Given their desire to contend from day one, it’s easy to see the Mets all-in on any of the year’s best available players, including star shortstop Francisco Lindor. But that might not be the course of action that makes the most sense, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman asked Mets president Sandy Alderson about their plans for free agent spending versus trades.
Anderson’s response: “There are only two currencies in baseball — one is players, the other is money. If you are not spending money, you have to spend players. … We have to be careful how we use players in transactions.”
During Steve Cohen’s introductory press conference, Alderson laid out some of the team’s most pressing needs, which included infield defense, bullpen consistency, and a new catching tandem. But he also spoke about building out better depth, and that’s tough to do when trading away prospects for established stars, as was the approach taken by previous GM Brodie Van Wagenen.
Said Anderson (per Sherman): “We’ve got no depth at Double-A and Triple-A, so we are doing all we can to sign six-year minor-league free agents to fill out depth with our top two minor-league teams and provide up-and-down depth for the season.”
Of course, that strategy doesn’t always produce the best collection of ready Major League talent, but as the Dodgers (and others) have shown, the right talent evaluators/developers can absolutely find gems among that pool. Beyond those minor league free agents, the Mets have the opportunity to flex some financial muscle in an offseason where spending capital should be a considerable market advantage. That doesn’t preclude them from making a big splash for someone like Lindor, of course, but it does speak to their priorities this winter, as well as their strategy for contention more broadly.
It might also speak to their timeline. The Mets have yet to hire their president of baseball ops, so Alderson may leave some of the bigger decisions until they are fully-staffed. Collecting minor league free agents won’t have the direction-setting impact of a Lindor-or-equivalent acquisition. Speculatively speaking, Alderson would want to leave as many avenues open as possible until they find the right person to run baseball ops.
Gotta build a team before you build depth lol
I mean it’s not hard to look at their roster to see a pretty good core, which will probably get further reinforcements with Cohen’s first spending spree in free agency. Upgrade the edges of the roster and they have a pretty good team.
The offense is really good they just need pitching other than DeGrom and some bullpen
They finished in dead last. They’re great
The rotation last year consisted of deGrom, Porcello, Wacha, and Matz (all of whom had career-worst seasons), and David Peterson, a rookie who was not expected to start before injuries hit. They were one of the best-hitting teams in the league, and stayed in contention for most of the season. Replacing 3 of those guys with Stroman, Syndergaard, and maybe Bauer, Morton, or similar already improves the team immensely. They’re also almost certainly going to get a new catcher and/or a new CF, which would shore up some of the biggest defensive liabilities. Last year’s record is not a good indicator of where they’re at, any more than it is for the Nationals, and the pathways to a drastic improvement are wide open, compared to most teams.
Can’t Count on Syndergaard
TJ and Not Expected to Pitch until Mid-Season
Sign Bauer & Kluber or Trade for Lynn
Dead last? Ummm I’m pretty sure the Nats had the same record… Or if you mean Dead Last in the NL then maybe check the standings… Don’t speak on things you are unfamiliar with
LOL, as of now Mets would finish last !!! can they get 30 games better I dought it.
I doubt you dought it.
They were 9 games back, I “dought” a 30 game improvement is required to make up a 9 game deficit, if you’re going for the division. Your 9 games (and then some) is replacing Wacha, Porcello and Matz with just decent pitchers that can win half their games. That also includes adding a relief pitcher or two that can have sub 6 ERAs and actually get people out. I “dought”… Homer Simpson called… wants his word back
Wacha, Porcello, & Matz were collectively 2-16 in a 60 game season. Almost every game they started, the team was in a quick early hole. Whether it was bad luck or something else, they were the biggest part of why the team struggled so much. 3 guys putting up a 4.5 ERA would represent a huge step up.
how about catcher?
Their offense lacks the ability to hit in the clutch. Look at the 2020 numbers. Awful with RISP. Too many holes in that lineup. That being said, two FA signings can fix that.
Did you just say they have holes in the lineup? Hitting with RISP in 30 games also doesn’t indicate anything especially when they got better as the season went on. The had arguably the best lineup in baseball last year. They had many advanced stats on par with dodgers
Yeah, because 60 games is indicative of poor “clutch” hitting.
