There is one week left before the start of the four-day MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando. At this point, teams know what they're working on, what they need, who's available and how much players will cost to trade for or sign.
I expect we start seeing smaller deals get done this week as teams look to free up roster space, move money, and get a jump on next week's conference.
In regards to the Mets, I think they'd love to acquire at least one established reliever before next Monday, such as free agent Bryan Shaw or a Mike Minor, Brandon Kintzler type. Ideally, I believe they'd like to focus next week on figuring how to sort out first base, second base and right field.
They have a lot of options to consider...
For instance, Sandy Alderson could sign a free-agent second baseman, such as Neil Walker, but that may leave him less money than needed to sign an outfielder who can play first base, such as Jay Bruce, Logan Morrison or Adam Lind.
Or, he could sign Bruce or Morrison, but that will mean he likely has to trade for a second baseman with a contract being partially paid by another team. That could mean the Tigers and Ian Kinsler or the Indians and Jason Kipnis, both of whom would also require Alderson to give up a useful big-league player, such as Robert Gsellman, who Alderson still has need for in the rotation and bullpen as insurance.
Did I lose you? Like I said, lots of moving parts, lots of options, lots of conversations with front offices and agents, which is exactly what the MLB Winter Meetings are for.... having to still be searching for a set-up man, while doing all of the above, would only make this further complicated.
Here are my current thoughts on the state of the hot stove...
Shohei Ohtani >> After all that, Ohtani has no interest in New York (be it the Mets or the Yankees) and (as I said last week) he clearly prefers to play closer to the West Coast in a smaller market. Thankfully, Ohtani has also said he's not going to sign with the Phillies, Braves, Nationals, Marlins, or Red Sox, though the Cubs seem to remain a possibility. In the end, I still predict he ends up with the Rangers, Mariners, or Angels. > Read more on Ohtani at MLB Trade Rumors.
Giancarlo Stanton >> At this point, according to reports, the Marlins appear only to be talking with the Cardinals and Giants about potential trades for Stanton. The fact that Miami has granted the Cardinals and Giants time to meet with Stanton and his agent indicate that both teams and the Marlins have agreed on players and dollars that will need to be involved in trade to get it done. This indicates that a deal to one of these two cities is close being completed, unless of course the Dodgers can get baited back in to negotiations > Read more on Stanton at MLB Trade Rumors.
Again, I repeat to Mets fans that are disappointed in Alderson's lack of "effort," it doesn't matter. Stanton was never coming to New York or Boston. Period. End of discussion. Alderson could have dangled every dollar and prospect in front of Derek Jeter's face, but -- with Stanton insisting on California and a team with Spring Training in Arizona -- unless Alderson was going to convince the Wilpons to move the Mets to Los Angeles, Stanton-to-the-Mets was over before it ever started. It has nothing to do with effort and everything to do with location and winning. The "They didn't even try" argument is applicable at times. In this case, it isn't.
New Free Agents >> There were 26 players non-tendered last Friday, meaning 26 new players were added to the free agent market this past weekend. I'll dig in to this list a bit more later today, but -- after a quick scan -- I expect the Mets will look in to starting pitcher Mike Fiers, relievers Jared Hughes and Hector Rondon, and 1B Matt Adams.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. 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!