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The New York Mets did their fans quite a service yesterday in terms of providing some insight into the team’s offseason strategy. COO Jeff Wilpon, GM Brodie Van Wagenen, and manager Mickey Callaway joined WFAN’s Mike Francesa in the studio for a roundtable discussion about the franchise that lasted over 90 minutes. The trio provided a lot of information about the team’s motivations in the Robinson Cano trade and some places they are looking to improve the roster going forward. Here are some of the more interesting nuggets that can be pulled from the interview, which you can listen to in its entirety here:
- When asked about the two top free agents on the market, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, neither Wilpon nor Van Wagenen shut down the idea. Wilpon did note, however, that the Mets would need to be creative financially (in terms of moving money) to fit a player like that into the team’s budget.
- Wilpon indicated that the team’s payroll is flexible and will include some reinvested insurance money that the Mets are collecting from David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes, but declined to provide an exact figure of what the team is looking to spend.
- Van Wagenen indicated that the Mets have been in more active discussions with free agents over the past five days.
- Van Wagenen views Cano as the Mets’ second baseman for the next several years but indicated he could end up moving to a corner position down the line.
- Van Wagenen said that the Mets are looking for more left handed relief help in the bullpen, putting them in the mix for guys like Andrew Miller or Zach Britton.
- The Mets are hoping to get injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes back in the second half of the season, with Van Wagenen describing Cespedes as “the ultimate trade deadline piece”.
- When asked about Jacob deGrom, Wilpon indicated that the Mets want him to be on the team long term, but didn’t indicate how long a deal the team was planning to offer yet. Van Wagenen indicated that the Mets wouldn’t plan on putting together a core featuring Cano, Diaz, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, and Brandon Nimmo for 4-5 years only to watch deGrom leave in two.
- Van Wagenen made it clear that the Mets would like to get another right handed bat into the middle of the lineup to balance out lefties like Cano, Conforto, Nimmo, and Jeff McNeil. Peter Alonso, who the team hopes is playing first base on Opening Day, could factor into this equation.
- The Mets envision Jeff McNeil as a Ben Zobrist type of player who can play first, second, third, and the corner outfield positions. Callaway indicated that the Mets are planning on keeping McNeil’s bat in the lineup in a number of creative ways.
- Tim Tebow will start the year with AAA Syracuse and can earn his way to the big leagues by performing in the minors if a need arises.
- Van Wagenen indicated that the Mets are looking at being additive in deals, which could indicate that the Mets may have a tough time creating a trade for J.T. Realmuto.
The interview was very enlightening for Mets’ fans, who got a clear sense that the team is going to try and do whatever it can to win right now. That is certainly encouraging for the Mets, who have played very conservatively for a while but are now looking at more win-now moves. The full picture of the 2019 Mets isn’t complete yet, but we should have a lot of fun watching it take shape over the next several months.