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Kansas City Royals Shop and Royals Gear

It’s time to upgrade your game day style, Royals fans. Amazon is your one-stop shop for everything your need to show off that team pride in a look you’ll love. From classic Royals t-shirts to authentic Kansas City Royals jerseys from the best brands. Grab a new Royals Nike jersey or go with retro style with one of our popular throwback Royals jerseys. What better way to represent your team than with an officially licensed Royals baseball hat? Browse our selection of Kansas City Royals hats to find a variety of styles including Royals snapback hats, adjustable hats, beanies and more. Stay comfy and warm as the season progresses and all year long with Royals hoodies and sweatshirts. Choose from an amazing collection of Kansas City Royals accessories, collectibles and much more from MLB Shop to add to your game-day look or your home decor. Be sure to check out our unbeatable selection of Kansas City Royals memorabilia, including iconic Royals baseball cards and more to add to your own collection or to give as a gift for a fellow fan.

Kansas City Royals New Era MLB Neo 39THIRTY Stretch Fit Cap

Kansas City Royals New Era MLB Neo 39THIRTY Stretch Fit Cap

Kansas City Royals Youth 8-20 Blue Alternate Cool Base Replica Jersey

Kansas City Royals Youth 8-20 Blue Alternate Cool Base Replica Jersey

Kansas City Royals Hoodie

Kansas City Royals Hoodie

Kansas City Royals Floating Locket Silver Tone Chain

Kansas City Royals Floating Locket Silver Tone Chain

Kansas City Royals MLB Unisex-Adult Raschel Throw Blanket

Kansas City Royals MLB Unisex-Adult Raschel Throw Blanket

Kansas City Royals Large Pennant

Kansas City Royals Large Pennant

Kansas City Royals MLB Gameday Elite Chair

Kansas City Royals MLB Gameday Elite Chair

 

 

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2021-22 MLB City Shirt Tour: Issue 3 (San Diego Padres)

Hello, in the first two installments we introduced the city version jerseys of two MLB teams (Dodgers and Angels) from Los Angeles. Today we’re still in California, heading slightly south from Los Angeles to San Diego, on the U.S.-Mexico border, home of the Padres. The Padres traded All-Bright star Juan Soto during the trade deadline a few days ago, which put their prospects for the season in favor.

The Padres jersey is mainly available in white, yellow, black and brown, and there are many styles of jerseys.

Our editors independently select the products we recommend. We may earn a commission on items bought through our links.

San Diego Padres Jersey
San Diego Padres JerseySan Diego Padres JerseySan Diego Padres JerseySan Diego Padres Jersey

The San Diego Padres’ City Edition jersey debuted on July 8, 2022, and the color scheme is inspired by the culture of the community that travels between the U.S. and Mexico yearly, with approximately 50 million trips between the two countries each year. The three main colors of the jersey (pink, yellow, mint green) are common in the Baja California region located in Mexico. The “San Diego” on the chest of the jersey also features a vintage typeface, inspired by beachside signage after long-term use. The jersey’s design is also believed to appeal to younger people.

San Diego Padres City Connect JerseySan Diego Padres City Connect JerseySan Diego Padres City Connect JerseySan Diego Padres City Connect Jersey

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Chicago Cubs Shop and Cubs Gear

From classic Cubs t-shirts to authentic Chicago Cubs jerseys from the best brands. Grab a new Cubs Nike jersey or go with retro style with one of our popular throwback Cubs jerseys. What better way to represent your team than with an officially licensed Cubs baseball hat? Browse our selection of Chicago Cubs hats to find a variety of styles including Cubs snapback hats, adjustable hats, beanies and more. Stay comfy and warm as the season progresses and all year long with Cubs hoodies and sweatshirts. Choose from an amazing collection of Chicago Cubs accessories, collectibles and much more from Amazon to add to your game-day look or your home decor. Be sure to check out our unbeatable selection of Chicago Cubs memorabilia, including iconic Cubs baseball cards and more to add to your own collection or to give as a gift for a fellow fan. Whatever you’re looking for, Amazon has got your covered with the best licensed Chicago Cubs merch and apparel.

Our editors independently select the products we recommend. We may earn a commission on items bought through our links.

