By: Joe Messineo

How Long Will the Mets Wait to Make a Significant Offseason Move?


The Mets had a hectic end of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. They won the National League pennant and lost the World Series. Fresh off of the painful defeat, they had to decide whether or not to extend a qualifying offer to free agent 2B Daniel Murphy – a guy who had just recently set a playoff record for home runs in consecutive playoff games, but also a player whose defensive liabilities helped seal the Mets’ World Series fate. They decided to extend the offer, and Murphy rejected it. Now the Mets have to decide how to patch holes in their infield and outfield, add bats, and improve on defense.

But so far, the Mets haven’t done much to address these issues. In fact, the Mets have done nothing at all since extending a qualifying offer to Murphy. Why are they being so quiet, and how long will they wait to make a move?

Why the Mets Have Been Quiet

October Hangovers

One reason that the Mets haven’t been connected to a ton of rumors already is that they’ve had less time to prepare than other teams. Along with the Kansas City Royals, the Mets were one of the last two teams to stop playing last season. It’s fairly typical for teams that play late in October to be quieter at the start of the offseason. Teams in this situation tend to listen more and talk less early in the offseason.

So it’s not that much of a surprise that the Mets were quiet at the GM Meetings – especially since GM Sandy Alderson missed them while undergoing a previously schedule medical procedure (might he have scheduled it for earlier if the Mets had not made the postseason?). They were putting the finishing touches on their offseason plan, and they had to do that before they started executing it.

The Mets Want to Sign, Not Trade

The free agent market hasn’t developed much yet (more on that in a moment), so the trade market is the place to be active right now. Just ask Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto, who has already made several moves. But the Mets aren’t really keen on trading any of their major chips, because they’re dedicated to keeping their young starting pitchers. They’d rather be active on the free agent market, and preferably on the lower half of it.

That may change if the Mets can snag a key player (those Starlin Castro rumors won’t stop anytime soon). But for now, the better bet is that the Mets will wait for the free agent market to develop.

The Chips Still Need to Fall

The Mets are looking at free agents, and they’re probably interested in guys on the lower half of the market. That means, for instance, that they’re likely to ignore a guy like Jason Heyward and instead sign a guy like Denard Span. But it’s taking a while this season for the free agents to start slotting in.

A lot of that may have to do with IF/OF Ben Zobrist, whose value may help set the price for several other key free agents. Zobrist is the first choice of a ton of teams (including the Mets), and once he’s off the table, infielders like 2B Daniel Murphy and outfielders like Denard Span will start getting a lot more calls. Zobrist’s decision will determine the Mets future whether they sign him or not.

When Will the Mets Make a Move?

Ben Zobrist could be signed any day now, and if the Mets are the lucky winners, then there’s your answer right there. But even if Zobrist goes in a different direction, you can expect things to heat up very quickly for the Mets. Lower-tier free agents often sign before the big guns, and the Mets will want to move quickly to plug their infield and outfield holes so that they aren’t stuck overpaying later. We expect the Mets to make a significant signing within a week or two.

About Joe Messineo

Joe is a co-founder of Rukkus, a web & mobile marketplace for sports tickets. As a former Division I pitcher, he has a deep love for sports and a passion for writing.

Recommended for you