The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

The Immaculate Interception

It’s one thing to proceed through an offseason confident that the Mets aren’t “out” on any free agent in whom they have legitimate interest. It’s a different thing from the days of “we signed a hitter, so we probably have to scrounge for a pitcher,” and it’s a welcome departure from those days. It’s another thing altogether to wake up one morning and learn the Mets have gotten a free agent who you and the whole world concluded last week had agreed to terms with another team, pending a physical.

Ah, but in the Steve Cohen Metropolitan Universe, you can’t rule out that there might be means in what pends — and perhaps a conclusion to append via Cohen’s means.

I started thinking about Carlos Correa within the same thought bubble as the Mets late in the evening of December 13 when Ken Rosenthal reported the Mets were “showing interest” in the All-Star shortstop as their potential third baseman of the future. Correa, word had it, was being lured with whatever enormous sum Cohen would offer him to shift from his established position to play alongside his buddy Francisco Lindor, a setup akin to what was envisioned when we thought Javy Baez might stick around and play second next to Lindor. There’d be plenty of money, there’d be a chance to win, there’d be enough sense in the world to this emerging equation that you could almost begin to believe this could really happen.

Until slightly later in the evening when Jeff Passan threw cold water on Rosenthal’s steamy rumor by scooping the field on Correa’s destination of choice: San Francisco. It wasn’t midnight December 14 when we learned the Giants consented to commit $350 million over 13 years to the erstwhile Astro and Twin, and Correa consented to accept it. The money has no meaning to regular people. It’s all beyond our fathoming. The years we can try to understand as fans. That’s a lot of years. That’s a player who signed in 2010 completing his contract in 2022. Seen a whole lot of that in your life as a Mets fan?

The details were San Francisco’s business and the Giants fans’ worry once news spread that Correa would play for them. The thought bubble in these parts popped. On to ruminating over smaller if still meaningful moves like signing catcher Omar Narvaez and bringing back Adam Ottavino to fortify the late innings and clicking on the links for Kodai Senga’s and Justin Verlander’s introductory press conferences. Those filled pretty compelling thought bubbles, too.

Then one morning, about a week after you put Carlos Correa out of your mind, you wake up and hear the Mets are signing Carlos Correa. One fewer year, ‘x’ million dollars lopped off the total, but still plenty of seasons and plenty on the payroll. You heard something about a West Coast presser being put off yesterday because of an issue related to that formality of physical but you didn’t think anything of it. You had Verlander. You had Senga. You had a revamped starting rotation and another catcher and enough reliable relievers to imagine leads wouldn’t get blown on the road to Diaz. You were reasonably content in winter.

Next thing you know, you’re ecstatic. Mostly ecstatic. Twelve years? From 2023 through 2034? How old will Correa be in 2034? How old will I be in 2034? A highly regarded shortstop moving to third base…wasn’t that the Jim Fregosi playbook? Others have done it more successfully more recently, yet certain events maintain a stubborn permanence in a fan’s consciousness. Fregosi was 51 years ago, and nobody gave up Nolan Ryan to get Carlos Correa. Nevertheless. Oh, and hold up: what happened with the physical or its aftermath in San Fran exactly?

Things that don’t worry me: the state of baseball if one owner happens to outspend the competition; the state of my favorite baseball team with its owner spending at a prodigious rate; what will become of the players who were considered likely to play what will now become Correa’s position. In order, there’s likely more money in baseball than we are capable of comprehending; Cohen seems able to juggle his obligations just fine, “luxury tax” included, thank you very much; and I liked what little I saw of Brett Baty after growing fond of Eduardo Escobar’s winning personality and occasional bursts of production, but we just got Carlos Correa. I’d see Carlos Correa in the postseason every year with Houston (even the notorious one) and would be informed continually that Carlos Correa was the bee’s knees. We now have his knees and the rest of him.

We have Correa and Lindor and McNeil and Alonso, and that’s just the infield. I’ve recently gone on at some length on behalf of both Nimmo and Marte, and they’re still here. A lotta pitching, as mentioned. The team that won in triple-digits last year, even allowing for individual ups and downs — and the inevitable pressing an everyday superstar does when he puts on a new uniform at a high price and consciously or otherwise wants to prove he’s worth every penny — certainly projects as no worse in 2023 than it was in 2022. It’s probably better. What that will mean when the Mets begin to play baseball games in the season ahead is to be determined. That’s always an accurate forecast. What that will mean from 2024 to infinity and beyond is completely unknown. Also a safe answer.

We didn’t have Carlos Correa when we shut our eyes last night. When we opened them in the light of day, we were informed we are about to have him. That happens when Steve Cohen owns the New York Mets. That’s as good a reason as any to get out of bed on December 21.

National League Town convened to discuss what happens when the owner of the New York Mets swoops in and intercepts a free agent who’s suddenly there for the taking and paying. You can listen to that lively discussion here or just about any podcast platform.

14 comments to The Immaculate Interception

  • Lenny65

    I read the news this morning, and for a minute I thought “nah, this is just an old story, he already signed with the Giants”. As Mets fans, we’ve been through a lot over the years, but this…the wild spending spree on huge name superstars…is all brand new. And honestly, I like it. I’ve never seen the Mets behave like a huge market team, not like this.

  • Eric

    I was listening to Paul Rosenberg on WFAN when the news broke. Like Lenny65 said, I had no frame of reference as a Mets fan for how to react. It’s like Cohen’s priority is spending a towering stack of money as a goal in itself. There seems to be no limit. Ohtani and Soto are on notice.

    If it wasn’t clear already, it’s clear now that the Mets, deGrom separation wasn’t over money because there’s no cap on Cohen’s spending.

    • Lenny65

      I remember when they only cleaned Shea right before Opening Day, your ballpark “dining options” were bad hot dogs or chewy pretzels, and signing George Foster was about the best you could hope for. So this is all very new and exciting. We used to dream about having ownership like this, and now we do. It might work, it might not, but he can’t be faulted for not trying or half-assing it.

  • eric1973

    And if all these long-term contract guys fizzle out after 5 years (if that), there is always more where that comes from.
    (Long-term Met fans probably think that there is something smarmy and unseemly about all this, but come Opening Day, that’s why they play the games.)

  • Curt Emanuel

    This was a, “wait, what?” moment for me. Chief among those was, Isn’t he a shortstop? Sure, the switch has happened before but while Correa is darn good he’s no A-Rod.

    And there’s the older back issue and wondering why the SF deal fell through.

    Bottom line though is Steve Cohen wants a WS title and he’ll spend to get it. And this is pretty nice to have as part of the Mets.

  • Blair M. Schirmer

    “For my part I should be as satisfied to play tennis with the net down as to write verse with no verse form set to stay me.”

    –Robert Frost to daughter Lesley, letter, 1941.

    It’s not wise for any art form, including that of team building, to evade all restraint. What our minds do well: make plans, discern consequences, remake plans in their light, is scrapped with practically unlimited budgets. We’re merely spectators, agape.

    Why bother tracing ahead the Mets trajectory when it simply doesn’t matter? If Correa at $26m per plays 90 games in 2027 with a .690 OPS, just swap in a fresh star and eat the remaining $182m on his deal.

    We always want what we want, but only up to a point. One magnificent dessert is enormously satisfying. Two leave you bloated, soggy, and dull.

  • open the gates

    Maybe I’m being a Debby Downer, and maybe I shouldn’t go there, but the only other major spending spree the Mets ever did resulted in the Worst Team Money Could Buy. Granted, the money in ’92 wasn’t in the same universe, not were the players. And I’m not actually predicting the same thing will happen. Still, as fun as this all is, I still have a little queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Nothing a few mammoth winning streaks won’t cure nicely.

    • Seth

      I didn’t want to rain on the ticker tape parade either. And it’s great we have an owner that’s willing/able to spend. But simply throwing lots of money at a team does not automatically buy a WS title. The two major hurdles I see are: chemistry and injuries. Those are the unknowns that money can’t address.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Hate this. He’s a CHEAT. FIRST,LAST,ALWAYS

    yeah he’s an elite player but, imho, sometimes there are more important things to consider. Maybe that’s just naïve but tough, it’s my view

  • Prominent Yankee fans are pining for Michael Conforto. We are living in the upside down. Merry Christmas to us!

  • eric1973

    Sure, he’s a cheater, but he cheated to beat the Yankees, so he goes down as a Hero in my book.

    And Seth,’rain on the ticker-tape parade’ is the line of the year and did not go unnoticed in these quarters.

  • […] anticipant. Your team’s owner goes out and secures who he’s secured — let’s continue to pencil in Carlos Correa until notified something’s really wrong with his leg or his negotiations — to go with keeping […]