For the most part, good hitters hit well more frequently. RISP is essentially a myth.
I know, right? I thought that “clutch” BS was fading away
First off they need to get a CF….Nimmo is terrible. Then they need a C. Finally they need either a SS or 3rd baseman…,If ur not signing either Bauer or Realmuto, there are other strong options…
As far as offense, Nimmo has almost the perfect leadoff man profile
horrible defense to contend.
Nimmo strikes out WAY too much to hit lead off every day. He’s much more valuable off the bench hitting against relievers who have to throw strikes with men on base than just looking for walks. I just don’t see him producing consistently on a winning team. I think he’s a better complimentary piece than a necessary, primary part.
They don’t really need a SS or 3B.. gimenez and McNeil…
If you get a CF Nimmo slides to Lf and McNeil slides to 3B. And you don’t really need a elite hitting catcher to succeed. Teams have won with mediocre hitting catchers. If I was the Mets I’d focus a bunch on money on pitching. With that offense and good pitching they should be good
They have a SS: Gimenez… and as for CF? Not that many good fielding, good hitting CFrs out there. A lot of teams have to sacrifice one or the other at the position. The Mets need a C and lots of pitching. The rest is fine for now.
There was talk last spring training of giving Rosario reps in CF. It’s plausible given how the roster is built. Realmuto should be the focus in FA.
I can also see a trade for Hader, since he was someone Sandy coveted or perhaps a Brad Hand signing.
If they do land Bauer, man that is a scary pitching staff
But the Mets defense would still suck.
The Mets defense improves just by not having so many rockets hit by pitchers who fall behind in the count way too often.
Before the season started, their rotation was “stacked”. They had just signed Porcello to eat innings and Wacha was going to work at AAA or long relief. Lugo was the 8th inning guy, not the #3 starter! Then they lost Syndergaard, Stroman, and Matz imploded. Wacha and Porcello stunk, as many expected. The bullpen was made up of guys who probably shouldn’t have been any where near a typical 40 man major league roster.
The defense also improves if you don’t have 3 infielders playing every day in the outfield. Smith and Davis work hard and give their best efforts, but remember, they were only out there because the Mets lost Cespedes, Conforto and anyone else actually listed as “OF”. McNeil actually turned into a darn good outfielder considering he had pretty much zero experience.
Cano, Davis and Alonso have very limited range. They have to hit to pick up a glove.
It really hurt the Mets not having spring training, maybe more than most teams. Davis needed to reacclimate himself to 3B. Smith needed the extra LF work. They could have looked at Rosario or McNeil in CF. Conforto could have worked more in CF. It was just a horrible year, but was it a typical year? I don’t think so. The albatrosses that were the front office and Cespedes are gone. The Callaway/Beltran/BrodyV debacle are gone.
Get rid of the drama and play ball!
There is a lot of potential there but Bauer and stroman are very hit or miss year to year and Thor hasn’t been very good since 2018
Even so, the floor for these guys is a huge improvement compared to the basement that Matz, Wacha, and Porcello provided last year. If the Mets had a slightly sub-par Stroman, Syndergaard, and Bauer (or similar FA), that might have made the difference between last place and a playoff berth. The rotation was aberrationally bad last year.
All of his underlying stats were the same in 19, except his HR/FB rate doubled. I’d be surprised if he continued to give up a HR every game he pitched.
Syndergaard hasn’t been scary in years. Good? Sure.
Syndergaard would be the best 3 in baseball if he doesn’t come back damaged goods lol. Yeah that rotation would be scary… it would have the best 1,2,3,4,5 in baseball arguably.. (depending on if Peterson does good) it’s just bc it’s the Mets that you guys down play it.
Syndergaard has done very little to back up your claim that he’d be a best 3 in all of baseball. This is why I say he is one of the most overrated players in the game (at least by Met fans). He’s very good, but top 3? There’s no real evidence to indicate such a claim.
