Potential free agent candidates from LCS teams

The playoffs are filled with teams that, for the most part, deserve to be there. Now that we are at the League Championship round, there are players that are amongst the elite in the league. The Dodgers, Brewers, Red Sox, and Astros all have players that are talented, but possess a quality that can only be traced by rings on a finger or a trophy on the mantle: winning. The New York Mets missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and are in need of upgrades at a multitude of positions. There are some players that would bolster their roster from the teams that are still alive in the playoffs, and hopefully get the Mets in the same spot next season.

Boston Red Sox: Craig Kimbrel

The bullpen of the Mets was an absolute disaster this season, and there is no sign that it could potentially get better. After trading away Jeurys Familia, the Mets did not have a solid lock down man. Kimbrel, the longtime division foe of the Mets, would be a fantastic option to bring to the team. With 42 saves this past season, Kimbrel will be one of the most sought after options in the reliever market this offseason. His price tag will be high, but if the Mets want to lock down more wins, they will have to pay for them.

Houston Astros: Charlie Morton

After Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler, the Mets rotation falls off a little bit. Neither Jason Vargas nor Steven Matz could be trusted at this time as the four or five starter for this team. At age 35, Morton had his best professional season, pitching to a 15-3 record with a 3.13 ERA. His age will likely prohibit him from getting a large money, long term contract. This is an ideal situation for the Mets, and Morton seems like the type of player that they would gamble on.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Yasmani Grandal

The sexy, more adventurous pick here would be Manny Machado. Machado is a player that you shuffle players on your roster around for, but the two sides don’t make sense for each other. The player that would make the most sense on the Dodgers right now is Grandal. Despite his shakiness against the Brewers in game one, Grandal is a great general behind the plate. Not only would he elevate the pitchers that the Mets have on their current roster, but he could provide some pop at the plate with his 24 home runs and 68 RBIs.

Milwaukee Brewers: No one

Due to the way they are constructed, the Brewers are about to shed a couple of players that are in their upper 30’s, and all in spots that the Mets don’t need players in their upper 30’s at.

With the way that the top three of the Mets rotation performed, it is not too far-fetched that the team could compete within the division next season. It has been a while since the Mets signed a free agent that impacted the team in a positive manner, so let’s hope that the new general manager breaks the trend and starts their tenure on a high note by landing a winner.

22 comments for “Potential free agent candidates from LCS teams

  1. October 13, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Upgrade the payroll or you’re just wishful thinking. Arbitration is going to suck up most of the remaining payroll so it’s not realistic to try to add another SP via FA. Too many higher priorities to fill like C, CF and BP

  2. TexasGusCC
    October 13, 2018 at 10:15 am

    As I learned today the luxury tax threshold will go up to $206MM this winter, the Mets have plenty of room to operate. They have more room than the Yankees, who seem to be getting all the buzz.

  3. October 13, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Gus it looks like another 150 million dollar budget but don’t be fooled the team has the ability to spend more! Now for reality. Don’t be shocked when they come in at 150 million dollars for 2019. As you pointed out to me Wrights insurance money hasn’t been put back into the payroll. Then again the Bamtech 50 million hasn’t been touch either.

    • TexasGusCC
      October 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

      I know Pete, I was being sarcastic. I wonder if they will even get to $150MM. I don’t want to say that I hate the Coupons, but as a fan, I can’t wait for the A-Rod and J-Lo team that will own the Mets in the future.

      • October 13, 2018 at 10:38 am

        I’d prefer Bloomberg. A real billionaire.

  4. October 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    BTW Gus after last years salary dumps and Wrights 75-80% insurance refund the Mets actual payroll was about 125+ million

  5. October 13, 2018 at 11:54 am

    If and when deGrom wins the Cy Young he’ll probably raise his salary closer to 15. i think Thor will get closer to 8 while Wheeler sounds about right. Don’t forget the 10 or so minimum salaried players. So that’s about 6 million less. So that brings you to about 25 million to sign a closer and a catcher (Grandal). Flores and TDA should be non tendered. I’m just trying to realistic with the Mets budget for 2019

  6. Chris F
    October 13, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I think we are at about 92M$ in fixed commitments. You can add about 32M$ in arb salaries unless you see any of these as trades. This comes from MLBTR. This puts the Mets in the vicinity of 120-125M$ in commitments for next year before any FAs are in consideration. I dont believe that you can expect an opening day payroll in excess of 155M$. My math says that there is about 30M$ to play with. So given the team, its needs, the competition, and the competition for FA signings, will this team be “going for it” or in the Metsian “rebuilding for it” with another half-cooked off season of acquiring mid level talent and a strategy of “ya gotta believe”?

    Certain Arbs
    Jacob deGrom – $12.9MM
    Noah Syndergaard – $5.9MM
    Zack Wheeler – $5.3MM
    Michael Conforto – $4.4MM
    Steven Matz – $3.0MM
    Kevin Plawecki – $1.3MM
    Total = ~32M$

    Possible non tenders
    Wilmer Flores – $4.7MM
    Travis d’Arnaud – $3.7MM
    Rafael Montero – $900K
    Total = ~10M$

    • Name
      October 13, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      I wouldn’t think of Plawecki as a certain if his camp is asking for that projected arbitration amount.

