The offseason is already off to a flying start with some big deals being handed out, and the action should heat up at the Winter Meetings. Last year’s edition of the Winter Meetings saw the New York Mets try hard to trade for J.T. Realmuto, which they didn’t do, but they left the proceedings with Jeurys Familia back in their bullpen. It’s unclear if the Mets plan on making a big splash in San Diego this week, but here are a few things to monitor for Brodie Van Wagenen’s contingent this week.
Search for Zack Wheeler’s replacement
Zack Wheeler left the Mets for a five year deal with the Phillies, but the team had no interest in matching his offer. Whether that was a mistake remains to be seen, but the Mets need to find a capable arm to replace him in order to keep pace in the loaded National League East. The Mets have already been linked to Rick Porcello, and there are still plenty of quality options available for the right price.
Fortify the bullpen
The Mets started this process by re-signing Brad Brach, but they would do well to leave San Diego with another big time reliever in tow. Dellin Betances has been linked to the Mets already and they could pursue other relievers like Steve Cishek, Blake Treinen, and Will Harris.
Explore the trade market
The Mets do have some pieces to shop, including Dominic Smith, whose natural position of first base is blocked for the long term by Pete Alonso. If the Mets can address an area of need by dealing from a position of strength that is an opportunity they should seriously explore.
Upgrade the backup catcher
The drop off from Wilson Ramos to Tomas Nido offensively was massive, and with little sign the latter will develop at the plate the Mets should look to upgrade at that position. One name to watch here could be Jason Castro, who is a solid defender behind the dish with more offensive potential than Nido.
Fortify the bench
In addition to upgrading over Tomas Nido, the Mets should look to add another bench piece to their roster. At the moment the Mets’ bench would consist of Nido, Smith, J.D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, and Jed Lowrie if the season started today (assuming Jake Marisnick spends a lot of time in center field). This is fine, but the Mets could use more depth to protect themselves against injury and slumps.