Offseason Outlook: New York Mets

The Mets will discuss extensions with their top players this coming offseason, when significant changes are expected up and down the roster.

Guaranteed Contracts 

Arbitration Eligible Players (estimated salaries)

Contract Options

  • David Wright, 3B: $16MM club option with a $1MM buyout (pictured)
  • R.A. Dickey, SP: $5MM club option with a $300K buyout

Free Agents

The Mets have an assortment of needs heading into the 2012-13 offseason and, according to most reports, they won't be shy about addressing them. While GM Sandy Alderson is expected to turn over a considerable portion of the team's roster this offseason with non-tenders and trades, it doesn't sound as though the Mets plan on spending on the winter's top free agents.

David Wright - Mets (PW)

The team could spend big, but if it does David Wright and R.A. Dickey figure to be the beneficiaries. Wright, 29, has considerable leverage coming off of a season that will place him on many an NL MVP ballot. He has said he'd like his next contract to last until he retires, and the Mets haven't ruled the possibility out. Wright appears to be in line for a long-term deal worth $20MM-plus per season.

There are fewer precedents for Dickey's contract negotiations. Not only is he coming off a Cy Young caliber season, he's a knuckleballer who didn't establish himself as an MLB starter until he was 35. It's unclear how long the Mets expect Dickey to keep pitching at this level, but there's no way he'll be earning $5MM per season anymore if the Mets extend him. Dickey's annual salary could triple on a new contract, and some Mets executives seem wary of making a sizable commitment to the knuckleballer, who turns 38 this month.

It'll take considerable resources to lock Wright and Dickey up to long-term contracts, but it doesn't sound as though the Mets intend to spend aggressively beyond those potential contracts. Their payroll will probably sit in the $90MM range again, and with nearly half of that going to two players — Johan Santana and Jason Bay — the timing doesn't seem right for major free agent expenditures.

There's a good chance the Mets will create some payroll flexibility by non-tendering some prominent arbitration eligible players. Mike Pelfrey will surely be cut loose following a season in which he earned nearly $6MM on the disabled list. Andres Torres is also expected to hit the free agent market, and Manny Acosta, Fred Lewis and Rob Johnson could follow.

The team's class of arbitration eligible players also includes Ike Davis, whose name has surfaced as a possible trade candidate. According to a number of reports, the Mets will consider trading Davis or Lucas Duda under the right circumstances. Davis placed fifth in the NL with 32 home runs this year and is under long-term control, so the team's asking price would be high.

Still, the Mets have many areas to address this offseason, so it'd be imprudent not to consider trades. The team needs offense, after placing 25th in MLB in runs scored this past season. Clear needs exist behind the plate and in the outfield. 

The Mets are expected to pursue potential upgrades at catcher this offseason, when Kelly Shoppach will hit free agency. Though there's typically a shortage of available catchers, the upcoming class of free agents offers some decent options at the position.

The free agent class is also flush with outfielders, but the Mets aren't expected to bid aggressively on the top options available. Instead, they can pursue trades for players such as Denard Span, Justin Upton and Shin-Soo Choo or seek late-winter bargains in free agency. Opposing teams figure to ask Alderson about affordable, young starting pitchers such as Jonathon Niese in trade talks.

If the Mets are uncomfortable offering multiyear deals to free agent outfielders, Scott Hairston may have played his last game with the team. The 32-year-old hit 20 homers this year and continued hitting left-handers (.286/.317/.550 batting line vs. LHP) so he should generate multiyear interest elsewhere. The Mets wouldn't get compensation for Hairston or any of their other free agents, as they aren't valued as $13MM players and won't get the requisite qualifying offers.

The Mets spent a considerable portion of last offseason's budget on Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch, and are expected to seek veteran relief help again this offseason. This time, they're expected to let Rauch and Ramon Ramirez leave as free agents while pursuing outside options. Still, improving the bullpen is a must for a team that ranked 29th in MLB in reliever ERA (4.65), 25th in reliever strikeout rate (7.7 K/9) and 27th in reliever walk rate (4.0 BB/9). Upgrades will come from within if players such as Josh Edgin and Robert Carson continue to develop in 2013, and the presence of these young relievers could lessen the pressure on Alderson to find short-term solutions.

