NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have been destroyed publicly this offseason by media insiders and fans alike for their apparent lack of interest in significantly upgrading a roster that finished 70-92 last season.
But it appears their attitude may be changing. Perhaps they plan to cave to all the demands.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mets continue to have discussions with the Pirates about a potential trade for perennial All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
Though a deal does not appear imminent, the reported discussions have to be at least somewhat encouraging to Mets fans, given the fact that the teams talked about a deal for McCutchen last offseason as well.
It is unclear how a trade for McCutchen, or the acquisition of any other marquee player, will happen, given general manager Sandy Alderson’s earlier stated desire to reduce his team’s payroll from the $154 million it was last season.
McCutchen, who is set to make $14.75 million in 2018, the final year of his contract, hit .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs last season. The 31-year-old outfielder has made five All-Star appearances and earned four Silver Slugger Awards.
It’s hard to say which assets the Mets would be willing to give up in a deal for McCutchen. Their farm system is believed to be the weakest it has been in years, and it’s unknown if Pittsburgh has any interest in right-hander Matt Harvey, whom New York has reportedly shopped at times since the season ended.
In addition to the McCutchen talk, the Mets appear to be considering signing a big-name free agent. The Daily News’ John Harper reported recently that the team may have eyes on third baseman Mike Moustakas, whose market this offseason has yet to really develop.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a career year in 2017, hitting .272 with 38 homers and 85 RBIs for the Royals. During his seven-year career, spent entirely in Kansas City, Moustakas has hit .251 with 119 homers and 379 RBIs.
Regardless if the target is McCutchen or Moustakas, or someone else, the Mets seem to not be as dead-set against spending money as many fans fear.