The New York Mets officially introduced Carlos Beltran as their new manager Monday morning. The press conference came nearly 15 years after the team made the former outfielder their biggest free-agent signing in franchise history.

Beltran inked a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets in January 2005. His chances of having a successful first season as manager could increase significantly if New York hands out a much bigger deal to one of the players on the market.

The best pitcher and position player available both are expected to make well over $200 million in the 2019-2020 MLB offseason. Gerrit Cole could get record-setting money after establishing himself as the best pitcher in baseball with the Houston Astros. Anthony Rendon might be looking for a deal in the neighborhood of $300 million, coming off the best season of his career with the champion Washington Nationals.

Will the Mets be in the running to sign either star? General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen won’t shut the door on the possibility of adding one of the high-priced free agents.

“We won’t rule anything out,” Van Wagenen told SNY when asked about Cole and Rendon.

The betting odds suggest that the Mets have a realistic chance to sign Rendon. Washington is favored to re-sign the third basemen with +150 odds at BetOnline. New York is second with +350 odds to have Rendon on their roster when the 2020 MLB season begins.

Rendon is probably seeking a contract that will surpass the eight-year, $260 million extension Nolan Arenado signed last spring training. According to The Washington Post, Rendon turned down an offer from the Nationals in September that was worth between $210-$215 million.

It’s hard to believe the Mets will make an offer that Rendon would consider signing. New York was never in play to sign Manny Machado last offseason, despite having one of the worst offenses in the National League. The third basemen went to the San Diego Padres on a 10-year, $300 million contract.

Van Wagenen indicated that players already under contract for the Mets could end up filling the hole at third base. Todd Frazier is a free agent after starting 112 games at the hot corner for New York in 2019. Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis are set to return after combining to start 43 games at third base.

The Mets are highly unlikely to make a play for Cole. He’s expected to make well over $30 million per season with a team like the Astros, Los Angeles Angels or New York Yankees.

The Mets gave ace Jacob deGrom a five-year, $137.5 million extension in March. Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz are all under contract for the 2020 season.

New York is considering a possible long-term deal with Zack Wheeler, who is expected to reject the one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer.

Eleven teams had a payroll north of $150 million on Opening Day 2019. New York was not one of them, coming in at just shy of $149 million in player salaries.

It would be quite the upset if the Mets make a serious run at Rendon or Cole and threaten to push their payroll toward $200 million.

Gerrit Cole Houston Astros
Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros pitches in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Tim Warner/Getty Images