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Mets Morning News: Free agency begins today and the Mets may actually be players in an otherwise slow market

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

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MLB: SEP 27 Mets at Nationals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Meet the Mets

Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post wrote about Fred Wilpon’s legacy—one that will be forever tainted by Bernie Madoff.

Deesha Thosar of The New York Daily News laid out the Wilpon tenure in the form of a timeline.

Names, such as Rays special assistant Bobby Heck and A’s assistant GM Billy Owens, are beginning to emerge as candidates for front office positions under the new Steve Cohen regime.

“The Mets are going to play and play big this winter,” said one veteran agent to The New York Post. Steve Cohen taking over the team makes the Mets potential “heavyweights” in the free agent market.

The Mets have extended a qualifying offer to Marcus Stroman. He is expected to decline and enter free agency, which would net the Mets a compensatory draft pick.

Tim Healey of Newsday takes a look at the Mets’ starting rotation outlook, which changes depending on whether Stroman accepts or rejects the Mets’ qualifying offer.

Brad Brach exercised his player option for 2021 and will remain a Met.

Dellin Betances is expected to exercise his player option as well.

The Mets should bring back Luis Rojas as manager, writes David Lennon of Newsday.

After two positive COVID-19 tests, the Mets had to shut down their instructional camp.

Around the National League East

Having missed the playoffs the year following a World Series title, the Nationals spent October facing an organization-wide shake up.

Talking Chop published their review of Marcell Ozuna’s 2020, which was certainly an impressive one for the Braves.

“I’ll tell you this is about as miserable a time in baseball as I have ever [seen] by far,” Phillies president Andy MacPhail said Friday afternoon during a Zoom call with reporters. “And it’s not about me. It’s just a miserable process.” He didn’t exactly give Phillies fans much hope for an exciting offseason.

Around Major League Baseball

With coronavirus not going anywhere any time soon, there is talk around the game of delaying the impending labor negotiations in order to prioritize playing baseball safely in 2021. The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2021 season.

Commissioner Rob Manfred is open to the idea of a neutral site World Series in future seasons.

Free agency begins at 5:00pm today. But owners are already citing budget uncertainty due to the pandemic—a harbinger of a depressed free agent market.

Two pitchers from Mexico—Julio Urías and Victor González—earned the save and the win respectively in the Dodgers’ World Series clinching victory. It was an important moment for the two close friends.

Tomoyuki Sugano, one of the best pitchers in Japan, is likely to be posted this winter and become available to MLB teams, along with a couple of other decorated Japanese arms.

Nick Castellanos has not exercised the opt-out clause in his contract and thus will remain with the Reds for at least one more season.

The Cubs exercised their team option on Anthony Rizzo and declined their team option on Daniel Descalso.

The Pirates declined their $11 million option on Chris Archer, who is now a free agent.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Chris McShane covered the news that Brad Brach had exercised his player option.

This Date in Mets History

The Mets traded Gary Gentry and Danny Frisella for Felix Millan and George Stone on this date in 1972.