Chicago Cubs Hoodie

Chicago Cubs Hoodie

Chicago Cubs T-Shirt

Chicago Cubs T-Shirt

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Chicago Cubs 47 MLB Flagship Wash Mesh MVP Adjustable Hat

Chicago Cubs 47 MLB Flagship Wash Mesh MVP Adjustable Hat

Chicago Cubs Replica Core Classic Twill 9TWENTY Adjustable Hat CapChicago Cubs Replica Core Classic Twill 9TWENTY Adjustable Hat Cap

Chicago Cubs Case Cover Compatible with Apple AirPods Pro Battery Case

Chicago Cubs Case Cover Compatible with Apple AirPods Pro Battery Case

Chicago Cubs MLB Dog CollarChicago Cubs MLB Dog Collar

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Three Dodgers Among Top 10 Best-Selling MLB Jerseys

Three Dodgers Among Top 10 Best-Selling MLB Jerseys

Five active players including two Dodgers made the very best 10 Top selling Jerseys. Baseball legend Cassie Robinson will there be too.

The top 10 best selling MLB jerseys list was released previous week by Lids, a souvenirs company accredited to sell MLB gear. Two current Dodgers and an ex Brooklyn star were in the most notable 10.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts required the number 1 ranking . The second and third spots were taken by Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr., while Fernando Tatis Jr. is the fourth best seller. He missed the complete 2022 time of year with a broken wrist and some figurative injuries( PED suspension).

Mookie Betts Jersey

Derek Jeter Jersey

Ken Griffey Jr T-ShirtFernando Tatis Jr. Jersey

Dodgers legend Jackie Robinson, whose hat is retired throughout Major Group Baseball, takes fifth place. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve follows suit, whose jersey is available too in adult sizes.

Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson JerseyJose Altuve T-Shirt

Theseventh place is probably Cody Bellinger, probably the most surprising identity on the list . Bellinger is charismatic, handsome, and an former mate MVP. At the least in hat sales he remains popular.

Cody Bellinger Jersey

Two Hall of Famers sandwich a fantastic young player within the last few three spots on the key 10 list. Roberto Clemente is eighth, Ronald Acuna Jr. is ninth, and Nolan Ryan is tenth.

Nolan Ryan JerseyRoberto Clemente JerseyRonald Acuna Jr. Jersey

If perhaps half MLB ‘s the very best 10 players represent active players, then exactly why ? Whether it ‘s a fanbase that appreciates snowboarding history or lack of recent marketable stars, you could argue both ways. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout failed to make top 10.

Shohei Ohtani Jersey

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2021-22 MLB City Connect Jersey Tour: Issue 1 (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Speaking of the city version of the jersey, I believe that friends who often visit the basketball forum should immediately think of the city version of the jersey with local characteristics that the NBA has launched every season since Nike took over. This series wants to introduce to you the city version jerseys of the MLB (Major League Baseball) teams, which are also one of the North American professional leagues. While promoting the jersey culture, I also want you to have a little understanding of MLB. There are 30 teams in MLB, but currently only 14 teams have launched city edition jerseys, so we will also start today, Novermer 7, and introduce a team’s city edition every other day this month. jersey. Today we’re going to introduce one of MLB’s top teams: the City Edition jersey of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ team colors are mainly blue, white and gray, and the commonly worn jerseys are the white and gray jerseys shown below.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ City Connect (City Edition) jersey debuted in August 2021. The color of the jersey continues the Dodgers’ classic blue color scheme and deepens it. The inspiration for the design is to commemorate a legendary Latino player in the history of the team, so the position of the chest is added with the Spanish-colored “Los Dodgers” (Los in Spanish is the same as The in English, both are definite articles, with in particular). Among them, the part of the sleeve of the jersey collects elements of the street graffiti culture in Los Angeles, and has a spray-painted design.

Los Angeles Dodgers Royal City Connect JerseyLos Angeles Dodgers Royal City Connect Jersey

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Justin Verlander earns first World Series win as Astros take Game 5 over Phillies, 3-2

The Houston Astros are one win away from becoming world champions. 

On Thursday, Justin Verlander allowed only one earned run off four hits through five innings, clinching his first World Series victory in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5. 

Verlander’s only blemish was a lead-off home run to Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarber in the bottom of the first inning. He left with a 2-1 lead thanks to a first-inning RBI and fourth-inning home run from rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena. 

After second baseman Jose Altuve led off the game with a double, Pena singled up the middle to drive in the first run of the ballgame. 

Three innings later, with the score tied 1-1, Pena put the Astros on top again, smashing a solo home run off Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard to become the first rookie shortstop in major league history to go deep in the World Series. 

Still holding a 2-1 advantage in the eighth, Yordan Alvarez added some insurance for the Astros, driving in Altuve with a groundout to first base to increase Houston’s lead to 3-1. 

Philadelphia would attempt a rally in the bottom half of the eighth after a Jean Segura RBI single cut the deficit to 3-2. However, closer Ryan Pressly would enter, getting the final two outs with the lead intact. 

In the ninth, after striking Pressly struck out first baseman Rhys Hoskins, the Astros survived a scare off the bat of catcher J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto smashed a long drive to center field, caught by centerfielder Chas McCormick, who made a remarkable leaping grab at the wall. 

Pressly hit the next batter, Bryce Harper, before forcing Nick Castellnos to ground out to Pena for the final out. 

After being down two games to one, the Astros now hold a 3-2 lead as the World Series shifts back to Houston for Game 6 on Saturday. 

Zack Wheeler will take the mound for the Phillies as he attempts to keep their season alive. Meanwhile, the Astros will turn to Framber Valdez with a chance to clinch the World Series. 

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Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado wins 10th straight Gold Glove award

Nolan Arenado

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado became the fourth infielder to win 10 consecutive Rawlings Gold Gloves when baseball’s winners for the sport’s most prestigious fielding awards were announced Tuesday on ESPN2 before Game 3 of the World Series.

Arenado, 31, has won the National League’s Gold Glove at third base in each of his 10 seasons in the major leagues. That streak ties former Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki for the longest by a player at any position to start a career.

The only infielders who put together longer streaks were Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (third base, 16 straight Gold Gloves) and Ozzie Smith (shortstop, 13 straight) and former Cardinals and New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez (11 straight).

The Gold Gloves once tended to favor repeat winners, but this year’s list of honorees marked a season of unprecedented change. A record 14 players won their first Gold Gloves, including all but one of the winners in the American League.

The AL’s first timers were Cleveland Guardians pitcher Shane BieberNew York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Guardians second baseman Andres Gimenez, Baltimore Orioles third baseman Ramon Urias, Houston Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena, Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan, Guardians center fielder Myles Straw and Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker.

The AL’s only repeat winner was the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu, who was recognized as a utility player.

There was a little more familiarity among those who joined Arenado as Gold Glovers on the National League side. The first-time winners included Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker, Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers, Braves shortstop Dansby SwansonChicago Cubs left fielder Ian Happ and Cardinals utility player Brendan Donovan.

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto won his second Glove Glove, joining Houston’s Pena and Tucker in learning of their honor during the lead-up to their World Series contest.

“It’s a pretty cool moment, for sure,” Pena said. “[Getting] congratulated by our teammates. We know the focus is the game, so we’re going to enjoy this for a little bit and then get ready for the game.”

Pena joined Kwan and Donovan as winners during their rookie seasons, another record. The only other time in which there has been even two rookie Gold Glovers was 2020 (Luis Robert and Evan White).

In taking the honor, Pena continued to prove a worthy successor at the position in Houston to Carlos Correa, who won the award last season. Pena became the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove.

“I heard that today and I was in shock because I didn’t know that was a thing,” Pena said. “But it’s pretty cool.”

San Diego Padres center fielder Trent Grisham won for the second time, while Los Angeles Dodgers star right fielder Mookie Betts won his sixth Gold Glove. Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried was honored for the third time.

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NL West odds check-in: Time to move in if you like the Dodgers, watch the Padres, and the Giants have value

From 2013 through 2020, the National League West belonged to the Dodgers. Sure, there were scares — they even had to play a Game 163 once — but they took the crown every single time. It’s easy to forget that last season the Giants actually won the division, despite the Dodgers winning 106 games. Right now, the Dodgers are again toward the top, but they are also involved in a tough fight to hold on. 

