So let’s see — the Mets claim they have more money to spend this winter and there are several holes on the roster. And there are also several top-notch free agents still available in this bafflingly slow off-season. So should the Mets pounce on one or more free agents? And if so, whom?
There are calls from some corners for the Mets to bolster their starting pitching and sign the likes of Yu Darvish, Jake Arietta or to a lesser extent, Lance Lynn. While any of them would look good in the blue and orange, it does not seem wise to sign any of them. After all, the Mets have a lot of starters in various states of health. With so many holes and a limited amount of money, spending on the rotation is a luxury the Mets do not have.
The same goes for relievers. The Mets already have four high-priced bullpen arms. Of course, salary does not equal performance, but the Mets have decided to go with these guys. Spending more money on the pen while the lineup is lacking would not be a good allocation of funds.
Now to the trouble spot — the infield. Except for Amed Rosario at short and Asdrubal Cabrera at second or third, it is pretty much a mess. The Mets seem content with Adrian Gonzalez starting at first if Dominic Smith performs poorly in Spring Training. So that appears set. They are in dire need of a second or third baseman. Mike Moustakas is the popular choice at third, and with his price falling, the Mets should grab him if they can get him with a Jay Bruce-type three-year, $39 million deal. Todd Frazier is another option. One year at $6 million-$10 million should get it done. Either of those players would allow Cabrera to slide over to second, his preferred position. Forget Neil Walker. While he is a perfectly fine second baseman, the Mets need new blood to give the lineup a boost. Walker is been there, done that. Eduardo Nunez? Yeah, he’ll put the Mets over the top.
But the Mets true trouble spot is behind the plate. Travis d’Arnaud has been given many opportunities to prove he is the long-term answer at catcher, and even he would admit he has not seized them. It is time to let it go and sign a real front-line catcher. Jonathan Lucroy, the object of the Mets desires not too long ago, is coming off a crummy season and might take a one-year deal to rebuild his value. Would $6 million-$8 million plus incentives lure him to Flushing? It is worth a shot.
This Mets team is similar to the ones that reached the postseason in 2015 and 2016. There is no reason they can’t compete this season. They just need a couple of more bats, and they are out there for the taking.