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Mets Morning News: Spend to contend

Your Sunday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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Miami Marlins v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Joel Sherman outlines the argument for why the Mets should be aggressively spending this offseason. They claim to want to contend, they just hired a new general manager, they don’t have any money committed beyond 2020, and the NL powerhouse Cubs and Dodgers appear to be balking as they bump up against the luxury tax threshold.

Speaking of the Cubs and the luxury tax threshold, in order to shed money from their future commitments, they are reportedly open to trading Kris Bryant. Danny Abriano of MetsBlog argues that the Mets should consider a swap of Noah Syndergaard for Bryant.

In the summer of 2009, after his sophomore year at Stetson where he was the starting shortstop, Jacob deGrom went to play summer ball in his hometown of DeLand. Little did he know, they intended for him to pitch instead of playing shortstop. He tried out the experiment, but was so dissatisfied with it that he quit the team. But Stetson coach Pete Dunn was persistent, and the rest is history.

Around the National League East

The Marlins gave us a sneak peak of their new uniforms, which will be unveiled on Wednesday.

Analytics guru Mike Fast has joined the Braves organization, he announced via Twitter this week. He will be special assistant to the GM, as the Braves look to focus on right field and catcher in the offseason.

Ken Rosenthal revealed in a piece for The Athletic that the Astros had a deal in place to acquire Bryce Harper at the deadline last season, but Nationals ownership nixed the transaction.

The Nationals do not see an upgrade at second base as a priority this offseason.

The Phillies have reportedly made an offer to Indians’ outfielder Michael Brantley.

Even if the Phillies were able to sign one of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, it wouldn’t be enough for them to contend, writes Jonah Keri.

Around Major League Baseball

Anthony Castrovince picks the team in each division with the most interesting situation this offseason. The Phillies are his NL East pick. also gave us a roundup of one under-the-radar free agent at each position. Interestingly, their choice for catcher is Martin Maldonado, who the Mets are reportedly interested in.

Andrew Simon lists the Mets among five teams that should take a gamble on A.J. Pollock.

Matt Kelley breaks down which prominent free agents have qualifying offer decisions to make this offseason.

Evan Drellich of NBC Sports asked several top executives about Craig Kimbrel and their valuation of the “traditional” closer. They gave a wide range of answers.

Jim Bowden also reached out to teams, asking them about their biggest needs this offseason. He broke down those needs and potential targets for each.

Adrian Beltre is set to make a decision about his retirement soon.

As far as potential landing spots for Bryce Harper, Bill Madden thinks Harper in Yankee pinstripes is not a likely outcome. Meanwhile, Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun Times thinks the White Sox should go after Harper.

But for teams that miss out on the Harper sweepstakes, Buster Olney posits that Andrew McCutchen represents an interesting alternative and a potentially good investment, despite his age.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Yesterday, several members of former and current Amazin’ Avenue staff, as well as members of the community, gathered at Mikkeller Brewing at Citi Field to record Amazin’ Avenue Audio’s 300th episode. We chatted Manny Machado, the Mets’ catching situation, the farm system, and more, so look for this very special episode of the podcast in your feeds soon!

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1998, the Mets acquired the infamous Bobby Bonilla from the Dodgers for his second stint with the Mets. It didn’t go so well.