Heading into Thursday’s action, the Dodgers hold a percentage-points lead on the Padres, but it’s a virtual tie as they are both 17 games over .500. The Giants are only 4 1/2 games out. 

Can the Dodgers hold on? More importantly, for our purposes: Where’s the betting value? Let’s take a look at the current odds to win the NL West and break it down. Records are as of Thursday, June 23.

Odds to win NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers: -190
San Diego Padres: +220
San Francisco Giants: +700
Arizona Diamondbacks: +75000
Colorado Rockies: +75000

Rockies, Diamondbacks (nah)

I said this on the NL Central check nearly a month ago regarding three teams. We’ll just use it again but apply it to these two: Save your money. There’s no reason to discuss, because it’s already over for these two. Clip and save this if you want, for purposes of possible future mockery, but it’s a waste of effort. 

Dodgers (42-25; -190)

Clayton Kershaw has been banged up and Walker Buehler is out for a long time. Andrew Heaney just returned from injury, but his history isn’t encouraging. That leaves the rotation in the hands of Julio Urías, Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson. Can the latter two keep up their amazing pace? 

The bullpen isn’t deep and Craig Kimbrel’s reliability moving forward is far from a sure thing. 

On the position-player side, Mookie Betts is hurt, who in the world knows what is going on with Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger isn’t a good hitter anymore and Father Time might have conquered Justin Turner. 

And yet, here they are. All the above issues for most teams would have their season teetering on the brink. Instead, they are in first place. Things will get better. They far and away have the most talent here. 

Verdict: This is the pick. Between all the injuries and their relatively poor play so far this month, the odds might never be better, either. Grab ’em if so inclined. 

Padres (44-27; +220)

They lost Fernando Tatis, Jr. — who everyone expected to be their best player and contend for an MVP — in the spring. Manny Machado took over and put the team on his back. He’s the one in the MVP conversation. Jake Cronenworth and Jurickson Profar in particular deserve praise for picking up some of the slack as well. Just keep in mind, at some point the Padres are going to add one of the best players in baseball. 

The rotation depth has come through for the Padres in a big way. They’ve absorbed injuries and are in good shape to continue throwing well down the stretch. There’s really no reason to worry about the bullpen, either, and it’s possible A.J. Preller pulls off some magic at the trade deadline.  

Verdict: If you want to pick against the Dodgers, the Padres are the reasonable selection. There is reason to think they’ll get better and they’re tied right now. I just think the Dodgers are the better pick at present. 

Giants (38-30; +700)

After a 13-5 start, “here we go again” was my thought. They were repeating the 2021 vibes. When they fell to 30-26 earlier this month, it seemed like they just didn’t have it this time around. They’ve now won eight of their last 12 — including sweeping the Dodgers in three games — and here they come again. 

I still don’t think this group has “it” quite as much as last season and that mid-80s in wins is more likely than taking the division title, but a repeat isn’t out of the question after they’ve hung around this long. If anything, we have to believe in the ability of Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler to squeeze every last bit of ability out of the roster and any acquisitions moving forward. 

Verdict: Pass, but I won’t blame anyone for grabbing them at this number. 

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2022 World Series: How Game 3 rainout impacts Phillies’ and Astros’ pitching plans for rest of Fall Classic

Philadelphia Phillies

For the first time since Games 6 and 7 were pushed back a day in 2011, the World Series has a postponement. Game 3 was set to be played in Philadelphia‘s Citizens Bank Park on Monday, but with rain expected for most of the night, Major League Baseball decided it was best to push everything back a day

Instead of cramming in the rest of the scheduled games, MLB has decided to leave in an off day on Friday for travel. The series could end in Philadelphia, of course, but if both teams win at least one game in Philly, the series will move back to Houston with Game 6 now being set for Saturday and a potential Game 7 for Sunday.

In terms of how this affects each team, the eyes immediately go toward the team with a pair of aces and only a small handful of others they’d like to use in high-leverage spots. The rainout, in theory and on paper, helps the Phillies. It doesn’t hurt the Astros, obviously, but they have so much pitching depth that a series without off days would have benefitted them by hurting the Phillies. 