As often as starters go out now. I’d rather a deeper rotation that includes upside arms in minors ready to step and depth at bullpen. So for me 7/8 possible starters including triple and double A with about a dozen quality bullpen arms at the 3 levels – Thats would be solid pitching staff now a days.
Leclerc for Nimmo straight up. Mets get bullpen depth Rangers get a LF.
Who the hell’s “Leclerc”? (Rangers have to be the most anonymous, most irrelevant team in baseball.) I see he’s their closer who just lost a season due to a shoulder injury. So … no..
The Mets roster seems brimming with good players who are awkward fits. If you signed someone to address a weakness and then traded one of those decent players for more advanced prospects, you could fill in the organization. Say like sign Springer and then trade Nimmo or Smith for a package that includes some high floor MLB ready guys with options.
Yes. Guys like JD Davis and Dom Smith are really good hitters. Nimmo too. And McNeil. None of them really have a spot to play on this team, and even if there’s a DH this year only one of them can do that. To me, the play here is to consolidate a bit. Go out and get Lindor or (better yet because I think the Mets’ SS are pretty good) Arenado. Just replacing JD Davis with Arenado improves the defense immensely, and you can probably get him with Davis or Smith plus Nimmo.
If you consolidate in that way though, the depth part is still missing. I wouldn’t be exploring trading for major league pieces if I were the Mets. I’d sign them in free agency and then sell major league pieces to help rebuild the system. How many teams can actually rely on five starting pitchers? You need the numbers 6-8 to contribute. How many starts did Peterson make for you? You need a few guys like him in AAA. A guy like Nimmo could get you a guy who is back of the rotation ready but maybe some upside for more just being added to a 40 man roster now. Multiple pieces like that even. I’m a Blue Jays fan who is quite happy to have Anthony Kay in the AAA rotation. Still work to do on refining his secondary pitches, but not a problem to have him come up to cover for injuries.
McNeil could play 3B,2B, and LF so yes he has a spot..
smith is the 1b so he has a spot (Alonso DH)
Nimmo has a spot in LF
Davis doesn’t have a spot
McNeil is a perfectly good fielding third baseman. Dom and Alonso split 1B/DH (when DH cones)… Davis to bench… everyone fits, they just need pitching and will have to live with less than ideal defense at CF and possibly catcher.
I don’t understand why so many people are betting on vintage Thor. I hope it happens, but, if it does, it is more likely to be in 2022. Anything, this year, is probably a bonus.
Really surprising how little there actually is of “good Thor.” There’s some, no question, but it’s pretty fleeting.
I mean, he was good as a rookie in 2015, then great in 2016 and 2017 (ERA+ of 155 & 141), and then slightly less good but still quite good in 2018. Can we count any of those years?
NL east is tough. Gotta go big or go home. Sign springer, Tanaka and Hendricks.
nope. that will not work
Springer Bauer Reamulto.
Oh they’ll just casually drop 400+ mill? I get Mets fans are hungry for a winning season but I had no idea you were so delusional
Dan Hunter’s got it. Springer Bauer Realmuto. Also Hand. Unload Nimmo, Rosario toward more pitching. Smith is in LF, McNeil 3B, Davis super sub. If there’s a DH (Pete), Smith at 1B, NcNeil LF, Davis 3B. Don’t need Azuna, Lindor.
I’d like them to give TJ Rivera a minor league deal and see if he can earn his way back to the MLB squad. He seemed like a solid bench player prior to TJS.
Problem is, Rivera is already 32 years old. Likely declining and in his prime he was a poor glove, decent hitter. Great story, but really no need for a player like that on this team.
Mets should expand any Lindor trade to acquire Carrasco & Roberto Perez too. They add a franchise SS, a veteran SP for depth and a starting, gold glove Catcher. Sign Springer for CF. Giménez or Rosario probably are sent to Cleveland to acquire Lindor so the other can be moved for another SP if one can’t be acquired via FA.
Lindor alone is going to cost a ransom. I cant imagine being comfortable with what wed have to trade after adding Carrasco.
Honest question… why are so many people enamored with Lindor? Sure, he is a very good player but far from an elite offensive force. Looking at his stats, I don’t see anything that says he is going change the fate of your franchise.