The team's rotation seems set, with a promising combination of certainty and upside in place. Though it's generally preferable to add a starter or two on a minor league deal, such pitchers may look at the Mets' projected rotation and pursue opportunities in places with less competition. 

The Mets have enough pieces in place that Alderson can focus on problem areas this offseason. But they have too many shortcomings to contend without making changes. Expect a busy offseason in Queens.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

58 Responses to Offseason Outlook: New York Mets Leave a Reply

  1. vtadave 3 years ago

    Tons of money coming off the books after this year, so I would think the Mets would stand pat other than extending Wright and Dickey. They obviously shouldn’t deal Wheeler or Harvey, and I don’t think they have what the Dbacks would want (MI’s) for Upton.

    • Well the Mets actually do have quite a few MI in the minors and one MLB Ready one in Valdespin (or Murphy) but its really what the D-Backs would want in general in regards to a package.

      • Let_My_Cameron_Go 3 years ago

        I can’t imagine Valdespin has much value. Murphy is a supplement player in a trade if you are looking to get a big time player in return. If I were in the position to trade players I think I would listen on Tejada. His stock is very high, and I think Flores may have a shot in the majors. It’s tough because Tejada can be a solid shortstop for years to come, and Flores is not a guarantee despite the solid year he had…

        • Yea I like Tejada a lot for a 22 year old he showed extremely good promise with the glove and bat this year i’d hate to lose that… Valdespin didn’t play the whole year at all in the majors but the parts he did he showed a good bat and has the power needed to play in the majors its really what position he’s best suited to play at really.

        • SeanE 3 years ago

          There is a lot to like and not like about Murphy.The good thing about Murph is he is a team player he is one to hit in the clutch and he will hit for a high average and have a high obp.The thing to dislike though is that his defensive game is terrible he will “zone out” a lot and not focus on the game itself which is a major issue.Would I trade him? yes

      • Loody 3 years ago

        The D-Backs would not get Wheeler or Harvey from the Mets. However I do think that Jon Niese would be of interest to them and I do think that Niese is a very nice starting point in potential trade negotiations with Arizona.

        • Niese is a tough one to trade because he’s good young starter which the Mets honestly need to hold on too. Wilmer Flores could also be someone that interest them which I wouldn’t be opposed to trading because if we resign Wright then he could technically be an asset in a trade because 3B will be blocked for him in the majors (MiLB player of the year for the Mets).

    • SeanE 3 years ago

      The Mets may be able to deal for Upton.I have this feeling they may demand Niese in it because of his potential and I would be questionable on dealing him even if he was the centerpoint of the trade.However I would not mind dealing Familla/Mejia and I may be on the train to deal Fulmer and Tapia however that is a bit questionable too.But with the amount of pitching depth the Mets have now I would be more on the dealing side rather than the hesitant side.

      • vtadave 3 years ago

        Can’t imagine the Dbacks dealing for pitching given that is their strength with Kennedy, Miley, Bauer, Corbin, Skaggs, Cahill, and Hudson (midseason). I think they are more interested in improving an awful left side of the infield.

  2. Lots of changes needed that’s for sure…. again Catcher , OF , and Bullpen should be the focus areas this offseason.

    • SeanE 3 years ago

      a RH bat in the lineup wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

  3. METSFAN6 3 years ago

    The only free agents I see the Mets resigning are Scott Hairston and Kelly Shoppach.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      I also would like to see the Mets (or anyone) sign Shoppach and let him at least start 75 games or more and imagine the Mets pitching staff appreciate someone behind the plate who is top notch with blocking skills and a gun for a throwing arm as well.

    • I like both as backups they showed that they are good players and i’d resign them. But even with those resigning the Mets still need to fill holes (Starting Catcher , Starting OF , and Bullpen).

