It Would Take An Accounting Miracle For These New York Mets To Sign Bryce Harper Or Manny Machado

December 5, 2018
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NEW YORK (WFAN.com) -- The New York Mets have already made their first big splash of the offseason, acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in a blockbuster trade from the Seattle Mariners.

While the move certainly makes New York better than they were last season, the trade will likely not be enough to catapult the team to the top of the National League East.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, manager Mickey Callaway and owner Jeff Wilpon joined Mike Francesa in the studio Wednesday to discuss a wide variety of topics, including what direction the team might go in this winter, how management feels about several different young pieces and much more.

Although a lot of Mets fans have been clamoring for the team to pursue Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the Mets' top brass seemed to throw cold water on that idea.

"The two big boys do not have offers from us quite yet..." Van Wagenen said when asked if the team had any plans on pursuing the two big prizes of this year's free agency. "We'd have to be really creative to move some money around to make those guys work."

One player that appears to have a big role in the team's future is infielder Jeff McNeil. After hitting .342 in 88 games between Double-A and Triple-A to start the year, McNeil was promoted to the majors where he continued to rake. In 63 games, the 26-year-old hit an impressive .329 with three home runs, 19 RBI and 11 doubles while spending time at second and third base.

McNeil has also played in the outfield during his time in the minors, and Callaway did not shy away from sharing his excitement about the young man's versatility.

"I think we can play him at multiple positions. I see him as a Ben Zobrist-type," the manager said.

"Seattle really wanted him to be included in the deal..." Van Wagenen said regarding the team's trade for Cano and Diaz. "He becomes more valuable to us everyday. He can be in the outfield for us. He can be a guy that gets a lot of at-bats for us."

The Mets made a significant move two years ago when they signed Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $110 million contract. The talented outfielder has struggled to stay on the field since signing the deal, appearing in a total of 119 games over the last two seasons.

Cespedes underwent surgery on both of his heels over the last few months, and will miss part of the 2019 season. While there is no word on how long the 33-year-old will be out, New York's front office is hopeful they will get their slugger back for the second half of the year.

"We certainly hope to see him. Realistic, the second half of the season (is when we hope he returns). It could be longer," Wilpon said.

The biggest bright spot during the Mets' disappointing 2018 campaign was the performance of ace Jacob deGrom, who posted an incredible 1.70 ERA and .912 WHIP in 32 starts on his way to his first Cy Young Award. The 30-year-old is aribitration eligible for the next two seasons, after which he will become a free agent.

The stud right-hander has expressed his interest in signing an extension with New York, and Mets fans will be happy to hear that the interest goes both ways.

"I'm sure there will be an offer. How long-term that is, that's up to us to figure it out," said Wilpon.

"Our goal will be to try to extend that relationship," Van Wagenen added.

Noah Syndergaard is another player that has been garnering plenty of headlines this winter. The 26-year-old enjoyed a solid season, going 13-4 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.212 WHIP in 25 starts.

Despite Syndergaard's name appearing in numerous trade rumors over the last month, Van Wagenen told listeners that it is "more than fair" to say the team would need to be blown away with a special offer to deal the talented right-hander. 

Van Wagenen also mentioned Peter Alonso and how the hope is for the 23-year-old slugger to be the team's Opening Day first baseman. 

In addition, it wouldn't be a Mets interview without some Tim Tebow talk... On the 31-year-old minor league outfielder, Wilpon said, "We need him at (Triple-A) Syracuse. He's a great person, and he deserves a chance."