The annual GM Meetings take place from Nov. 11-14 in Scottsdale, Ariz. On hand will be Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff, along with representatives from the 29 other teams.
While the big event of the offseason is the Winter Meetings each December, things often start to take shape at the GM meetings.
Van Wagenen discussed the Mets' offseason plans while introducing Carlos Beltran as manager last Monday, but he didn't go into detail. Here are five questions Van Wagenen should be asked as the GM Meetings begin...
Are the Mets willing to go over the luxury tax threshold?
As things currently stand, the Mets -- after factoring in raises for arbitration-eligible players -- already have roughly $174 million committed to the payroll for 2020. The luxury tax threshold is $208 million.
With the Mets needing to add a starting pitcher, bullpen help, and potentially a center fielder, they might need to get creative if they hope to avoid going over the luxury tax.
If they do go over it, the penalty will be minimal since it would be their first time exceeding it. And the Mets likely wouldn't stay over for long since the payroll clears significantly after the 2020 season.
What is the status of the dialogue with Zack Wheeler?
Van Wagenen said last week that the Mets would extend the qualifying offer to Wheeler but that dialogue regarding a potential extension will continue.
If the Mets are able to re-sign Wheeler -- something they explored during the season -- their rotation will be full and they won't have to consider dealing an asset in order to fill the hole Wheeler would leave if he departed via free agency.
Most projections have Wheeler receiving a deal of four or five seasons worth close to $20 million per season.
Can Edwin Diaz be relied on as the closer in 2020?
While Diaz still has electric stuff and while he might return to dominance again in 2020 if the ball returns to normal, the answer to the above has to be "no."
For a team that hopes to contend for the NL East title in 2020, the Mets cannot rely on Diaz being what they expected him to be in 2019. If it happens, great. But they need to bring someone in from outside the organization to handle closing duties at the outset of the season.
If the Mets bring in a closer and Diaz returns to dominance, they will have a great problem on their hands, with two legit closers plus Seth Lugo -- who would be another full-time closing option if he was able to regularly pitch back-to-back games.
How will he go about improving the defense?
Shortly after introducing Beltran as the team's new manager, Van Wagenen listed improving the defense (along with pitching rotation depth and bullpen help) as three things he might be focused on as he builds the team for 2020.
With the Mets pretty locked in on the infield and with the outfield also a bit crowded, Van Wagenen might have to get creative when it comes to improving the defense.
The easiest places to improve might be catcher and center field. But again, it could be easier said than done.
How is the coaching staff search going?
The Mets might have a bunch of new coaches on the staff, but the most important hire is arguably the bench coach, who will sit next to Beltran as he navigates the terrain during his first-ever season as a manager at any level.
Terry Collins' name was floated by Beltran to the Mets as his ideal candidate for the bench coach role, but it's not yet clear if that will come to fruition.
If it isn't Collins, the Mets should have a large pool of qualified condidates to choose from.
New York will also need to fill the pitching coach position, and they reportedly have interest in University of Michigan coach Chris Fetter, who has interviewed with the Yankees for their once-vacant pitching coach position.