He plays very well on both sides of the ball and is a major upgrade over Gimenez and Rosario. I personally feel he’s a legit #3 hitter for our lineup and can be competitive for an MVP.
They are gonna want mcneil in any deal
McNeil is a versatile guy who has performed at a 4+WAR level every year so far- and they have 4 more years of control. Feels like way too much to give up for one year of Lindor, given that he could nearly match Lindor’s value in a given year.
Definitely too much. Keep McNeil, play Gimenez at SS. Find some pitching.
@angt222. Well done, sir!!
Yeah, there’s more baseball than hitting. Clean up the defense, base running, and pitching. They’ve got redundant players they can utilize in deals plus pray the DH is implemented so they can utilize a few of their gloveless wonders.
From Met’s perspective, what would you give up for Lynn?
JD Davis. Off the top of my head, that’s about it.
Sign Bauer,Springer,McCann,Hand and Jeffress
Trade Nimmo,Rosario and Matz to Cleveland for Carrasco
Resign J.Wilson & E.Ramirez
Rotation: DeGrom,Bauer,Carrasco,Stroman & Peterson
Bullpen: Hand,Lugo,Diaz,Familia,Wilson,Jeffress,Ramirez etc.
DH hopefully. Cano
1b) Alonso, 2b) McNeil SS) Gimenez. 3b) Davis. C) McCann
OF). Conforto, Springer Smith
The mets did a great job adding talent to the minors the past ten years, but where they failed was to keep it sign MLB talent in the 25 man roster to better allow depth to build from below. For example ideally Rosario would have spent another year at AAA. Once you promote a prospect, you create a hole.
It sounds like the Mets plan to upgrade the team with free agents and few trades. I expect to see Springer and Bauer sign with the Mets along with Hand.
Lineup consists of Nimmo Springer Conforto McNeil Gimenez Cano Alonso Smith and a catcher.
Bench is Rosario, Davis, Guillorme, Nido
Rotation is DeGrom Bauer Thor Stroman Peterson
Pen has a lot of guaranteed deals already with Diaz Familia Betances Brach Castro Lugo Shreve plus adding someone like Hand.
I like Drew Smith, Tropeano, Kilome, Oswalt, Szapucki as depth
Bring back porcello
I like and appreciate Alderson’s honesty in assessing the AA and AAA teams. We need something to look forward to as fans.
Indians get: Rosario, Nimmo, Michel Otanez, Mark Vientos.
Mets get: Lindor, Carlos Carrasco
Twins get: ? Mets get: Byron Buxton.
1. McNeil LF
2. Lindor SS (trade)
3. Smith 1B
4. Alonso DH
5. Conforto RF
6. Realmuto C (FA)
7. Cano 2B
8. Davis 3B
9. Byron Buxton CF (trade)
5. James Paxton (until Syndergard returns)
I would prefer to dump Cano and put Giminez at 2B.
In that case Davis could bat 7th with Giminez 8th.
Paxton? No thanks… unless im totally shitfaced and i missed it the n.l has no dh need to find a sucker for cano..realmuto? A 30 yr old thats developing hip problems,no thanks..resign ramos,cheaper option. ..
Paxton is just a 5th starter depth. Not too hung up on the 5th start myself.
I got so sick is watching Ramos myself. He is basically an automatic double play and really hurt us with that on offense.
Plus, he’s weak/moderate behind the plate.
I double agree with Cano. Get that guy out of there.
Isnt lindor a f.a. after the yr? ..if yes then why make this trade when you can get him next yr without trading anybody
Great point Tom. But Cleveland is thinking the same thing and they are pushing hard to trade him.
The intent would be to trade and then sign an extension immediately.
With Cohen stepping in, we have the cash to secure him and he’s an all around stud and young so why not.
Cleveland say no to your trade, Poison.
looks like Cano just took care of it for us.
SP and more contact in lineup is whatMets need
It’ll be interesting to see what teams can even afford to take on Lindor…I think he’s making $21m this season, while half of the clubs are looking to slash payroll. I think Lindor will only be moved for a modest package because of the $$$ owed on his contract. Great player, but a tough year to look to trade him.