Connect with us


Steve Cohen’s No Good, Very Bad, Horrible, Terrible December

Joey Wendle practices during Spring Training with the Miami Marlins.

Steve Cohen and the Mets failed to sign their top target in Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and they do not plan on going after other aces.

So much for change. A change in personnel and guard has brought nothing for the New York Mets. Maybe not yet. But yet is a long way off. The Mets 2023 offseason has been a complete disaster for both David Stearns and Steve Cohen. They’ve barely made a splash with any major signings or trades. Doubts are spreading about the moves the Mets have made so far and the loss of players like SP/DH Shohei Ohtani and especially SP Yoshinobu Yamamoto to both the Los Angeles Dodgers has made the Mets not only look foolish but also quite incompetent. This has become the worst offseason in Mets history with just less than three months until Spring Training. For Stearns and Cohen, this has been a no good, very bad, horrible, terrible December offseason.

Winter Failure

Both Stearns and Cohen had made it clear that they wanted to pursue high-end targets to sign to improve the team following the disastrous 2023 season. They have made a push. And that’s about it. The Winter Meetings came and went. Ohtani signed with the Dodgers for a mega deal at ten years, worth $700 million, making it the largest contract in professional sports history. The Mets, like every other team, wished to sign Ohtani. But what have the Mets done? So far, small contracts worth only minor league pay with invites to Spring Training and one or two-year deals. The majority are with pitchers.

Since December 1, the Mets have signed SP Luis Severino, RP Michael Tonkin, RP Jorge López, RP Kyle Crick, RP Andre Scrubb, RP Cole Sulser, RP Cam Robinson, minor league journeyman RP Victor Castaneda, and RP Chad Smith. Trades include RP Yohan Ramírez from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations, RP Ryan Ammons from the Boston Red Sox for SP Justin Slaten, a Rule Five pick from the Rangers who was acquired and sent away within minutes on December 6, and SP Adrian Houser from Stearns’ previous team, the Milwaukee Brewers, which included OF Tyrone Taylor for minor leaguer SP Colman Crow.

Only one pitcher was signed in November: RP Austin Adams to a one-year deal on the 30th.

Yamamoto Out

The biggest loss for the Mets was Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing with the Dodgers for a twelve-year $325 million contract. Cohen made a big effort to get Yamamoto even by flying to Japan and meeting with him at Yamamoto’s home along with Stearns. This was the biggest move the Mets made and it blew up in their face. And yet, Cohen is happy about the effort. According to a report per the New York Post, Cohen stated, “I think the whole organization tried our hardest, and someone was going to win, and someone was going to lose, and that is the way it goes. I feel good about our efforts, and I left it all on the field.”

While unconfirmed, the Mets made the same offer to Yamamoto which he ended up taking from the Dodgers. Perhaps the only reason Yamamoto spurned the Mets was because of the Ohtani signing. You have to give L.A. credit as they have become the stars of the offseason. Effort means something but Cohen should know that it doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t produce results. The Mets have nothing to show for it.

The Past is the Future

Maybe there was something else as to why Yamamoto or even Ohtani didn’t sign with the Mets. Past failures may have caught up with them. I’ll let Danielle McCartan from WFAN explain.

Lack of Depth

Outside of the many pitchers, the Mets have not addressed the infield or the outfield. They non-tendered DH/IF Daniel Vogelbach and IF Luis Guillorme on November 15, alongside three relievers, RP Jeff Brigham, RP Sam Coonrod, and RP Trevor Gott. The only person they kept on this day was OF DJ Stewart to a one-year deal. Outside of the Tyrone Taylor deal, the team has either acquired position players on one-year deals, minor league deals, or waivers. IF Joey Wendle signed to a one-year, $2 million contract. Waivers have been C Tyler Heineman from the Toronto Blue Jays and C/OF Cooper Hummel from the Seattle Mariners. Minor league deals with RF Trayce Thompson, 3B Rylan Bannon, LF Taylor Kohlwey, SS Zack Short, and SS José Iglesias all have limited upside.

Now these players are not household names except maybe Wendle and Iglesias. None of these deals are exciting or giving Mets fans much hope. Hope is fading fast for expectations for 2024. And David Stearns is already facing backlash for being what Joe Beningo of WFAN referred to him as a “small market general manager.”

The team hasn’t gotten rid of the rest of the players from last year which is a step forward as the Mets do have plenty of range with both their infield and outfield. More players can’t hurt, and the Mets are in a better position than they have been in previous years in this regard.

Possible Reunion

And then there’s DH Justin Turner. Turner just turned 39 last month in November. He’s not a young man anymore. If the Mets are planning on reuniting with him, he may only end up being a DH. He was okay with the Red Sox hitting .276 with 23 home runs and 96 RBIs in 146 games. Not bad numbers for someone near his forties. The Dodgers declining his $16 million option for 2023 was for a reason. He can’t field as he once could.

Both sides have been talking for now. If Turner comes back to Queens, it would be great just for the memories that Turner provided for those three and a half years when he was with the team from 2010 to 2013. He was a fan favorite and the Mets letting him go at the end of 2013 has ended up as one of their worst moves of all time. At least they defeated him and the Dodgers during the 2015 NLDS.

Future Plans

SP Shōta Imanaga is being looked at by the Mets after losing Yamamoto. According to reports, Imanaga plans on visiting the U.S. after the start of 2024. Several teams are eying him and if the Mets get him, this can salvage the offseason before pitchers and catchers report to Florida. The Mets need to add to their starting rotation which has been weak since they traded away SP Max Scherzer and SP Justin Verlander.

The Mets are reported to be interested in SP Lucas Giolito. Giolito can provide depth in the rotation, however, 2023 was a bad year for him. After six starts, he had a 6.89 ERA with the Los Angeles Angels before he was waived and acquired by the Cleveland Guardians in August. He wasn’t any better with Cleveland only pitching in another six games with a 7.50 ERA.

Whatever the Mets do in response to 3B Ronny Mauricio’s injury, one thing is certain. The biggest payment the Mets have made has been to the biggest luxury tax in history.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features