      • starting catcher… Josh Thole done, next problem? Outfield? get Denard Span, he is young and is fast enough to cover Citi’s large center field.

        • Keep Shoppach and trade for another young catcher Thole is honestly done in my book he’s had 2 years to prove his worth and hasn’t shown anything other than being able to catch Dickey when he pitches we need some production out of the position already….

  4. Bo Beck 3 years ago

    The Mets have 3 trade chips, Murphy, Neise and Valdespin. I myself would add Familia and Mejia in there. You don’t touch Davis you let him readjust unless you throw him in a deal for Trumbo. I’d try to get a package of Kipnis and Choo from the Indians. You would add more pop in this trade and not have to give up a great deal.

    • Unless they sign another starter I couldn’t see them parting with Neise to be honest he’s on a very friendly team contract and is good #3 on any staff which the Mets honestly need. Unless they sign like an Edwin Jackson or trade for another young pitcher I don’t see it happening at all. I would love to get a Choo though for the lineup because he’s exactly what the lineup needs a steady OF power bat with good defense in the OF.

    • SeanE 3 years ago

      I would be hesitant to deal Niese he had a breakout season this year grant it if it we were discussing Justin Upton I would maybe bite on that deal but that is a maybe.I think with a improved lineup Niese can rank up 12-15 wins.I feel like he is slow bloomer.

    • gambalore 3 years ago

      If the Mets trade Niese, it has to be for a young player with several years of team control. Choo would be a great fit on the Mets (as he would on nearly any team) but trading a great contract like Niese for a 1-year guy doesn’t make any sense.

  5. METSFAN6 3 years ago

    Mets 25 Man Roster come the 2013 season

    Kelly Shoppach

    Josh Thole


    Ike Davis

    Daniel Murphy

    Ruben Tejada

    David Wright


    Jason Bay

    Kirk Nieuwenhius

    Scott Hairston
    Mike Baxter
    Justin Turner
    Greg Dobbs
    Reed Johnson
    Starting Rotation
    Johan Santana
    RA Dickey
    Jon Niese
    Matt Harvey
    Dillon Gee
    Frank Francisico
    Bobby Parnell
    Mike Adams
    Luke Gregerson
    Elvin Ramirez
    Josh Edgin
    Robert Carson
    Free Agents Signs
    Kelly Shoppach 1 year 1.5 Million
    Scott Hairston 2 year 5.5 Million
    Reed Johnson 1 year 1.5 Million
    Mike Adams 2 year 9 Million with option
    TradesLucas Duda and Zach Lutz for Luke GregersonJordany Valdespin for Greg DobbsLet me know what you think!

    • Francesco 3 years ago

      Your 2 trades are horrible

      • METSFAN6 3 years ago

        Dobbs has shown he is a great left handed hitter of the bench and can play for a short period of time if needed. His defense is questionable. But come September, the Mets will most likely not be in contention and so they could trade Dobbs away since he is a free agent after the 2013 season and get a decent return on him. Also, Valdespin’s attitude has not been the best.

    • tdw815 3 years ago

      I agree with most of the roster but I would trade Bay and Niese and Parnell to Boston for Elsberry or to the D-backs for Upton

      • METSFAN6 3 years ago

        The only way I see either of those trades happening is if the Mets were to take on the majority of the salary due to Bay which would not help the Mets out, plus Niese has shown he is for real and is under contract for awhile under a team friendly contract.

    • slider32 3 years ago

      The team gets you last place, if the Marlins do anything!

    • SeanE 3 years ago

      absolutley not on the Greg Dobbs trade.I would however question Towers on a potential Upton trade.I think Upton would do well here and maybe it is just a change of scenery that could make him burst him out to be the true player he can really be.


      I like that,only problem is Upton could be moderatley expensive.A package around Fulmer could be a good start I would not be hesitant to include Duda,Valdespin,and even Kirk if Necessary.I think a package could be


      Maybe? or it maybe too little or too expensive.But according too Towers at least at the deadline some of the players if not all have to be major leauge ready and productive.

