General manager Brodie Van Wagenen laughed when asked Tuesday whether the Mets were one of the two mystery teams lingering in the pursuit for ace Gerrit Cole.
“I think from our standpoint, we’ve never talked publicly about free agents that we are or are not on, but he’s a good pitcher and I’m sure many teams are interested in him but for us, we feel good about the front-end of our rotation,” Van Wagenen told reporters at the MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego. “We’ll try to be optimistic elsewhere.”
The Yankees, Angels and Dodgers are among the front-runners for Cole, the 29-year-old righthander who is expected to shatter the contract record for MLB pitchers with a possible $300 million deal.
Cole’s agent, Scott Boras, said earlier in the day that a pair of mystery teams are also in the hunt for his client. One is believed to be Cole’s former team, the Astros, The Post’s Joel Sherman reported.
The Mets, meanwhile, were never expected to go after Cole even after losing Zach Wheeler to the Phillies in free agency. They instead will likely look for cheaper options to fill out the rotation behind back-to-back Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.
And Van Wagenen may need to wait until next offseason to make a free-agency splash, provided billionaire Steve Cohen’s purchase of the Mets goes through as expected.
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