Ranger Suárez, who threw in relief in Game 1, is now set to start Tuesday’s Game 3. Not only that, but Game 1 starter Aaron Nola can now pitch Game 4 on regular rest. Noah Syndergaard (originally scheduled to start Monday in Game 3) will likely be the Game 5 starter, and that clears the way for Zack Wheeler to go in Game 6 on extra rest. If there’s a Game 7, they’d have Suárez ready and Nola would be available in relief. 

In the bullpen, the Phillies would love to rely very heavily on José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez with some Zach Eflin and David Robertson sprinkled in. They’ll more easily be able to rely almost exclusively on these four relievers now with Suárez and Wheeler getting an extra day along with Nola being able to pitch Game 4. 

Of course, Phillies manager Rob Thomson said it’s possible they’d use Syndergaard in relief in Game(s) 3 and/or 4, in which case Kyle Gibson is an option to start Game 5. 

On the Astros’ end, they are so deep with pitching it doesn’t move the needle a ton. They are sticking with Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 and, according to Dusty Baker, “probably” Cristian Javier in Game 4. That leaves Justin Verlander for Game 5 on extra rest and Framber Valdez in Game 6 on extra rest. Game 7 would then likely be McCullers, if we get that far. 

The Astros have such a deep bullpen that, as noted, this day off doesn’t really do much for them while giving the Phillies extra ways to rest their relievers and manipulate the rotation to their advantage. 

We have a long way to go, and this was probably getting too much into the weeds before we see how Game 3 unfolds — and one of the teams could win the series in five games! — but we had nothing else to do. It is, of course, the first postponement in 11 years. Enjoy the night off and we’ll get back after it Tuesday. 

Assessing the New York Mets’ offseason outlook

Jacob deGrom

The Mets spent a lot of money last offseason, which got them into the postseason in 2022. But after losing their first-round matchup to the Padres, they are now about to see a huge chunk of their roster head to free agency. That means they might have to keep the wallet open if they want to take another shot in 2023.

Guaranteed contracts

  • Francisco Lindor, SS: $306.9M through 2031. $50M of his extension was deferred and will be paid out in $5M installments from 2032-2041.
  • Max Scherzer, SP: $86.667M through 2024. Scherzer can opt out after 2023.
  • Starling Marte, OF: $62.25M through 2025.
  • Jacob deGrom, SP: $34.5M through 2023 plus $32.5M club option for 2024. DeGrom can opt out after 2022. Some deferred money to be paid out starting in 2035.
  • James McCann, C: $24M through 2024.
  • Mark Canha, OF: $12.5M through 2023, including $2M buyout on $11.5M club option for 2024.
  • Eduardo Escobar, IF: $10M through 2023, including $500K buyout on $9M club option for 2024.
  • Darin Ruf, IF/OF: $3.25M through 2023, including $250K buyout on $3.5M club option for 2024.
  • Robinson Cano, IF: $24M through 2023. Cano was released in 2022 and is now a free agent, but the Mets are still on the hook for the last year of his deal.

Total 2023 commitments: $182.4M, assuming deGrom opts out.
Total future commitments: $564.067M, assuming deGrom opts out.

Option decisions

  • Chris Bassitt, SP: $19M mutual option with $150K buyout.
  • Carlos Carrasco, SP: $14M club option with $3M buyout.
  • Taijuan Walker, SP: $7.5M player option with $3M buyout.
  • Mychal Givens, RP: $3.5M mutual option with $1.5M buyout.
  • John Curtiss, RP: $775K club option, arbitration eligible after that.

Arbitration-eligible players (projected 2023 salaries via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)

  • Daniel Vogelbach (4.138): $2.9M (Mets can bypass arbitration by exercising a $1.5M club option)
  • Tomas Nido (4.089): $1.6M
  • Dominic Smith (4.081): $4M
  • Jeff McNeil (4.069): $6.2M
  • Joey Lucchesi (4.067): $1.15M
  • Drew Smith (4.034): $1.2M
  • Pete Alonso (4.000): $15.9M
  • Luis Guillorme (3.167): $1.5M
  • Non-tender candidates: Smith

Free agents

  • Brandon Nimmo, Tyler Naquin, Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Tommy Hunter.