      Team Control+productive I can buy into this.

      • METSFAN6 3 years ago

        This would be way to much for the Mets to give up on a player like Justin Upton. I understand that he is a great all around player and if the Mets were in the right position to make a deal for him they most certainly would. I would be fine with a deal that would include Duda, Valdespin, Den Dekker, and Mejia. In addition, Angel Pagan is going to demand a decent contract maybe a 2 or 3 year deal for at least 6 million a year. The Mets might be better of going for Sizemore.

  6. No way Flores is a shortstop, he does not have the range. Tejada is untouchable.

  7. Francesco 3 years ago

    Trade for Ben Revere (they need pitching)
    Trade for JP Arencibia and Colby Rasmus (Package around Duda)
    Lineup: Rivera Tejada Murphy Wright Davis Hairston Rasmus Arencibia

    • Sniderlover 3 years ago

      The Jays would want Duda because…?

      • SeanE 3 years ago

        I’m asking the same question the Jays are loaded with OF they would have no interest in Duda.

        • SeanE 3 years ago

          Maybe starting pitching. Niese package for possibly Travis D’Arnaud what would you want?

        • gambalore 3 years ago

          Duda’s no OF. He has the potential to be a decent, young, cost-controlled DH but putting him anywhere, even 1B, is a losing deal.

  8. burnboll 3 years ago

    Johan Santana’s contract is up there with Ryan Howards and Arods. Difference is that he’s still a good player though. I’d say he’s worth around a 15-16 mil contract. So he’s only overpaid by 15 or so mil.

    Arod is IMO worth around 7 mil, which makes him overpaid by around 21 mil.

    Ryan Howard is worth about 4-5 mil, making him overpaid around 20 mil.

    • HobokenMetsFan 3 years ago

      The biggest difference is that Johan’s contract ends after next season, while those two guys have multiple years left.

      • burnboll 3 years ago

        Yeah, that too. I’m sure Mets could unload some of his contract to a playoff contender after the All star break, just limit his innings somewhat in the early going, then trade him for a mid level prospect. He could bounce back even more, I think he could be a #1 on many teams.

  9. chicothekid 3 years ago

    Oh I think the Mets have what it takes to get Upton out of Arizona with Niese or Tejada being the centerpiece of the deal. I’m just not sure WHY the Mets would want to do that. There’s gotta be something better out there for Niese than THAT? Upton had one great season and everyone thinks he’s Ty Cobb now. Taking a look at his numbers, he’s closer to his brother. If I’m paying top dollar for THAT, no thanks.

  10. Francesco 3 years ago

    Dickey and Tejada could get Upton and maybe try and get Cahill give them some minor leaguers.. and trade for yunel escobar try and get arencibia too and trade for ben revere twins

  11. zack 3 years ago

    If im sandy alderson im making sure i get my leadoff hitter and really good fielder in center, my power in right and stability and good defense with at least average offense behind the plate. Im not saying this will all happen but i would look at a jenrry mejia for ben revere swap, jon niese jordanny valdespin kirk nieuwenhuis for justin upton or familia and kirk swap for choo, and lastly maybe try to sign pierzynski to a 2 year deal to add some offense and stability behind the plate. any of these moves will help

    • I like Thole’s improvement and i would rather spend less and get Span, he is productive and fast, if we could get Upton too that would be amazing but i really do not think we should be getting rid of a good lefty like Jon Niese. And Pierzynski is old he is bound to break down soon and i think it should be in Chicago where at least they respect him enought to still appreciate what he gave them before the breakdown. And Kirk would make a great left fielder if we can not get Span

  12. Resign

    Wright 6 yr- 114 Mil extension w/2 mutual option years

    Davis 4 yr – 30 Mil

    Cedeno 2 yr – 2.8 Mil

    Go to Arb




    R.A. Dickey for Alex Gordon & Yordano Ventura
    Parnell, Flores, Valdespin, & Montero for Justin Upton, Matt Albers, & Willy Paredes

