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 take on how things currently stand and may shake out...
Adding another a starting pitcher
It appears the Mets are at least listening to offers for Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, but in either case they are reportedly also considering whether to add a starting pitcher.
According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, now that Patrick Corbin has signed with the Nationals, the Indians are expected to become more aggressive in trying to trade one of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer.
It was reported earlier this offseason that the Mets had interest in trading for one of the above three pitchers, all of whom were previously students of Mickey Callaway.
In the event the Mets reconsider dealing Syndergaard, the Rays can be added to teams with interest in acquiring him, local reporter Marc Topkin twice said this week.
MY TAKE >> I realize Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen downplayed the possibility of trading Syndergaard on Tuesday. However, while that could be true, it could also be a way to signal that it will take a ton to get a deal done. It could also be that dangling Syndergaard was simply a way to open talks about other players, such as, say, Wheeler. In the end, I firmly believe that Van Wagenen and Callaway would love to start next season with a front three of Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard and Kluber or Bauer. And, with all due respect to the Nationals, who just signed Patrick Corbin, the Mets would have the best top three in baseball.
Speaking of the pitching market, the Padres and Brewers are among the teams still interested in trading for Yankees LHP Sonny Gray, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
Adding an everyday catcher...
The Mets have continued to talk with the Marlins about acquiring catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to SNY's Andy Martino.
MY TAKE >> I believe this 100 percent. However, instead of Brandon Nimmo, my Miami sources say Derek Jeter would prefer to have Amed Rosario, as well as Van Wagenen's remaining top prospect, infielder Andres Gimenez. I've also repeatedly been told this type of deal would require a second, high-ceiling prospect, though not necessarily a Top 100 guy. In the end, I hate giving up Rosario. However, if Van Wagenen is going to deal him and then sign Manny Machado, I'm fully on board.
The market for Machado & Bryce Harper
Multiple reports suggest Scott Boras has started conducting preliminary meetings with teams prepared to offer Bryce Harper a nine-figure deal.
First up, it seems, were the Dodgers, who held a sit-down with Boras and Harper earlier this week, according to a Yahoo's Tim Brown and Jeff Passan.
In addition to the Dodgers, the Yankees, Phillies, White Sox, and at least five to seven other teams are expected also meet with Harper and Boras, who reportedly want to sign a contract before the end of December.
On the other hand, there have been zero substantive reports about the state of talks and interest in Manny Machado, who was last in the news during November when clarifying his controversial statements about hustle and dirty play during the World Series.
MY TAKE >> In the wake of Corbin's signing, and the seemingly uptick in rumors about Harper, I asked my usual panel of MLB insiders where they now expect Machado to end up, given how quiet things have been about his free agency. Similar to the start of the offseason, roughly half said the Phillies, followed by the White Sox and Dodgers, with the Cardinals, Yankees, Mets and Cubs toward the end of the list.
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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!