You ask, we answer. The Post is fielding questions from readers about New York’s biggest pro sports teams and getting our beat writers to answer them in a series of regularly published mailbags. In today’s installment: the Mets.
If the sale goes through in December, will there be enough time to stand up a new front office and make moves to improve the team for 2021? — @earlamcduck
Ideally any potential sale of the team would be approved by the time the World Series concludes — provided we get that far during a pandemic season. Teams usually begin formulating offseason plans in October, with action picking up at the general managers’ meetings in November and the winter meetings in early December. It’s possible a new ownership group would overhaul the front office immediately, but there is also a strong chance a new boss would extend Brodie Van Wagenen’s regime while trying to learn about the organization. Perhaps a new owner would hire a team president to whom Van Wagenen would answer. There are so many variables (including whether the sale will happen and to whom) that it’s difficult to speculate on how it will unfold.
Why don’t the Mets go to a six-man rotation the rest of the way, add Seth Lugo and two young arms like Franklyn Kilome, Thomas Szapucki or Kevin Smith? It would ease the grind on Jacob deGrom and David Peterson, give Lugo a chance to build up and give a couple of young arms to show what they’ve got going into 2021? — @FSchaeffer06
If the Mets get buried in the playoff race, they can consider going this route. But if you are trying to win a sprint, it probably makes the most sense to get Jacob deGrom (provided his neck tightness doesn’t linger) on the mound as often as possible, and that means a traditional rotation. The idea of adding Lugo to the rotation mix might have more validity, given the steadiness Jeurys Familia, Edwin Diaz and Dellin Betances, among others, have provided recently in the late innings.
How long before they start playing Thomas Nido more? — @MetsSouthFla
We may have reached that point already. The Mets wanted J.T. Realmuto or Yasmani Grandal two winters ago because the presence they could bring behind the plate in addition to their bats, but were forced to settle for Wilson Ramos, an offensive-minded catcher with defensive flaws. Now Ramos has stopped hitting and Nido — the superior defensive option — has shown improvement offensively. If Ramos doesn’t get rolling soon, I suspect we will see Nido in the lineup more often than not.
If universal DH stays, do you think Dom Smith and Pete Alonso start a rotation of playing first? Or is it strictly one or the other moving past this year? — @Doug_Calderone
Smith and Alonso rotating at first can work, keeping both players fresh and giving the manager options in the DH spot. Robinson Cano will still be part of that DH mix and if the Mets look to upgrade at third base, J.D. Davis still might figure into that equation. Smith’s star is on the rise and Alonso has slumped, certainly changing the calculus at first base. When the season began it appeared Alonso would own the position for the next decade. That might no longer be true.
Can they trade Robinson Cano for a fifth pitcher? — @garthsmalley
Cano is under contract for another three years after this season (a stretch in which he is owed $72 million), so I don’t see him departing for a fifth starter. Plus, he’s become one of the Mets’ most productive hitters, so there is no reason to rush him out the door.
What will it take to fix Steven Matz? Phil Regan? Dan Warthen? Jeremy Accardo? — @degiap01
Dave Eiland, Regan, Jeremy Hefner and Accardo have all been involved with overseeing Matz in the past two seasons. Eiland had success early last year with Matz, but the lefty nosedived in June. It was under Regan (who replaced Eiland as pitching coach near midseason) that Matz got on track and had a solid second half. It might be time for the Mets to call the 83-year-old “Vulture” and see if he’s got time for an important project. The Mets need to get Matz right.
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