Fans have long called for the Mets to act like a big market team, and it finally happened this year. The second year under owner Cohen, the club gave out four big free-agent deals last winter, signing Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar. All four of those players got eight-figure contracts, with Scherzer getting into nine figures on a three-year deal that set a new record for average annual value.

When combined with the contracts already on the books, the Mets ended up with an Opening Day payroll of just under $265M, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. That was over $100M more than anything they’d done in the pre-Cohen era and an increase of about $70M on Cohen’s first season in charge. In terms of the luxury tax, which is calculated based on the AAV of contracts and not the 2022 salaries, the Mets were much higher. Ronald Blum of The Associated Press reported that the Mets finished 2022 with a competitive-balance tax number of $298.8M, leading to a tax bill of $29.9M.

All of that spending translated into quality on-the-field results, for the most part. The Mets led the NL East for the majority of the season, finishing with a record of 101-61. That was the second-highest win total in franchise history, eclipsed only by the 108 wins of the 1986 squad. Unfortunately, the Braves got red hot in the second half and also managed to get to 101 wins, sneaking past the Mets to the divisional title on a tiebreaker. The Mets still nabbed the top NL wild-card spot, qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2016. Unfortunately, they were dispatched by the Padres in the best-of-three wild-card series.

On the heels of that disappointing finish, the club will now be thinking about how to put together a team for 2023. It’s possible that there will be a high amount of turnover, especially on the pitching staff, leading to the roster looking very different next year. In terms of the starting rotation, the Mets had six guys who made more than 10 starts in 2022, four of whom are now likely to become free agents. Jacob deGrom has long maintained that he intends to trigger his opt-out provision once the offseason begins, even when he was injured and his status was questionable. Chris Bassitt has a mutual option, with those deals almost never triggered by both parties. Taijuan Walker has a $7.5M player option but with a hefty $3M buyout. He should take the latter and leave $4.5M on the table, but then easily eclipse that in free agency. Carlos Carrasco can be retained via a club option, which is a bit risky given that he hasn’t stayed healthy enough to pitch more than 152 innings since 2018. However, given the potential for so many losses, the Mets will likely keep him around.

Assuming the Mets do indeed decide to keep Carrasco, he will slot into the rotation next to Scherzer, who will enter the second year of his deal, and David Peterson, who has not yet reached arbitration but could qualify this year depending on where the Super Two cutoff ends up. There are some in-house options to fill out the backend, such as Tylor Megill and Joey Lucchesi, but the Mets will certainly look to make additions here.

Whether deGrom can be lured back to Queens will likely be a story that dominates the headlines until it’s resolved. He reportedly has a preference to be closer to his family home in Florida, but it’s unlikely that would be strong enough for him to accept significantly smaller deals than he would find elsewhere. He will still need to be paid something resembling his market value. The Mets have shown they are willing to spend big on the players they want, but deGrom will turn 35 in June and is likely looking at deals somewhat similar to the short-term, high AAV contract that Scherzer got. Even if they are willing to spend, would the Mets want around $80M-$90M devoted to just two pitchers?

If the Mets decide to let deGrom go, there will be plenty of other options. Carlos Rodon will be one of the most sought-after pitchers this winter, even though he is much younger, about to turn 30. That means he will likely be seeking a longer pact but with a lower AAV than deGrom, which might be more appetizing to the Mets. The tier below Rodon will feature many pitchers who are quite good, but not quite at that ace level. Nathan Eovaldi, Jameson TaillonTyler Anderson, Kodai Senga, Mike Clevinger, Ross Stripling and Michael Wacha are just some of the names in this bracket, which also includes old friend Chris Bassitt. It’s possible the Mets would prefer to spread some money around to a few guys at this level, as opposed to putting all of their eggs into an ace basket. Given the high amount of turnover that’s possible, there would be an argument for taking this approach.

Speaking of turnover, how about this bullpen? Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, Trevor May and Tommy Hunter are all heading into the open market this winter. Mychal Givens has a mutual option and will likely be joining them. That leaves the Mets with Drew Smith as the only guy who threw more than 25 innings in 2022 to still be around. Although there are some other arms around, they are better suited to depth options. That means the Mets will effectively be looking to rebuild their entire bullpen from scratch this winter. Much of the attention will be on Edwin Diaz, given that he has established himself as one of the best relievers in the game. However, that also means he will be looking at a huge payday, possibly even becoming the first reliever to crack nine digits. With so many holes in the relief corps, perhaps the Mets will look to spread some money around to a handful of different arms instead of focusing on a lockdown closer.

