The Mets' "cynical ploy"

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On Wednesday, I waxed cynical on the Mets’ reported interest in big fish like Jason Bay:


Here’s a theory
of my own: if the Mets are suddenly thinking bigger, it’s because the
Yankees have been going hog wild (relatively speaking) this week, and
they don’t want to get blown the hell off the back pages of the
tabloids.

Today The Post’s Joel Sherman echoes the sentiment:


Ticket sales are lagging and fans are screaming for the Mets to make a meaningful acquisition. And, poof, they suddenly were acknowledging making an offer yesterday to Jason Bay.

So was this merely a ploy to change the subject or was this a clear change of course this offseason?

I mostly went with my gut In coming to that conclusion. Sherman’s evidence: the fact that the “offer” the Mets reportedly made to Jason Bay was surprisingly similar to one that everyone knows he rejected from the Red Sox, with the thinking being that it was offered precisely because they knew he’d reject it. Sherman goes on to call it a “cynical ploy.” I think Sherman has a good point.

The Yankees have a plan. The Red Sox have a plan. Lots of other teams have a plan. The Mets seem to lurch from idea to idea with no coherent strategy in place. Sure-loser offers to players in whom they had not previously shown an interest is evidence of that.  To date, I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary.

Matt Wieters is close to signing with the Washington Nationals

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 2, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.

Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.

Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.

Sergio Romo experienced some difficulty in the past couple of years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 11:  Sergio Romo #54 of the San Francisco Giants walks off the mound after allowing an RBI double in the ninth inning of Game Four of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park on October 11, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.

There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.