Recommended Video:

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry as always been a defining narrative in Connecticut sports.

Homes and neighborhoods are divided by the rivalry. So many kids grow up worshiping at the altar of one or the other — George Springer was devoted to the Red Sox as a kid in New Britain, Charlie Morton loved the Yankees from his home in Redding.

But our state’s baseball epicenter may be shifting. Greenwich resident Steve Cohen has purchased the Mets and seems poised to elevate New York’s other team to a prominent place.

There could a Connecticut flavor to the resurgence. Besides the Connecticut owner, there are reports that Orange native Chris Antonetti is a potential candidate to head the Mets’ baseball operations. Antonetti, president of the Cleveland Indians, is considered of the bright minds in baseball.

Or perhaps the Mets will make a run at free agent executive and noted curse-breaker Theo Epstein, the Yale graduate whose Hall of Fame resume is punctuated by World Series titles for the Red Sox and Cubs.

On the field, the Mets could add two state players. Free agents Springer and Morton are both rumored to be targets as the franchise seems ready to spend under Cohen.

Will the Official Team of CT reside in Queens instead of Boston or the Bronx?

It could happen.

Let’s Meet the (potential) Mets:

SPRINGER IN CF?

The Mets are reportedly seeking a elite outfielder. The Mets also need a bona fide center fielder.

Springer, the best free agent outfielder, checks both boxes.

Springer, 31, has averaged 35 home runs with a .270/.361/.491 slash line over seven seasons with the Astros. He had 14 homers and slashed .265/.359/.540 over 51 games in the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

And his 2020 line — along his 2019 season (.292/.383/.591) — came in the wake of Houston’s 2017 sign-stealing scandal. Springer continued to thrive after the Astros were caught cheating, erasing doubt Springer inflated is numbers because he has an unfair advantage.

Springer is also trending in the right direction as an offensive player, steadily decreasing his strikeouts while remaining a power threat as a leadoff hitter. He’s also regarded as an above-average defender and his athleticism figures to profile well as he moves into his 30s.

If Cohen brings October baseball to Queens? Springer has 19 home runs and an .895 OPS in 63 postseason games, and is coming off a playoff run in which he hit four homers.

It’s 100 miles from New Britain to Citi Field. Springer, a product of Avon Old Farms and UConn, is as Connecticut as any modern sports figure. Capping his career with a successful run in New York could secure his place as one of the state’s great athletes.

MORTON A MET?

Jacob deGrom is the ace. Marcus Stroman, who accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer last week, will be back in 2021 after opting to not pitch this season. That gives next year’s Mets the front-end of a rotation, with David Peterson slotted as a back-end option after a promising rookie season.

But with Noah Syndergaard coming off Tommy John surgery and Steven Matz seemingly fading, the Mets need starters. Morton, born in New Jersey and a Joel Barlow graduate, is a viable option.

Morton, of course, has built a unique career over 13 seasons with the Braves, Pirates, Phillies, Astros and Rays. Through 2016, he was 46-71, 4.54 ERA with a 1.441 WHIP while averaging 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 162 games. Since 2017 — when he was 33 — Morton is 47-18, 3.34 and 1.159 with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 97 games.

Morton made nine starts for the Rays this season, posting a 4.74 ERA. But he was 3-1, 2.70 with 23 strikeouts in 20 postseason innings.

As a No. 4 starter in Flushing? Morton would be ideal.

It’s 57 miles from Barlow to Citi Field. Morton’s journey began in 2002, when he was selected by Braves in the third round of the MLB Draft after a standout high school career. After a long and winding big league road, the 37-year-old Morton has plenty left and could end his career close to home.

paul.doyle@hearstmediact.com