Mets primed to make run for Ohtani?

January 31st, 2023 is keeping track of all the latest trade and free-agent rumors involving the Mets right here.

Jan. 30: Mets expected to make Ohtani bid (report)
Shohei Ohtani figures to be one of the most sought-after free agents in MLB history when he hits the market next winter -- and the Mets are expected to pursue the two-way superstar, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Of course, New York is currently focused on competing for a World Series title in 2023, not necessarily how it's going to approach the ensuing offseason. Mets owner Steve Cohen said as much in a text responding to Heyman's Ohtani inquiry: "Hard to think about next year. I’m focused on this season.” 

Still, the Mets figure to be at the center of the Ohtani sweepstakes, which could produce a record contract by the time all is said and done. Whether that deal is with the Mets remains to be seen, but it's a good bet that Cohen's club will at least make a competitive offer for the 2021 American League MVP winner.

Jan. 18: Mets among teams with interest in Chafin (report)
The Mets have been one of baseball’s busiest teams this offseason, and they continue to explore ways to improve several weeks before pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training. 

New York reached a one-year deal with outfielder Tommy Pham (per a source) on Wednesday, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that the team is interested in Andrew Chafin, one of the top relievers left on the free-agent market.

Chafin, a 32-year-old lefty, has recorded a 3.05 ERA, a 3.12 FIP and a 10.2 K/9 since the beginning of 2017. He had a 2.83 ERA and a 10.5 K/9 over 64 appearances for the Tigers last season.

Chafin doesn’t throw particularly hard, but his slider is one of the best swing-and-miss pitches in the game. He recorded a 60.4% whiff rate on sliders last season, the second-highest mark any pitcher induced on a single pitch type in 2022 (min. 100 swings).

Per Heyman, the Mets also have talked to free-agent southpaw Zack Britton, who has been limited to just 25 games over the past two seasons. Britton, 35, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2021 and went back on the IL with left arm fatigue last September after making just three appearances and walking six of the nine batters he faced. 

Britton spent his first eight years in the Majors playing for an Orioles team led by current Mets manager Buck Showalter. His bullpen coach from 2014-16 in Baltimore was Dom Chiti, whom the Mets recently hired for the same role. Britton was at his best during those years, highlighted by a 2016 campaign in which he allowed four earned runs over 67 innings, secured an AL-best 47 saves and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting.

Jan. 12: After Correa saga, who might be next on Mets' radar?
Now that star shortstop Carlos Correa has signed a six-year deal to return to the Twins after megadeals with the Mets and Giants fell through due to concerns over a past leg injury, who might the Mets target next?

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for the New York Post, with no big-name free agents remaining on the market, the Mets and owner Steve Cohen could look ahead to the trade market or next offseason's free-agent class.

Heyman "guesses" New York might consider going after such luminaries as Padres stars Manny Machado or Fernando Tatis Jr., Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman, the Pirates' Bryan Reynolds, or pitchers Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff of the Brewers, as well as Dodgers lefty Julio Urías.

Machado will be able to exercise an opt-out of his current contract with San Diego following the 2023 season and Ohtani is also due to be a free agent following the season. The same goes for Chapman and Urías.

With Cohen and company, you just can't rule anyone out when it comes to potential blockbuster moves.