Your 2023 New York Mets: It’s not a fire sale.
“I do want to be clear that it’s not a rebuild. It’s not a fire sale. It’s not a liquidation. This is just a repurposing of [owner] Steve [Cohen’s] investment in the club, and kind of shifting that investment from the team into the organization.” -Billy Eppler [MLB]
Justin Verlander had some nice things to say about the Mets.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for their organization and how they treat their players. A+ from top to bottom. Anybody that would ask me about that organization if they had a decision to make, I would recommend their organization"— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) August 3, 2023
- Justin Verlander on the Mets pic.twitter.com/5muowDoS4M
Max Scherzer had (a lot)...
“I talked to Billy [Eppler]. I was like, ‘OK, are we reloading for 2024?’ He goes, ‘No, we’re not. Basically our vision now is for 2025-2026, ‘25 at the earliest, more like ‘26. We’re going to be making trades around that.’ I was like, ‘So the team is not going to be pursuing free agents this offseason or assemble a team that can compete for a World Series next year?’ He said, ‘No, we’re not going to be signing the upper-echelon guys. We’re going to be on the smaller deals within free agency. ‘24 is now looking to be more of a kind of transitory year.’” -Max Scherzer [The Athletic]
“If they had said, ‘Hey, we’re looking to compete in 2024’ … I wasn’t itching to get out of New York. I was happy in New York. I had a house. The family was all set up. Spring training (in Port St. Lucie, Fla., near his home in Jupiter). I’m not itching to jump ship. I don’t have to chase the ring. I made a three-year commitment with New York. I would honor that if we were going to try and win in 2024. But that wasn’t the case. What was being communicated to me was that there were a lot of pieces being moved for prospects to try to make the 2025 team better.” -Max Scherzer [The Athletic]
...to say about the Mets.
“When they were trying to compete was outside my contract. I said, ‘OK, that’s the math.’ That’s basically what Steve said: ‘I never thought in a million years we’d be in this situation, being at the deadline and we’re actually selling. But the math is the math. And the math says this organization needs to retool.’ That was Steve saying that. I said, ‘I get it. I’m not here to say you’re wrong.’ It is what it is. I understand from Steve’s perspective that’s the direction he wants to take the team based on where everyone is at within their contracts, arbitration, free agency. That was the new vision for the Mets. That was outside my contract. At that point, that’s when it became binding. I said, I will accept a trade.” -Max Scherzer [The Athletic]
Tommy Pham had some nice things to say about himself.
“For the amount of games that I’ve played, my WAR is way up compared to last year. My wRC is way up compared to last year.” -Tommy Pham [The Athletic]
Francisco Lindor had (obviously) upbeat things to say about the Mets.
“We have the resources up top to buy players but when you create that formula of having successful players come up, develop and help us win up here, and you have the resources, it can turn into something extremely fun.” -Francisco Lindor [MLB]
“I don’t call it a rebuild. I call it a transition. I’m here for the long term. I’m here to win championships and to be part of an amazing organization. It’s one of those things where you want to win now, but you also need to have stability. From my understanding, that’s what I’m seeing right now.” -Francisco Lindo [MLB]
I mean, he’s not wrong.
“I’m surprised you’d be surprised because what did I say (in June)? I said I wanted sustainability. If we were in the same position, I wasn’t going to add. When you look at the probabilities, what were we, 15 percent? And other teams were getting better — you have to take the odds down from that. If you’re going to have a 12 percent chance of winning — just getting into the playoffs — those are pretty crummy odds. I wouldn’t want to be betting any money on that. I don’t think anybody else would, either. I said before, hope is not a strategy. At some point, we have to go win two-thirds of our games. We had shown no consistency along the way. So it really would have to take a stretch to believe that something would change now.” -Steve Cohen [The Athletic]
I truly believe Cohen would have kept the players if the return wasn’t worth the player/cost which makes it feel different from a Wilpon deadline.
“We didn’t have any idea what was possible at the deadline. We weren’t just going to do deals for the sake of doing deals. But we thought we got a great return for the people that we traded. We weren’t sure that was going to happen. I would’ve kept the players if it turned out it was going to be a mediocre return.” -Steve Cohen [The Athletic]
Billy Eppler business speaks his way to saying that he doesn’t think trading free agents in the middle of their contract precludes them from being able to sign future free agents.
“That’s for the player to evaluate. When we sit down and talk to players, we articulate how we look at the short term, and if it’s someone that’s going to go on a multiyear deal, we can talk about the longer term. At the end of the day, the player’s going to process a lot of different things. When they make that decision, that’s ultimately the calculus that they use to come to those decisions. I don’t think that puts us in any kind of different scenario.” -Billy Eppler [The Athletic]
It’s going to be an interesting contract for a 30-year-old, power hitting, offense-first first baseman topping out at ~4 fWAR who’s a fan favorite.
“We love Pete as a Met. He’s an integral part of the Mets. He’s still with us for another year. We hope we work things out. Even with (Nimmo), we worked things out in free agency. Hopefully, we get a few shots at the apple and try to figure it out. What I will say is Pete is a great Met.” -Steve Cohen [The Athletic]
“Whatever their vision is, whatever their plan is, it really doesn’t necessarily matter to me because I’m here right now. I want to be the best player I can be right now and for as long as I’m here. It could be forever. We’ll see what happens.” -Pete Alonso [MLB]
Buck still has Steve’s support.
“Buck’s working hard. I’ve got a three-year contract (with Buck), and we’re only a year and a half in. We’re status quo. I don’t put it on Buck. I put it on the players. We’re hitting into some bad luck. Some things have happened which are probably just the opposite of last year.” -Steve Cohen [The Athletic]
Though Buck did have the most important quote to take away from this or any trade deadline.
“You never assume just because someone’s a veteran player and has been through it before that it’s not an issue. I’ve never had someone go, ‘Ah, it’s no big deal. I’ve been through this a hundred times.’ It is a big deal. It’s their families. It’s their lives. They’re human beings, not pieces of meat.” -Buck Showalter [MLB]
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