Monday, November 30, 2020

Baseball Executive Needed, Cojones Required

Hire me, Steve!
Another day, another disappointment for the Mets in their search to hire an executive. After lowering their sights to a GM working under Sandy Alderson rather than a President of Baseball Operations, the Mets are still looking to make a hire. Today's news is that former pitcher Chris Young doesn't want to uproot his family from Dallas to New York City. Some people are making a big deal of this, but I don't really care all that much. I don't blame the club for aiming high for a candidate, and I don't think they should settle for anyone they don't really want. At this point they should perhaps consider tabling the whole thing for another year and going forward with the people they already have. But that's up to Alderson and Cohen.

I notice that Steve Cohen replied to a tweet from SNY's Andy Martino with the million dollar question:

I'm in agreement with Cohen on this.  If there are people shying away from the job because they think Cohen wanting to win in 3-5 years is too demanding, than they shouldn't come here. If you're being handed the resources to build one of the best organizations in baseball, a lot should be expected from you. I don't think Steve Cohen is going to arbitrarily fire someone if the Mets don't win the World Series in 3-5 years as long as they're doing a good job building the organization. But the goals should be very high. Part of the problem here in the last decade or so was that little was given and little was expected.

I'll take Chris Young at his word for not wanting to move his family. Reportedly this was the case with at least one other of the Mets targets. That's just how it goes. But anyone under consideration who's afraid of the owner without even sitting down and having a conversation with the man about what he really wants is just a coward, and has no business taking this job anyway.

The important thing is that the Mets should be prepared to do everything they need to do this winter no matter how long it takes to hire someone. This needs to include decisions on free agents, both the elite ones and the players who get cut loose this week on Wednesday's non-tender deadline. I believe we're going to start seeing some movement in the free agent market finally once we get past that.

There has been word out of Philadelphia that severe losses in 2020 may limit the Phillies' pursuit of J. T. Realmuto. That doesn't mean, of course, that the Phillies won't be at least trying to make a deal with the catcher, nor does it mean that the Mets won't have competition from other teams. It does, however, increase the possibilities of the Mets signing the best catcher in baseball.

There have been rumors that George Springer has received a lot of attention from the Blue Jays, and negotiations have progressed beyond just kicking the tires. I don't think this means that they're close to a deal, but what I do think is that interested clubs are going to start discussing real numbers with these free agents. It shouldn't matter that the Mets aren't very close to signing a GM yet. The GM will be working under Alderson, anyway, so no reason to miss out on something waiting for that hire to be made.

I'm kind of ambivalent on Realmuto. Multi-year commitments to catchers on the wrong side of 30 just scare me more than a little. Ever since the steroid era ended, 30 has become the old 30 in baseball. Players staying productive into their late 30s has become pretty much a thing of the past. Right or wrong, for the ones that actually do remain productive, I can't help but have questions about how they're achieving that. Perhaps they're more successful finding a masking agent then Robinson Cano was able to come up with. In any case, if I was running the Mets, and decided that I really wanted to pursue Realmuto, I'd probably go the route of offering more money for less years and see if he would go for that.

My preference would be to sign Springer and Trevor Bauer, and look for a catcher somewhere else. I understand signing Bauer comes with its own risks. Still I can't help imagining a playoff rotation with deGrom, Bauer, Stroman and Noah Syndergaard (when he comes back) at the top of it. That's a rotation that you could win with right now, as long as you catch a few breaks. Certainly it's a rotation that you could compete with.

Right now the Mets are accumulating a handful of interesting depth pieces, but it's time to start shopping in the luxury aisle. It's time to start building the new Mets, no need to wait for a GM to climb on board.

Please stay safe, be well and take care. Let's go Mets!


 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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