Now that it appears the Mets are done making major acquisitions, it is time to evaluate what they have done this winter. While everybody seems to be all in on Sandy Alderson’s moves, I have mixed feelings. So I will break this up into what the Mets did and what they could have (or should have) done.
We start with the biggest move — getting Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Indians. This was an incredible move. Not only does it bring one of the best players in the game to Flushing, it also shores up the rotation. And the Mets did not give up much at all — Amed Rosario, who did not live up to his hype and I think never will, and Andres Gimenez, who still has a chance to be a star. I don’t care much about the two minor leagues they gave, whatever their names are (no offense, guys). Not a bad trade, indeed.
Now to the biggest financial commitment — four years and $40 million to James McCann. It was seen as an overpay by many for a guy who wasn’t even the main catcher on his team last season. This seems like it will be a good deal — McCann is not a superstar, but he will be a competent backstop, something the Mets have sorely lacked for a very long time.
People seem excited about Trevor May. I know nothing about him except that his stats look pretty good, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he can help shore up the Mets bullpen.
Taijuan Walker seems like a good signing. He’s only 28 and he bounced back well last year after missing the previous two seasons (except for four games) with Tommy John surgery. So there appears to be some upside here.
Joey Lucchesi? Aaron Loup? Whatever.
I have similar sentiments about Alberto Almora, Kevin Pillar and his rhyming brother Jonathan Villar — the alleged “depth” over which everyone is swooning. Almora and Pillar basically cancel each other out; why sign two backup center fielders? I thought it signaled a Brandon Nimmo trade, but so far, I am wrong. Villar seems like a solid backup infielder who can steal a base or two.
So overall, I am underwhelmed by the Mets winter. I know I am in the minority on this, but that’s how I feel — especially considering what they could have done.
Let’s start with George Springer, who was a no-brainer for the Mets — a power-hitting center fielder. He was exactly what the Mets needed, and they let him slip away for a measly $25 million over five years. Wasn’t Steven Cohen’s billions supposed to prevent things like this from happening?
They made a play for Trevor Bauer, but he too slipped away. This time, the Mets had a slightly better offer than the Dodgers, but Bauer chose to go home to sunny Los Angeles (can’t say I blame him!). Maybe that was his plan all along, but if the Mets really wanted him, why not offer him even more money and see what happens? Again, it does not seem like the Mets are using Cohen’s fortunes to their advantage.
I would have been all in on Nolan Arenado. Whom would you rather have — Arenado for $200 million over the next six years or Lindor for $300 million over eight, or whatever it’s going to be? Of course, they could have had both. Not to beat a dead horse, but Cohen’s billions?
The Mets could have salvaged their off-season in my eyes by trading for Kris Bryant or Matt Chapman to upgrade at third base. Those deals could still happen as the season progresses, especially if J.D. Davis is more of the 2020 version of himself than 2019 and he remains a butcher in the field. I guess we’ll have to watch and wait.
And we will have to watch and wait to see if Alderson picked the right players this winter. Forgive me if I look back at his history and express doubt.