Adding a reliever...
There seems to be a decent market for less-exciting, affordable relievers Pedro Strop and Collin McHugh. Other than that, no one I know seems to think there's much urgency in the market to sign relievers at any level until later in the month.
I still think the Mets need one more arm, even if just for depth.
Adding a third baseman...
It seems Josh Donaldson must be waiting to see if Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant gets dealt.
There has been buzz for a few weeks that he had a four-year, $100 million deal on the table. The only reason to not take it would be if he thinks he may be able to squeak out a bit more money from a team that misses out on one of the trade options above.
In either case, I don't think it's the Mets that have made or will make a four-year offer to Donaldson, especially since I keep hearing people predict the Mets with a potential new owner next winter will be players for Mookie Betts.
In regards to Arenado, I realize there are a number of reports from big name, national reporters indicating a trade is likely to happen. But, people I talk with -- as a group -- all still feel Arenado is with the Rockies come opening day.
Given that Donaldson and Bryant are still available, given the seven years and $240 million that comes with Arenado, and given he has a no-trade clause, it just seems like a lot of moving parts to be worked out with less than 30 days until teams begin reporting to spring training.
"There are a lot of I's to dot and T's to cross and it's not like they're going to move him just to move him," one MLB insider with knowledge of his market told me. "They made the postseason in 2017 and 2018."
That said, the Cardinals, Rangers, Braves and even the Yankees continue to be viewed as the best fit for him and the Rockies, who are insisting on a young, pre-arbitration, front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher in any swap. For instance, this would need to be Domingo German, I've heard from west coast sources.
The Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals all have similar pitching that they could include in a deal. The Mets do also, I just don't think they'll do it...
In regards to Bryant, I can't get anyone to even predict where he might end up -- let alone if he'll actually get traded -- until MLB hands down a decision on whether he'll be a free agent after next season or 2021. The consensus continues to be that a ruling will be public before the end of this month.
Adding an outfielder...
If you want Marcell Ozuna, hope Arenado is dealt to the Cardinals. It doesn't sound like there's much of a chance they will spend on both players. If Ozuna isn't returning to St. Louis, his remaining suitors will reportedly be the Rangers and maybe the Reds. But, in that scenario, perhaps another teams gets involved.
He entered the winter looking for a four-year deal and still could get it, depending on what happens with the Cardinals, but it also still sounds like he could opt for a one-year deal and look to re-enter the free agent market next year.
The Red Sox are still talking with teams about Betts, but I still believe that to move him the acquiring team will need to take on another large contract -- at minimum think Nathan Eovaldi, at most think David Price.
In the event the Astros feel pressure to start trading players in an effort to totally move on from the sign stealing scandal, multiple people predict center fielder George Springer will be one of the first to be traded. If that happens, look for the Mets to be involved.
People close to him say he's interested in moving toward Connecticut and is intrigued about playing in New York or Boston. He'll likely earn around $22 million this coming season and be a free agent next winter in the same market that will also feature Betts.
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.