The news Tuesday night that George springer signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for six years and $ 150 million was scary for many Mets fans, and that’s understandable.
But when you dispel the disappointment and analyze the Mets’ situation with regards to the 2021 season and beyond, you understand why. Sandy alderson and Steve cohen held out and refused to outbid the Jays for Springer.
Unpacking the situation at 36 hours can also help change the feeling of “Man, the Mets’ roster would have been ridiculous with Springer, why didn’t they just pay him?” “It’s easy to see why the Mets didn’t go out of their way for Springer.”
That’s not to say Cohen can’t afford to outbid any team for any player. He can.
And that’s not to say fans should be on the side of any team that wants to treat the $ 210 million luxury tax as a hard salary cap. They should not.
But here’s the situation …
Most teams, including the Mets, don’t want to exceed the luxury tax – and they are particularly averse to going above it for several consecutive years because of the penalties. Cohen said he was ready to cross the threshold, but clarified that it might not be this offseason.
If the Mets intend to stay below the threshold for 2021 – and if they want to keep two of their most important players (much more on that below) – here are four things they can do to complete their off-season in a perfect way:
Find a new central defender
The Mets have nearly $ 30 million to work with with the luxury tax, and the addition of Springer would have eaten up most of that. Now they can distribute this money to free agents / commercial targets and their own players.
While the central field might not be the first item to be taken off the list, it’s arguably the biggest need that remains when it comes to the Mets’ success or failure in 2021. And they should work under the assumption that the NL will have DH again this season, allowing them to use Pete Alonso or Dominic smith The.
This has been discussed time and time again but bears repeating: Brandon nimmo cannot be the defender of the starting center. He, through no fault of his own, is just not capable in the center of defense.
Nimmo, who is an elite offensive player, is expected to be in left field, with the Mets signing or trading for a player who is a more defenseman to manage the center.
Free agent Jackie Bradley, Jr. – a truly elite defensive center fielder – is an option. The Mets could also choose to sign Bradley and add a player such as Enrique Hernandez or Albert Almora (for whom they have expressed interest) to be the small end of a central field squad.
In Hernandez’s case, he would also be able to glide all over the outfield and into the infield as needed.
It doesn’t matter what the Mets do – and whether through free will or trade (Kevin kiermaier?) – the central field must be addressed.
Add another premium pain reliever
The Mets readings enclosure is in very good condition, with a back-end which should include Edwin diaz, Trevor May, and Seth Lugo.
Lugo’s role for 2021 (starter or reliever) should not be in doubt. And while manager Luis Rojas did not provide clarity on Lugo when he spoke earlier this offseason, Alderson has repeatedly hinted that Lugo’s role would likely be in relief.
Along with Diaz, May and Lugo, the Mets can use one more arm late in the inning and have been hooked up to an elite left free agent. Brad Hand.
If the Mets do not sign the hand, other options include Keone Kela and Alex Colome.
Extend Michael Conforto
Lock up Michael comfort the long term is something that we tackled throughout last season and again in September right after the season ended.
SNY’s Andy Martino says Mets opted for the possibility of a Conforto extension over signing George springer, Martino reporting that the intention from the first day of Steve cohen scheme was to extend Conforto.
As noted at the start of this article, it’s understandable that some fans are upset that the Mets aren’t signing Springer.
But if the choice of Mets was Springer or Conforto, opting for Conforto is obvious.
Again, just because the Mets can afford to block their payroll with mega-seals doesn’t mean they should. Teams that strive for lasting success don’t work that way, like it or not.
Conforto, which is represented by Scott Boras, it is well known that he is ready to sign long term before joining free agency after this season.
Extending Conforto will be easier said than done, but it’s not uncommon for Boras customers to sign extensions early. This has happened several times, including with big names such as Stephen strasburg.
While the Mets agree with Conforto, they should also be on the ear of Francisco Lindor (see below) and Noah syndergaard on possible extensions.
Things are much trickier with Syndergaard since he’s still coming back from Tommy John’s surgery, but with Marcus Stroman and Steven matz ready for free agency after the season – and without any of the Mets’ top prospects coming close to the majors – they should work hard to lock Syndergaard away when the time comes.
Extend Francisco Lindor
The cost that the Mets paid in talent for Lindor was for one year of him, which Alderson was very detailed about at the press conference announcing the trade.
If the Mets had requested an extension to sign Lindor – something that is no longer done rarely – they would have had to part ways with a lot more to catch him.
Instead, the Mets took Lindor for a year with the hope that they could extend it for the long haul.
And while Alderson has been ironic about the Mets’ chances of expanding Lindor while discussing the trade, it will come as a surprise if New York doesn’t lock the superstar into a megadeal that could be worth around $ 300 million.
If they want to do it, however, the clock is ticking.
During his introductory press conference, Lindor made it clear that he was ready to sign long-term before joining a free agency, but that he does not plan to trade during the season.
This means the Mets have just over two months to strike a deal with Lindor. TIC Tac.