It's Saturday, December 18th and despite the MLB lock-out, the Mets kept busy and hired Buck Showalter on a 3-year deal.
Buck Showalter, 65 (1551-1517, .506%) is a proven winner who's managed in New York with the Yankees, managed Texas, Arizona, and in Baltimore. Collectively he has 20 years of experience as a MLB manager. He's a no-nonsense winner who gets the most out of his players. He last managed in 2018 with Baltimore.
Considering the Mets two previous managers; Mickey Callaway and Luis Rojas didn't have experience as an MLB manager, it was a no-brainer considering the Cohen has spent tons of money and are built to win now. They signed ace Max Scherezer to a 3-year $130 million deal and signed free agent CF Starling Marte. Mets have the most expensive payroll in MLB.
Cohen himself had said he didn't want someone learning the job as manager on his dime.
Most Met fans I know are happy. They will be even happier if they sign Kris Bryant and this lockout ends in time that is without interfering with the start of the regular season.
On (11/29) the Mets made MLB history by paying a player $43.33 million per season. They landed the free-agent pitcher they've coveted most; Max Scherzer. The cost is a record-breaking $130,000,000 over 3-years. There's an opt-out after the 2nd year.
The 37-year-old, 3x Cy Young Award winner turns 38 on July 27th. His $130 million deal is the 5th most in team history just below ace Jacob deGrom who scored a $137 million deal from the frugal Wilpons.
Mighty Max despite being 37, had an amazing year in 2021. He went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA for two teams last season, the Nationals and Dodgers. With the Dodgers who acquired him in a trade at the trade deadline, he went 7-0.
He's a for-sure hall of Famer with a 190-97 record to go with 3,000+ strikeouts and a 3.16 ERA.
If the above wasn't enough, the Mets on Black Friday Mets made other moves to improve their team offensively, defensively as well as add depth. Their outfield is now complete if you factor in Brandon Nimmo playing one of the corners of the outfield.
They've reached an agreement with center fielder Starling Marte on a 4-year, $78 million contract. Marte is 33 and has earned two Gold Glove awards.
Mets also have added infielder Eduardo Escobar. The 32-year-old veteran is a switch-hitter and versatile infielder. He plays every position in the infield and has power. In 2019 with Arizona he hit 35 HRs and had 118 RBIs. Last season he hit 28 and drove in 90 runs.
In addition, they gave a 2-year, $26.5 million deal to outfielder Mark Canha. The former A's OF also has a 3rd-year option.
Other looming questions; what happens with Marcus Stroman? Will the Mets resign him or will he sign with the Angels as rumored? Stroman himself said he doesn't expect the Mets to resign him.
Will they still pursue Bryant now that have Escobar? What happens with Robinson Cano? Will he be traded? Or will they buy out his remaining two years? He's owed $48 million.
What will become of Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and J.D. Davis? They all seem likely to be traded at the Winter Meetings for a starting pitcher(s) especially if the Mets don't sign Stroman as expected.
I strongly sense another starter will come via trade and that starter could likely be Zach Davies of the Cubs who the Mets nearly acquired at the trade deadline last season but chose Trevor Williams instead.