The temptation is to label the Mets’ offseason a disaster so far, except that it doesn’t seem so out of character for the Mets. It’s kind of just a Mets offseason. Maybe it’s accentuated and louder than a normal Mets offseason, but the foundation is still very much the Queens baseball club. A clown car is still a clown car, even if it’s upgraded to an SUV.
Even after finally settling on a GM, who was about their 12th choice in Billy Eppler, there was always room for the Mets to embarrass themselves. Because after all, Eppler still has a team to improve. This wasn’t a team that wasn’t all that close to .500 when all was said and done, after all.
We should have gotten an indication of what was going to come when Noah Syndergaard took his hammer (or what’s left of it) to Anaheim, and wasn’t hesitant to tell anyone that he hadn’t talked to the Mets at all since receiving his qualifying offer and turning it down. Which made it awfully easy to go to the Angels. Perhaps the Mets were too happy to take the draft pick compensation for a pitcher that no one’s sure can make two starts in a row without watching his arm break off and end up in the fifth row behind the dugout. But for a player who had come up through their system, and rehabbed for more than a year to get back and at least provide them that draft pick, a phone call probably isn’t too much to ask.
Now it appears the Mets are on the other side of the coin, as Steven Matz signed with St. Louis last night. And apparently, he had promised to come back to the Mets with whatever offer he was getting elsewhere so they could match it or not, but just....didn’t.
The last one is the delicious part here. Cohen has barely had the Mets for a year, so his frame of reference for dealing with players’ agents is at least limited, and clearly sheltered. And of course, in amassing his billions, we can be sure Cohen always acted on the up and up and was truthful with everyone and certainly didn’t screw anyone over ever, including society at large. We may never get one truly over on billionaires, and they will continue to poison society to their whims, but it is always going to be gratifying to see them stamp their feet and throw their toys about when things don’t go exactly as they thought they should.
There are plenty of reasons Matz wouldn’t want to go back to Queens, and using them as leverage is hardly unheard of. Fuck, everyone uses the Mets as leverage, because, generally, they’re always desperate for the headlines of a big signing to compete with the big bad in The Bronx, and when freed from the Wilpon, they have money to throw around. Matz and Syndergaard were teammates for years, so it wouldn’t be a shock if Matz got the inside info about the Mets and Thor simply not speaking. Matz would know all the bullshit that comes with being a Met, now heightened thanks to their loudmouth owner being unable to keep his thoughts to himself. Who needs that shit? And it’s not like Matz and his reps would have been blind to the team’s hilarious and vaudevillian search for a GM.
Perhaps Matz and his reps concluded that a team that had to settle for a GM not even on the original shopping list, or the second draft, might not have a decent plan to turn the team into a winner.
Cohen is pissed because he’s choking on his own bullshit. He came into MLB all guns blazing, bragging about what his checkbook could turn the Mets into, and then being surprised that agents and players are going to use that flashing neon sign as a means to get someone else to pay up. It’s probably not hard to convince competing GMs that the Mets will spend X on a client because Cohen told everyone he would.
So now the Mets down-list GM still has holes in the rotation and centerfield to fill, all with an owner getting more bellicose, who both have made it clear how easily they can be played. Meet the Mets, greet the Mets...