The MLB Winter Meetings officially begin Monday through Thursday in Las Vegas.
The Mets should be looking to improve their bullpen, as well as add an everyday catcher, at least one impact hitter and depth beneath the entire roster.
Here are the latest headlines and rumblings from each of the above markets, followed by my own insight and anaylsis.
Adding to the bullpen...
Free-agent relievers Adam Ottavino and David Robertson are the pitchers on Brodie Van Wagenen's list of bullpen targets, SNY's Andy Martino said Sunday.
The Red Sox are also interested in Robertson and Ottavino, Jon Heyman of Fancred added.
According to Mark Feinsand, there are at least six teams interested in Robertson.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> The Mets very much want to leave this week's Winter Meetings with at least one high-leverage reliever to support elite closer Edwin Diaz, whom they acquired from the Mariners earlier this month.
Along those lines, I've heard Andrew Miller is weighing proposals from the Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, Red Sox and most of the up to 12 teams looking for back-end relief help. Robertson would reportedly prefer to pitch for a team in the Northeast, which would put the Mets in play with the Red Sox and Yankees. That said, there are teams out west that have been pitching Robertson, including the Dodgers and Giants.
The market for J.T. Realmuto...
The Mets have been persistent in their attempt to trade for Marlins C J.T. Realmuto.
There may be up to dozen teams interested in him, with the Dodgers and Astros joining the Mets as the most aggressive team in pursuit, ESPN's Buster Olney reported this past weekend.
The Padres also have interest, according to San Diego reports.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I've been told by sources in Miami that the cruz of a deal with the Mets centers around Amed Rosario, whom Derek Jeter covets, but the Mets have no interest in trading. There have been reports indicating the Marlins are insisting on two under-contract, league-minimum, established big leaguers, which for the Mets would need to be Rosario and, I guess, Brandon Nimmo, since Michael Conforto is now eligible for arbitration.
There is zero chance the Mets trade Rosario and Nimmo in the same deal. I do, however, think they'd consider trading just Rosario for Realmuto, because the Indians like Nimmo. The Mets have been known to have interest in Indians starters Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer.
In the end, I now believe Realmuto will be dealt. If it's big league players they want, the Mets and Dodgers probably have the best shot. If it's a basket of prospects, the Mets have no chance, whereas the Padres probably jump to the front of the line...
Adding another big hitter...
The NY Post's Mike Puma expects the Mets to contact the Dodgers about Yasiel Puig, who local reports indicate is on the outs in Los Angeles and likely to get dealt sooner than later.
Puig will likely earn roughly $11 million this season, after which he'll be a free agent.
The Dodgers are also considering trading Matt Kemp and Joc Pederson in an effort to sign Bryce Harper, ESPN's Buster Olney added.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> Also, in regards to the outfield, I'm hearing from insiders that free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock is asking currently asking for a five- or six-year deal worth as much as $90 million. However, the same people tell me he'll never get more than three years and $45 million... We'll see. The Mets have interest, according to local reports.
In regards to the Dodgers, if I'm making a trade with them, I'd much rather have Joc than Puig. Pederson is under contract the next three seasons, arbitration eligible and likely due between $10-12 million. He's young, fast, plays center field and usually good for 2.5 WAR each season.
Trading Noah Syndergaard...
Van Wagenen said he'd need to be overwhelmed to deal Noah Syndergaard, though reports continue to suggest the pitcher is available in the right deal.
Van Wagenen has suggested he's inclined to keep right-hander Noah Syndergaard, but some teams believe they'd "absolutely" deal him "for the right offer," Buster Olney of ESPN writes (subscription required). The Syndergaard situation has been among the most interesting storylines of the young offseason, and it appears it'll remain that way with the aggressive Van Wagenen set for his first Winter Meetings atop the Mets. With three arbitration-eligible seasons remaining,
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I like Brodie's approach here. The fact is, given the current market, Syndergaard is one of the most valuable pitchers being talked about. So, it makes total sense that Brodie would dangle him as trade bait.
The Padres keep getting linked to him, but if they're not giving up Fernando Tatis Jr., there is no way Van Wagenen will make the trade.
The dark horse teams are said to be the Rockies and Astros, both of whom have legit big-league players they could deal, as well as solid prospects to push a trade through.
Still, I think there's a less-than 50 percent chance Syndergaard gets dealt. And, if he does, it'll be for a productive position player filling a void that Van Wagenen will then be able to cross off his to-do list.
Replacing Syndergaard, if he's dealt...
In the event Syndergaard is traded, the Mets are expected to ink a free-agent starting pitcher, which Martino has said is a market they've been keeping tabs on since November.
The Indians will trade one of Kluber and Bauer, according to Olney.
However, Martino says, despite having interest in both pitchers, the Indians and Mets are not close to agreeing to a deal.
The next tier market offers up free-agent pitcher Trevor Cahill, who has drawn interest from four to five teams open to giving him a multiyear deal, according to Fancred.com's Jon Heyman of Fancred.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I keep hearing Van Wagenen and Mickey Callaway really want to Kluber or Bauer to join Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom in next year's rotation, which would allow them to put Jason Vargas in the bullpen. To do this, it would take dealing Nimmo, who, as mentioned above, could be part of a deal to get Realmuto. So, there's probably no scenario that could net the Mets both Realmuto and Kluber. It's probably one or the other, or neither, because other teams might pay more.
In either case, I think it's quite clear that Van Wagenen loves to network and he's eager to make big moves. So, there is no doubt that the Mets are going to be the subject of A LOT of rumors this week, and hopefully they'll make some news along the way...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!