As the winter meetings get closer, the New York Mets have their work cut out for them. After a disappointing 75-win season, there are plenty of questions for new president of baseball operations David Stearns to answer in the offseason.
Three Moves to Help Mets Be Contenders in 2024
Lock up Pete Alonso long-term
Alonso, 28, is set to become a free agent after next season. If he is open to trading, the Chicago Cubs could be interested. However, if the Mets let him go, it would not only provide them with a lack of power behind the plate but also a lack of leadership, which would leave the fanbase heartbroken.
Alonso has become a huge home-run threat in all of Major League Baseball. Statistically, since he entered the big leagues in 2019, he has 192 home runs, including his rookie season when he broke the all-time single-season record for rookies with 53 of them.
Aside from hitting home runs, he holds a .251 batting average with 635 hits, 498 RBIs, and 402 runs scored. In terms of strikeouts, he is averaging around 130 per year, which isn’t bad considering how much power he has.
As for the cost of re-signing him, it’s possible that while he could request a lot of money at, say, 10 years, a deal close to that doesn’t seem out of reach. According to SNY Senior Editorial Producer Danny Abriano, an eight-year deal worth up to $200 million would be a fair compromise.
Overall, he is a homegrown player who wants to be in New York. He said he loves being a Met. Most, if not all, Mets fans enjoy his presence and leadership for the organization.
Acquire Yoshinobu Yamamoto
After the Mets traded away Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, it’s clear that they need an ace pitcher in addition to Kodai Senga, who placed second in National League CY Young votes. Yamamoto certainly would be a great fit.
Senga has said to Mets management that he wants Yamamoto to be on the team. He wants to be teammates with each other.
Senga, a 30-year-old Japanese pitcher who completed his rookie year with the Mets last season, could use his experience with the Mets to help Yamamoto, who’s Japanese himself, transition to the big leagues as he appreciated how the team handled his transition.
As for Yamamoto, he has the potential to become an ace pitcher. From his time in Japan, he is a two-time Most Valuable Player award winner and three-time winner in both the Eiji Sawamura and Japanese Triple Crown awards.
If Senga and Yamamoto become teammates, the Mets would have two Japanese aces who could lead the pitching staff and help the team be in playoff contention.
Hire Willie Randolph as bench coach
What a huge move this would be for new Mets manager Carlos Mendoza.
Randolph was a former Mets manager for three and a half seasons with a record of 302-253. He also finished his playing career with the Mets in 1992. Throughout his time as a manager and coach, he has plenty of experience developing players like David Wright and Jose Reyes.
Randolph has a mutual connection with Mendoza. During his first press conference, Mendoza talked about how Randolph was a major influence and didn’t rule out the possibility of him becoming the Mets’ new bench coach. He said that he learned a lot in the past few years from Randolph. He considers him a friend.
Randolph responded when he told the New York Post what he said to Mendoza afterward. “All I said was to do whatever you need to do,” Randolph said. “Know in the back of your mind that if you need me, I’m here for you. I’m a Carlos Mendoza fan.”
The no-nonsense attitude and coaching experience that Randolph maintains makes this move necessary. When the Mets fired him in 2008, Mets fans weren’t happy at all because he was successful as a manager with a winning record and a 2006 division title with the team. If Mendoza hires Randolph as the team’s new bench coach, it would likely please the fanbase and increase the chances of a postseason run.
The importance of this offseason
There may be other additional pieces that the Mets need to put together to have a successful 2024 season, but these three are crucial. As we know, owner Steve Cohen wants to build up the farm system, resulting in Scherzer and Verlander being traded, essentially throwing the white flag on last season. However, while he can still fix the farm system, Stearns and Mendoza can change things. And if the changes last for 2024 and beyond, even better.
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