    Duda + ? for Wade Davis

    Famila or Mejia & Lutz for Revere

    A.J. Pierzynski – 2 yr – 9 Mil

    Grady Sizemore – 1 yr 1 Mil + PA/GP incentives total potential 5 Mil

    Kevin Corriea 1 yr -similar to C Young this year

    Matt Linstrom – 2yr/ 2.6 Mil

    Affeldt or JP Howell

    Minor league contracts/ST invites

    Evan Meek
    Mike Gonzalez
    Randy Wells
    Travis Buck
    Blake Dewitt
    Mike Pelfrey

    Hire Stan Boroski as Pitching coach

  13. Sylvan Migdal 3 years ago

    Bay and Santana for Lackey you could sort of imagine if you squint….but in what universe would the Mets just throw in their two best players — the franchise cornerstone at 3B and the probably-soon-to-be reigning NL Cy Young winner — in order to get a journeyman catcher and two non-elite pitching prospects?

  14. Ben_Cherington 3 years ago

    Why in the world would the Red Sox do that?

    Give up 2 good pitching prospects, and a decent hitting catcher and probably a solid #5 for those guys? Bay is old and sucks, Santana not bad, Dickey very good but old, and Wright is about to get expensive and cant stay healthy! Plus we ave a pretty good very cheap young 3rd basemen.

    Ill pass

  15. SeanE 3 years ago

    your kidding right ? why the hell would the Mets do that.

  16. METSFAN6 3 years ago

    In response to the Adams signing, I think it would provide insurance behind the young relievers such as Ramirez, Carson and Edgin in case they don’t preform well. Throughout the last few years Adams has solidified himself as an above average reliever.

  17. SeanE 3 years ago

    Adams would be a very good signing.Add too that a setup man and the bullpen will be fine.K-rod would not be bad to welcome back o kill me now for saying that, but it maybe true if we could get him on the cheap he could do some good.Here is a potential good offseason outlook

    Sign David Wright and R.A as long as the Mets don’t

    A.Overpay him
    B.Give him too many years.

    2.Trade for a RH bat (ex:Upton) or even ask about Travis D’Arnaud couldn’t hurt right?

    3.sign Mike Adams and maybe K-rod if Financial options seem fit.

  18. Well they are freeing up money by letting Ramon Ramirez go (think he made like 2.5 million or something like that) so I mean that would half his salary right there. I think Adams could be had for $4 million a year as that’s about the average for a good reliever nowadays.

  19. alphakira 3 years ago

    Wright can’t stay healthy? He played 156 games this year and for the past 8 seasons he’s averaged 149 games a year…

  20. SeanE 3 years ago

    Santana for Lackey? it could happen but I wouldn’t do that deal just doesn’t seem too good for the Mets and Sox involved.I would Glady trade Santana and Bay as salary dumps to teams who are desperate.Not going to happen though.

  21. vtadave 3 years ago

    Please tell me you aren’t referring to Lackey when you say “solid #5″.

  22. johnsilver 3 years ago

    #5 probably as a floor and #3-4 hopefully. Look at what he did in 2010-11 needing TJ and pitching in pain? Even the 08-9 Lackey, still “hurting” in his elbow was at least a solid #5 and he “says” it does not hurt anymore since well before leaving Anaheim. nobody has ever questioned his composure on the mound, bulldog mentality. if anyone can come back from TJ, compete and improve on a miserable 2010-11 and improve, though they pitched 360IP between those 2 years needing the surgery? I’d bet on Lackey being at least a solid #5 over the next 3 years.

  23. that is a terrible deal, Wright is not getting traded, end of story. Secondly Citi Field has hurt Bay more then getting old if he went to Boston I am sure his numbers would sky rocket remember what he did for them a couple of years ago? And Johan would still probably be their 1 or 2 behind if anybody Lester, but for laughs is that trade was made, I don’t want Lackey the guy is a decent innings eater, R A Dickey can do that and we do not have to trade for him, no i want Jacoby Elseburry, Jerrod Saltalamachia, and Clay Buchholz, and throw in a minor league starter with promise.

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