He was supposed to change the complexion of Major League Baseball by dropping his billions without reservation, but instead he extended Francisco Lindor while concurrently cheaping out on JT Realmuto and George Springer. After Year 1, it seems there are still limits to his madness.
He was supposed to have cleaned up the organization’s culture, shrugging off the indiscretions in his own past. Considering the Mets have been hit with nothing but scandals in their leadership positions this year, from Jared Porter to Zack Scott, that hasn’t happened.
And what of his relationship to the New York Yankees? We were told he wouldn’t shy away from collaboration, but we haven’t seen it yet.
Most importantly, Cohen’s quest to “own” New York appears ready to resume in 2022 with an entirely different cast of characters. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Mets’ core is as good as decimated already, with the player personnel staff also poised for a complete overhaul.
Is there any chance the Yankees might be able to butt in on this fire sale, if the two sides can find a mutual benefit?
Could the Yankees and Mets hook up for a trade this offseason?
"But as a general rule, the Mets do not expect to operate with the idea that whatever happened for a few months in a lost ‘19 season was compelling enough to preserve, or even really think about.Team president Sandy Alderson seemed to say as much at his end-of-season news conference Wednesday, when he said that if the team had a core, it was already “eroding.”He meant the potential for Michael Conforto, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard to leave via free agency. He name-checked Brandon Nimmo in stating that the center fielder would not be under control for much longer. He might as well have added that the team is far from attached to J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith."
Odds are, Conforto is as good as gone, especially as he’s developed some sort of bizarre reputation for being “unclutch” his past few years at Citi Field — the fans might be done with him before the front office realizes they are, too.
Stroman might be a fit for the Bombers, though he openly insulted Brian Cashman last time he was available. Syndergaard might be, too, especially if the Mets choose not to dust off the expensive qualifying offer they currently have in their pocket.
We’re looking at trade options, though. That’s why we’re here. Of the available Mets listed above, Dominic Smith seems like a mistake in this context — with the universal DH likely headed to the National League, there might be 14 or so new teams that have a more appealing spot for him. Ditto JD Davis; not sure what that does.
Are Jeff McNeil and/or Brandon Nimmo potential Yankees targets, though?
McNeil is the type of utility man the Yanks have long lacked off the bench. While Tyler Wade has filled a multi-positional spot capably this year, and excelled during the team’s win streak in August, he doesn’t have the All-Star pedigree of McNeil, nor is he well-known as an agitator for opposing pitchers.
Always a tough at-bat whether he’s playing second, third, or left, McNeil’s only poor season of his MLB career has come in 2021, with just 1.5 WAR and an OPS+ of 87. Previously, though, he’d posted marks of 138, 143, and 130. Under control through 2024, might the Mets be interested in a top-10 Yankees prospect (Austin Wells) and a top-20 addition to the package (Oswaldo Cabrera)? Maybe three names is preferable?
As for Nimmo, he’ll be much more expensive, though his free agency is fast approaching. New York has a need for a roving infielder, but a gaping hole in center at least until Jasson Dominguez arrives. The exceedingly patient center fielder hasn’t posted a below-average OPS+ since his rookie year, and his speed/power combination could help change the complexion of this lineup, in the way Aaron Hicks used to.
Staying healthy has always been the main concern for Nimmo, too (welcome to the club), but he’d still be worth two of the Yanks’ top 10 prospects, even for just one season (Clarke Schmidt and Wells?).
Now, all that’s left to learn is just how interested Cohen is in blowing this whole thing up, and how willing he is to collaborate with the Yankees in order to do so.