Projected 2023 Payroll: $237 million
Notable Free Agents: Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo
Could they use Aaron Judge? Not only for the bat, but as we know the Mets love to play the backpage headline game with the Yankees (and always lose it) and this would probably be the biggest move in that category since 1986.
What else could they use besides Judge? This is the winter we’ll find out what Steve Cohen is really made of. Because even though three-fifths of the rotation is now free, and a major part of the bridge to Edwin Diaz, along with one of their better bats are as well, they’re still committed to spending nearly $240 mildo before they even fill those gaps.
If the Mets don’t want to spend the $45 million on deGrom it probably takes to keep him, that’s understandable, but someone’s gotta take that spot for a team that wants to run with the five-strong rotation of the Braves. If they can’t coax Verlander to New York (again), they’re pretty much out of that class of starter. They need at least two from the Bassitt-Anderson level as it is, whether they can bring in an ace or not. And that’s before they start thinking about whether Scherzer’s injury problems the past two seasons are now the norm.
The Mets scored the sixth most runs in baseball while being a middling home run team, and many wonder if that’s a trick they could pull again. They got on base a ton and struck out less than everyone save the Guardians, and that sort of approach can only be augmented by the defensive limitations being imposed by MLB. But how much is anyone’s guess. Without Nimmo, it’s Starling Marte slated to move to center, and that’s not anything anyone should want for him or the Mets…except everyone who’s not a Mets fan. Sadly for the Amazins, there is not much below Nimmo in free agency that can keep Marte in right and Jeff McNeil in the infield, and certainly for nowhere near the offense that Nimmo brings.
Third base would be another spot that the Mets, in an ideal world, would try to boost. Maybe they just hold out for Brett Baty to take it given how much money they need to spend to fill the holes that are more glaring. Nimmo almost seems like a must re-sign…unless it’s Judge they can pry a few miles east.
They’re also going to need to find at least two arms for the pen, where right now Drew Smith is the only proven reliever to get the ball to Diaz (and considering Diaz’s luck with leaving runners on base last year, he’s probably not going to repeat his act of God again though will still be among the league’s best).
So, to total up, at least two starters, an outfield solution, maybe third, and a couple of pen arms. Which will probably push the payroll near $300 million. You talked big, Mr. Cohen, so let’s see it.
Original source here
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