The 2021 Major League Baseball offseason began on Sunday for the New York Mets organization. This is the offseason that could transform the course of the Mets franchise for years to come.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is expected to be approved as the new owner of the Mets at the next owners’ meeting held by Major League Baseball, in November.
With Cohen buying the Mets, and the Wilpon family departing, most Mets fans are thrilled. It will be interesting to see the direction Cohen takes the Mets, and the impact his money will have. Does he do a full rebuild? Or does he go all in with this current team for a quick shot at a title?
The offseason is going to give us all a clue as to where Cohen will take the Mets as a franchise. And he has already made news on that front.
Steve Cohen has announced that pending owners approval of his purchase, former Mets GM Sandy Alderson will take over as President of Baseball Operations.
Many of the Mets current roster were signed, drafted or traded for under Alderson.
See related: The New York Mets homegrown roster for 2020
Alderson will be responsible for both the baseball side, and the business side of the Mets. It is really hard to find someone more experienced in the business of baseball than Sandy Alderson. This also means there is a very good chance Sandy and Cohen hire a General Manager to run the day to day operations of the Mets at the major league level.
It is possible Sandy and Cohen decide to keep Brodie Van Wagenen.
If they don’t, there are several interesting names that have already started to circulate. Billy Owens of the Athletics, David Sterns and Kim Ng are all reported to be candidates for the Mets GM. Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh continue to also be hot names around the league. Mets fans have of course pushed for guys like David Wright, Bobby Valentine and Ron Darling
Kim Ng is an interesting choice. She easily has the most experience, and she could be a successor to Alderson as President of Baseball.
Whoever the choice is, is going to be thrown right into the fire. The Mets have significant needs at multiple positions this offseason. These holes will have to be filled either through trades or free agency.
With Steve Cohen becoming owner, this could finally be a fun offseason for the Mets. Big ticket free agents all seem to be well within the Mets grasp. George Springer, JT Realmuto and Trevor Bauer seem to top the wish list of many Mets fans.
Marcus Stroman, Marcel Ozuna and many others are also available. The Mets will certainly need to add a catcher, a starting pitcher or two, and a right hand hitting outfielder.
Free agency, and this offseason in general, should be pretty interesting. This is the last year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the players’ association.
This offseason also hit right after a season where clubs made very little money with no fans in the stands. Add the CBA issues on top of a money short season, and this off season could be full of several twists and turns.
A new manager on the horizon?
One of Steve Cohen’s and Sandy Alderson’s first jobs will be to determine the fate of first year Mets manager Luis Rojas. Rojas- a long time coach in the Mets system- was hired after Carlos Beltran stepped down this past offseason. Beltran, who was set to take over after the Mets fired Mickey Callaway, was caught up in the Houston Astros cheating scandal
Interesting enough, former Astros manager AJ Hinch is available to hire. Hinch is also best friends with the current GM, Brodie Van Waganen. The two were teammates and college roommates in Stanford.
Experienced managers like Alex Cora and Buck Showalter have also been mentioned as possible Mets managers.
Who do you like should be the Mets manager in 2021?
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Once the GM role and manager are resolved, the NY Mets have plenty of internal decisions to make.
Do they extend Conforto or look to trade him? What do they do at catcher? And centerfield? The Mets struggled against left hand pitching the last two seasons. Do they add a right handed bat, and move current players around to fit that bat into the lineup?
The new management team will also have to figure out if pitcher Seth Lugo is more valuable as a starter or as a relief pitcher.
The shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season provided the Mets with a real opportunity for a deep post season run. The team however, disappointed at many levels, and finished in a tie for last place in the division.
The 2021 offseason is already underway for the Mets. This is shaping up to be a monumentally transformative season for the team from Queens.
Who do you like for the Mets GM, manager and free agents?
Let us know in the comment section below.