This will be an interesting winter in Major League Baseball, as teams, many of whom have already begun the process of cutting payroll, may look to do so even further because of the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But what about the Mets, who have an incoming owner with a net worth that has more digits than a telephone number? Will the Amazins come out and make a splash right away?
It’s a market ripe for that, but of course, everything remains to be seen.
“It’s not fully knowable at this point, and there are distinctions on what aggressiveness means – especially this offseason,” Mets beat writer Tim Britton said Wednesday on an appearance on Moose & Maggie. “There’s the extravagant track a lot of Mets fans dream of, where you’re going after multiple major guys and pushing your payroll up over $200 million, but then there’s the aggressive track where they know they have $35 million less in payroll next year, so even adding one marquee name is pretty aggressive, especially at a time when 29 other teams might be looking to cut costs.”
Here’s another potential splash: the 2021 free agent class is shaping up to be spectacular, and it a lot of teams look to cut payroll in the short-term, they may be looking to ship short-term assets out for smaller returns, similar to how the Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts last offseason.
“This is a really interesting time to be a team that wants to spend, and an opportune time to be one of those teams,” Britton said. “You can always add onerous contracts from other teams – guys who might be traded for pennies on the dollar because teams want to save money. It’s a good time to be a team that is willing to take on money to win now.”
One place the Mets may want to look into spending, especially since it doesn’t count against team payroll on the field? The front office.
“There will also be a lot of good executives and baseball ops people who might be out of work pretty soon, and I think the Mets will probably make more additions than subtractions,” Britton said. “A lot of people there now were there under Sandy Alderson previously – but there have been some changes in player development and pro scouting, and that’s where they might make some changes, or expand upon what they have.”
A sound strategy, because the best way to win and save money is to find the diamonds in the rough.
“Look at the teams who are most successful these days: they are putting a big investment into analytics and player development,” Britton said. “It’s not just signing the big guy, it’s turning a lower signing into a big guy, the way the Yankees have with Gio Urshela.”
Check out Britton’s entire segment below, and, as always, check out more on-demand audio from Moose & Maggie, or tune in every day to the WFAN.com or Twitch.TV/WFAN livestreams of the show!