If there’s one thing working in the Mets’ favor this winter, it’s that the position player core is much more stable. Outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Tyler Naquin are headed for free agency, but the whole gang will be coming back apart from that. The losses of Nimmo and Naquin will certainly hurt the Mets’ outfield depth, but they still have options there. Marte could slide over from right field and take over Nimmo’s center field duties. Canha can be penciled into one corner. Jeff McNeil has split his time between the infield and outfield but could spend more time on the grass going forward. Dominic Smith is still under club control and could get the playing time he was lacking in 2022, but he could also be non-tendered after a down year. That’s a serviceable group, but the Mets could certainly look to bolster it, either by re-signing Nimmo or acquiring someone else. Nimmo won’t be cheap, however, as he’s clearly the best center field option on the market this year and many teams have a need for such a player. Given the free spending of the Cohen era, some fans might dream of the Mets plucking Aaron Judge from the Bronx and placing him in Queens. But given the multiple areas of need, it’s possible they look to cheaper options like Joc Pederson, Mitch Haniger or Michael Brantley.
 

On the infield, there are a few locks and a few maybes. Francisco Lindor will be the shortstop and Pete Alonso will be at first base. Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme are the most obvious first for third and second base, respectively, though there are some other routes the club could take. If they do end up signing an outfielder, it would free McNeil up to stay on the dirt. There are also youngsters to consider, as Mark Vientos and Brett Baty both made their MLB debuts in 2022. Neither of them excelled in their brief MLB appearances, but each of them has crushed minor league pitching. If the Mets are willing to roll the dice on one of those two holding down the hot corner, perhaps they could try flipping Escobar to help fill in the gaps on the pitching staff.

There’s one other area where the youth factor will come into play. Behind the plate, James McCann was gradually eclipsed by Tomas Nido throughout 2022. The Mets also promoted Francisco Alvarez late in the year, who is considered by some evaluators to be the best prospect in the league at the moment. He’s still quite young, about to turn 21, and has played just 50 games above the Double-A level. He’s hit everywhere he goes but his defense is considered to be a bit behind his bat. The Mets could start him in Triple-A in 2023 while he continues to develop, but they could also be bold and pave the way for him. McCann’s contract is underwater at this point, after two consecutive poor seasons and two years left to go. But if the Mets are willing to eat some money, perhaps they can find a taker and let Alvarez spread his wings and fly.

Ultimately, how the Mets approach these different areas will depend on the budget. The high amount of roster turnover creates challenges but also frees up some spending room. Roster Resource currently pegs the club’s 2023 payroll at $231M and CBT number at $238M, but deGrom’s opt-out and a non-tender of Smith would drop those by almost $40M. Exercising Carrasco’s option would add $11M and put the club just over $200M in terms of real pa. General manager Billy Eppler spoke with the media recently and said he doesn’t anticipate any kind of budget cuts this year, but he didn’t provide any kind of specific target number. If they decide to go into 2023 with a payroll similar to the $265M Opening Day figure they had here in 2022, that could leave them with around $60M to spend.

That’s a decent chunk of change, but the Mets have many holes that need filling. They need at least one starting pitcher, perhaps two, along with an entire bullpen. Adding another outfielder makes sense. DeGrom alone is likely to pass $40M in terms of the AAV on his deal. Nimmo, Bassitt and Diaz will likely be in the $20M range. Shopping in that aisle will likely require the Mets to increase the payroll closer to $300M, something that Cohen is apparently open to, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Trading Escobar and McCann to address some of the gaps would help with the financial squeeze, but those moves would also come with the risk of handing prominent roles to unproven prospects. Perhaps the club will avoid the top names on the market and spread their money around to more second-tier free agents. There are many ways that Eppler could approach his second offseason making the baseball decisions for the Mets. But there’s no doubt they will be active one way or another, making them one of the most fascinating franchises to watch yet again.