Sources say the Mets are in trade talks with other teams; multiple MLB teams believe the Angels have “no appetite” to move Shohei Ohtani.
The Mets have been in talks with many teams about potential trades in the three weeks since losing to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series, with the goal of starting the offseason with a good understanding of both the trade and free agent markets.
According to multiple club sources, the former market will most likely not include Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.
The day after the World Series concludes, free agency begins at 9 a.m. ET. A memo recently sent to clubs reinforced the long-standing rule that teams can speak to free agents but not discuss contract terms for the first five days after that unless the player was previously with their club (meaning: Edwin Diaz can talk terms with the Mets for those five days, but not, say, with the Dodgers).
Because of this year’s late World Series, that five-day window may overlap with the annual GM Meetings, which begin next Tuesday in Las Vegas. Agents and general managers do not anticipate that having a significant impact on meetings because most do not discuss contract terms with free agents that early.
Billy Eppler, the Mets’ general manager, faces a significant challenge in rebuilding a starting rotation beyond Max Scherzer. Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Chris Bassitt are all free agents. Carlos Carrasco has a team option on him.
Even if deGrom is re-signed, the Mets will need to find multiple reliable starting pitchers to cover the innings that he and Scherzer may miss as they age.
Unfortunately for the Mets, Yankees, and a slew of other teams looking for help in the rotation and lineup – not to mention the box office – the Angels are refusing to discuss Ohtani at this time, according to several teams who have checked in.
The Angels are up for sale, and Ohtani will be a free agent in a year. Rivals believe that Los Angeles will try to extend Ohtani and, if they are unable to do so, will look to trade him before the July trade deadline.
In other Mets news, the team is finalising its coaching staff for 2023, with a few minor changes expected and an announcement coming soon.