The New York Mets still appear to be plenty active in the player’s market despite the current lack of front-office structure — most notably without a general manager who would normally be the point man for free-agent negotiations.
Regardless of that, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Mets have already held a meeting with free-agent infielder Javier Baez’s representation as his market “appears to be quite active.”
The soon-to-be 29-year-old and his now-expired contract was acquired by the Mets from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline in an attempt to boost a team that ultimately was unable to hold onto its perch atop the National League East.
It was no fault of Baez’s, though, as the two-time All-Star slashed .299/.371/.515 (.886 OPS) with nine home runs and 22 RBI in 47 games with the Mets.
His move to Queens also featured a shift to second base where he was able to play alongside his good friend in Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, who made it clear that he wants Baez to stick around for a while.
“I would love to have him back,” Lindor said of Baez back in October. “I’ve had a lot of fun with him playing up the middle. I learn from him, we feed off each other. We do whatever it takes to bring some wins and try to be in the playoffs.
“We fell short of the postseason this year but hopefully, he’ll be back next year and we can make it.”
Of course, the question of what Baez is looking for in a new contract will be at the forefront of his future with the Mets, which could range anywhere between $125 million to $200 million.
A busy offseason could feature attempted retentions of other key free agents such as starting pitchers Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard, right fielder Michael Conforto, and reliever Aaron Loup.
There have also been reports that the Mets have once again held conversations about pursuing third baseman Kris Bryant — a name they have gone after before.