9:35 am: The Mets are “not overly optimistic” about signing Scherzer, despite having had conversation with agent Scott Boras, per Andy Martino of SNY (via Twitter). Gausman is their current focus. Martino adds that Gausman could make his signing decision as early as today.
8:49 am: The Mets began their offseason in earnest yesterday, adding a trio of soon-to-be 33-year-old bats to the lineup. Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar, and Mark Canha bring certainty to the beginning of new GM Billy Eppler’s tenure, as well as defensive flexibility and right-handed thump. The additions could be all they need to solidify their lineup (along with Nick Plummer as a potential reserve outfielder), but they don’t address what is arguably the Mets’ biggest need: pitching.
With Noah Syndergaard in Los Angeles and the Steven Matz debacle in the rear-view, pitching remains a priority, writes The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Free agent Marcus Stroman fits the bill, but the worm-killing righty has been vocal of late, both about his interest in returning to New York, and about the organization’s apparent focus on other arms, per Stroman himself (via Twitter).
Former Rockies’ right-hander Jon Gray may be one of those other potential targets, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). It’s unclear if Sherman is speculating on fit or reporting team interest, but Gray is a popular name regardless, given his perceived upside as he leaves Colorado. Beyond Gray, Max Scherzer and Kevin Gausman are two of the top arms on the market that the Mets may be eyeing. Either one would be an upgrade for the top of the Mets rotation, which currently has talent, but plenty of injury uncertainty in Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker.