Some may say that dishing out a record contract to your closer days after the conclusion of the World Series isn't playing your hand slowly. As New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler heads into his second off-season at the helm of Steve Cohen's team, he is well aware that one has to move fast at times and be patient at others to be successful. Eppler made some key acquisitions last winter, like right fielder Starling Marte, left fielder Mark Cahna and third baseman Eduardo Escobar. Those three moves, along with Eppler's hire of Manager of the Year, Buck Showalter, changed the culture of the Mets. Now it's time to continue the improvement. That is what Cohen expects.

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The Mets GM is faced with losing free agents; ace Jacob deGrom, All Star center fielder Brandon Nimmo, 12-game winner pitcher Tijuan Walker and 15-game winner Chris Bassitt. Eppler quickly took care of All Star reliever Edwin Diaz immediately after the conclusion of the World Series because Diaz is a rare commodity, a closer that can handle New York. If "Sugar" is half as sweet as 42 was in the Bronx, the Mets will consider $102 million a steal.

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Eppler has played the Jacob deGrom situation carefully. He made it public that the Mets wanted deGrom back. However, it appears that the Mets will not over-pay for Jake's services nor will many other teams. The Texas Rangers, once in hot pursuit of the 2-time Cy Young Award winner, now seemed to have cooled on the free agent right-hander. deGrom walked away from $30.5 million remaining on his contract with the Mets. It is rumored that he is seeking $120 million or more for the next 3 years. No one seems willing to give Jacob deGrom more than 2 years at this point. Eppler is smart to play the deGrom market slowly.

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As the winter meetings begin on Sunday, the market for players like Nimmo, Walker and Bassitt will no doubtably heat up. Nimmo is sure to have many suitors, as will Walker and Bassitt. The Mets don't seem in any rush to bring Brandon Nimmo back, which is confusing, unless the price-tag is unreasonable. Walker is good pitcher but replaceable and Bassitt seems like he can't wait to sign anywhere but New York. Unlike in the past, this Mets organization has money and therefore is playing some pretty good cards. Now Billy Eppler has to win a few hands and get his team to a World Series.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Rolls Through The Capital Region For a Great Cause

It had been three years since the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train rolled through the Capital Region. It made three stops; Mechanicville, Saratoga Springs, and Fort Edward. The first was Mechanicville on a rainy Sunday night. This is where I enjoyed the festive holiday train. They are traveling across the country to 106 stops. At each stop, they play live music and collect donations for the local food banks. Country Artist Lindsay Ell was the musical entertainment and she was awesome. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train also presented the Mechanicville Community Center with a check for $3500 to help restock the food bank. Even though the weather wasn't ideal, a couple of hundred families joined the fun.

Every Country Artist Performing In Upstate NY In 2023

We are set for a big year of Country shows in 2023, and here is a complete list of artists already scheduled to perform in the year ahead in the Capital Region and all over Upstate New York. Don't miss your favorite Country stars - keep checking back here as we will be adding lots of shows in the weeks and months ahead.

A Xmas Must See! Saratoga Home Boasts Free Spectacular Light Show

It's back again this year! The home at 29 Walden Circle in Saratoga Springs in the Town of Stillwater is all decked out in over 15,000 LED lights and synchronized to holiday music. You can come and enjoy this show for free but if you wish to make a donation to a children's charity, you can do so HERE. This is truly a labor of love for these homeowners. This spectacular show runs through the new year. Check out the schedule HERE.