What does Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen have up his sleeve as he gets set for the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings?
On the ground in San Diego from Sunday through Thursday, SNY's Jim Duquette and Andy Martino set the scene for the Mets.
Fielding questions from SNY's Steve Gelbs, the two kicked around the Mets' possibilities as free agency switches into another gear.
"At this stage, with names -- I think we're going to find this with any position -- they're still in that 'due diligence' phase, although late due diligence," Martino said of the Mets. "They met with agents -- Brodie's been talking to agents and teams for a couple of weeks now -- but you're looking at (Oakland Athletics RHP) Blake Treinen -- who was non-tendered by the A's. There's a lot of interest there in Treinen. There wasn't trade interest, but there will be free agent interest. (Yankees RHP) Dellin Betances is a guy the Mets have been looking at for a while. The Yankees, of course, are looking at Betances, among other teams. He may still get a multiyear deal, regardless of his injury. So it's names like that that are sort of the obvious ones that the Mets are looking into. ... If they spend on any position, it's probably going to be bullpen this week."
Treinen, who turns 32 on June 30, is coming off a 2019 season in which he went 6-5 with a 4.91 ERA over 57 games and 58.2 innings pitched. The Yankees were reportedly interested in making a trade with the A's, and the Mets could make a move via free agency.
Betances' right shoulder impingement and subsequent oblique injury delayed his 2019 debut, and he ultimately suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the only MLB outing Sept. 15 against the Blue Jays. The flame-throwing Betances, who turns 32 on March 23, went 21-22 with a 2.36 ERA and 621 strikeouts to 170 walks with the Yankees in eight years from 2011-19.
Milwaukee Brewers LHP Josh Hader has also been floated as a trade possibility for the Mets, as Martino reported for SNY. But is the 25-year-old Hader, who has a 2.42 ERA and 0.85 WHIP with 349 strikeouts in 242.2 innings pitched through three years with the Brewers, a realistic trade option for the Mets?
"It's really not," Duquette said. "I'll tell you, if you go back to the summer, (Pittsburgh Pirates LHP) Felipe Vazquez was one of the best closers there with the Pirates and they were making a deal with the Dodgers. And Pittsburgh was asking for (Dodgers SS/2B) Gavin Lux, their top prospect, or (Dodgers OF) Alex Verdugo. The equivalent of that, for the Mets, is really (1B) Pete Alonso. They're not moving Pete Alonso. It's not even a (SS Amed) Rosario mix. So when you start looking at that -- even if was a package of Rosario plus, it's still going to be too much. It's going to create too many holes (for the Mets), for a guy like (Hader). So even if Hader's the most dominant guy there, I cannot see that happening -- as much as that would be really, really enticing."