Speaking on Thursday after introducing Dellin Betances at Citi Field, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen touched on a host of topics, including what's next this offseason. Here are the takeaways...
It was 'come get us' in 2019, what is it in 2020?
"We're chasing a World Series champion now, we're chasing another division title holder in the Atlanta Braves," Van Wagenen said. "As I said last year at the trade deadline, we're the underdogs now and it's our responsibility to go chase some other people down. If we can play to our potential, I think we can contend and play with the best."
Asked if the Mets have done enough this offseason and are "equipped" to contend, Van Wagenen said "there's no question" they can.
What's next this offseason?
"Good teams can never be done," Van Wagenen said. "We have to make sure we're always finding ways and looking for ways to improve our roster. We feel very good about what we have right now. We have every bit of confidence that if this is the team that we open camp with that we will have an opportunity to compete. We also have to keep our eyes and ears open as we go forward to see if there's additional ways to improve."
On the freed up money due to Yoenis Cespedes' salary restructure
"We'll see how we allocate our dollars," Van Wagenen said. "At this point, we wanted to address specific needs that we had. ... the specifics of Cespedes' resolution didn't necessarily drive this decision (to sign Betances). It was more the desire to get this player."
Thoughts on the anticipated ownership change
"It's business as usual for us," Van Wagenen said, echoing how he responded to the same question during the Winter Meetings. "As I described today, our deal-making process was Jeff (Wilpon), me, it was David Cohen and us putting our collective brainpower together to try to figure out a path to doing a deal. We're excited for business as usual. I think we're excited for what could be coming down the road. But at this point, we're just keeping our heads down and doing our work."
On Seth Lugo's preference to be a starting pitcher
"He's always expressed that he has the mentality of a starter, even when he pitches in the bullpen," Van Wagenen explained. "He utilizes all of his pitches and we worked in communication with his camp throughout the offseason to make sure that his throwing program is in place to be prepared to be a starter. If the rotation is healthy and if all the pieces are in place, then he has the availability to be a back end (of the bullpen) elite performer."