There are some executives around MLB who believe the New York Mets could shift away from reported plans for next season if the biggest prize in free agency this winter is willing to switch coasts after this season.
The 2023 campaign for the New York Mets has been a disaster and the team that entered the season with the highest payroll in league history is heading toward the final days of the season with a record 10 games under .500. Part of the reason they have such a shockingly bad record is the team decided before the MLB trade deadline to trade off some of their best players and start looking toward the future.
After Max Scherzer was surprisingly traded to the Texas Rangers in July, the future Hall-of-Famer claimed the team’s management and owner Steve Cohen told him they planned to punt on 2024, pay off their debt, and look toward 2025 as the season to try and compete for the franchises first title since 1986.
In September, the organization also hired former Milwaukee Brewers executive David Stearns to be their new team president. The New York native helped build a consistently competitive team in Milwaukee on a budget and seems like a perfect man to lead the team in what is believed to be a one-year rebuild in 2024.
However, that could change this winter if the Mets became a serious contender for MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani could change New York Mets plans for 2024
On Monday, SNY MLB insider John Harper spoke with several executives about the team’s current crop of young talent and their possible offseason plans. And one rival executive suggested a possibility that should make New York Mets fan’s ears perk up.
“I’d have to believe their thinking changes if Ohtani tells them he’d come to New York,” a rival executive claimed. “He’d make their offense above-average with the potential to be better than that if their young guys produce. Then you go spend on pitching — sign a starter and trade some prospect capital for another, then beef up the bullpen and you’ve got a legit contender.
“I can’t even imagine what the payroll would be in that case, since they’re still paying off the [Max] Scherzer and [Justin] Verlander contracts, but Cohen is obviously willing to do whatever it takes.”
As of now, all indications are that the three-time All-Star prefers to stay on the West Coast and closer to his native Japan. However, following the news that he has a torn UCL and may require a second Tommy John surgery, that thinking could change if he is looking for the most money possibly and Cohen makes an offer he can’t refuse.