In October of 2020, the New York Mets Manager Ron Washington would announce his retirement. The Mets hired 68-year-old Washington to help bring back playoff baseball to the Mets. He had success with both the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers making the playoffs 7 times in his career and won a World Series with the Nationals in 2017.
So the Met’s would start the offseason with a search for a new manager. They would turn to another Manager with a winning pedigree and someone that has been used to winning in New York. The Met’s would hire former Twins and Yankees Manager Joe Girardi to a 4-year contract. Girardi has a career winning percentage of .548%, has made the playoffs 7 times and a World Series win with the Yankees in 2009. He will have his hands full to bring playoff baseball back to the Mets, he inherits a financial situation that finds them in a selling mode to keep younger talent here.
With no money to work with the Mets would have to keep a close eye on the Waiver Wire and Free Agents on Minor League Contracts. Also trading veteran talent on MLB contracts for younger talent. The first additions came from trades seeing veteran closer Jeurys Familia and SP Mike Kickham traded for SP Sam McWilliams, SP Luis Antonio Gonzalez, CF Ira Mullins & 3B Ron Swain. Many heads were turned when the Mets moved Closer Familia, we caught up with General Manager Kevin Sweeney and this is what he had to say.
“We find ourselves in a situation where we will have to make decisions that the fans won’t like. Familia had been this franchise closer for the last four seasons and was as consistent as they come. With us not going to be in a position to sign some younger players on this team we need to move some players due to their salary. Familia was the first of these moves. We have a talented young pitcher Terence McCray who in his first two seasons in our minor league system has shown he can close games and will certainly be our future closer. In the meantime, we will be making other moves to find a replacement for Familia”
In the trade the Mets are excited about CF Ira Mullins who has great leadership ability and could find himself at the MLB level at some point this season, he has elite speed and defense and anything he can bring offensively will be a plus for the Mets.
Off the Waiver Wire the Mets acquired RP Wade Quentin, RP Sam Coonrod & RP Cody Anderson all of which had impressive years in AAA last season for the former teams. Cody Anderson the most experienced of the three had a 3-2 record with a 1.86 era in 29 innings for the San Francisco Giants last season. In a bullpen that struggled last season when games were close, the Mets have strengthened their bullpen options with these acquisitions. They will be given every opportunity to make the MLB Roster during Spring Training.
In a recent trade with the Texas Rangers, the Mets continued their bullpen focus with a trade that saw veteran CF Andrew Aplin and Minor League prospect OF Tulio Garcia traded for RP Roberto Cancio and Prospect SP Kevin Myers.
The Mets love this guys stuff and will fit into the bullpen for the Mets on opening day and may even be the Closer to start the season as the Mets continue to strengthen their relief pitching.
Rumor has it that the Mets are not done making moves this offseason, they are in the process of shopping 2B Devon Travis as the Mets look to move SS Kenny Hernandez to second base, and Rosario, Aybar, and Sanchez would fight it out for the starting position at shortstop in Spring Training. They may also be tempted to move Catcher Travis d’Arnaud if the right offer comes along, this would be a lot tougher for the Mets to move as he is a Captain and a local favorite, Getting out of his salary may be a deciding factor if interest heats up for the talented veteran catcher.
Spring Training will be an interesting one this season for the Mets as they will be looking to fill two spots in the starting rotation, a new closer, and a new-look bullpen. In the outfield, DeLeon and Mullins will be fighting it out for the starting Center Fielder position and if the Mets move Hernandez to second base there will be a three-way battle for the shortstop position. The Mets financial situation will certainly make it difficult to compete in the NL East with the Phillies and Nationals continuing to improve, our goal is to remain competitive but with an eye to the future.