      He had just a 612 OPS post break. No one really considers him a great defender either. Much of his season production was concentrated in 1 month prior to the All star break where he managed 8 XBH in 48 PA. He had just 14 XBH in his other 229 PA.Take out his 3 game Coors set and his season OPS falls from 685 to 667.

      • Chris F
        October 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm

        these are MLBTR projections. But honestly, look at it this way…Plawecki is the only starting catcher this team has. I think hes a back up – say 40 games a year – but who else can they turn to? If you pose this as what do you pay a starting MLB catcher?

  7. October 13, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    They should tender Montero….pass on Flo and Travis.

  8. TJ
    October 13, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Two points. First, I find it inaccurate to include Wright’s salary in the guaranteed base for 2019. I understand that Jeffy said he doesn’t consider the insurance proceeds as a reduction of payroll, but the circumstances were different when he made that comment. There is now certainty, Wright will not be back, which means there is certainty on the cost to the team – 25% of the $27 million due him in 2019-20. So, Wright will cost them $3.75 million in 2019, not $15 million.

    Second, there is really no value in projecting the 2019 payroll budget. I am as skeptical as most Met fans, and I don’t believe a word the Wilpons utter. However, remaining objective, the circumstances now are different than they have been in recent seasons, and these conditions may, maybe, lead the Wilpons to see a larger payroll as their best bet. It may be hard to remember, but there was a time that the Mets had a top tier payroll, and a time when the Mets signed a prime age free agent. A much healthier financial poisition for ownership, a new GM/Head of baseball, Fred’s advancing age, the Braves with a stacked system, the Phillies ready to spend big time, the Yankees poised with young stars…I am not suggesting they will, but a strong case could be made that it makes more business sense to spend $170 million in 2019 than it does to spend $140-$150 million. Just some thoughts as I watch other franchises chase a championship.

    • Chris F
      October 13, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      1. That is inaccurate TJ. There have been multiple reports that ownership considers the money returned from insurance as spent and so in the ledger. It has not been thus far, and so no reason at any level to imagine that will change. The money is used to pay the insurance on Cespedes and all the DL time. In any case, if you dont count the Wright and Ces money, then the total will just go down, not up.

      2. I cant see any reason to envision 170M$ opening day payroll. There is just no evidence that is going to happen, whether or not it makes more sense than not (I agree it does).

      This team finished with 77 wins. This team didnt “just” miss the post season. They were picking dandelions when real teams were playing baseball.

      At this juncture I think it makes no sense to think the Mets have more than 30M$ available for next year. Keep in mind, the projected values do not include any “lock up” money should that arise.

      • October 13, 2018 at 10:49 pm

        Chris people seem to forget that the team will fill out its 25 man roster with about 10 minimum league salaries. Subtract another 6 million from that.

    • October 13, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Sorry TJ but if that was true then this years payroll would of been 165-170 as the Wilpons received last years insurance money. And what about the 50 million each MLB team received in March from the sale of Bamtech? I guess the Coupons are just paying down their debts.

      • TJ
        October 14, 2018 at 9:39 am

        Guys, the debate is wonderful, but I’m not sure my points are clear. So, I’ll try to expand as briefly as possible.

        1. The Wright situation – I have not seen anyone disputing that the Mets will get back around 75% of Wright’s contract due to injury time missed. When Jeff and gang said those refunds would not be invested in payroll, there was significant uncertainty as to if, when, and at what playing level Wright would return. Regardless of the odds, there was a possibility that he could retuen and the team was on the hook for his $20 million. The situation is different now, everyone knows he won’t play again, and there is certainty to his net cost, and that is way below the $27 million they still owe him. Maybe the negotiate a deal with the insurance company to free up the 40 man roster spot. The bottom line is the cost certainty.

        2. The financial situation for the ownership is much improved. They have recovered from the Madoff threat, they are multi-billionnaires, and baseball is flush with cash. The survival requirement to slash cost has passed. While I can’t stand the ownership and don’t trust a word they say, but there was a time when the Mets had consistent top payrolls in the early 2000s. The possibility may be low, but the new admin may tell the Wilpons that the best way to go forward is one of two options – get some big time additions to comete with the Braves’ stacked organization and Phillies’ big game hunting, leading to a larger 2019 payroll, or break it down to a few key pieces, stock up on prospects, look to 2020-21, leading to much lower payroll. The Wilpons may be sold that the Alderson middle-of-the-road $140-$150 million payroll won’t work.

        Bottom lines – the Wright situation is a different financial animal now, and we don’t know with much certainty how the will spend this offseason given the current factors in play.

        • Chris F
          October 14, 2018 at 9:56 am

          We will agree to disagree, and wait to see what happens. I cannot envision your scenario at all. I predict the opening day payroll to be 154 +/- 3 M$. I hope Im wrong.

          But so far the off season has not gone well. Top GM candidates are happy to stay in Toronto, in a division where there is no hope to win behind the Yankees and Red Sox and Minnesota, yes, Minnesota. It is clear that Montgomery C. Wilpon still has an iron clad grip on the team, and the past.

        • Chris F
          October 14, 2018 at 10:13 am

          With regard to Wright and his contract. Anyone could see Wright was not coming back. Furthermore, they controlled all the levers on that decision. There was absolute cost certainty in Wright. Even fans that have no inside information could see Wright had no return course of events. I imagine they knew a lot more. Wright’s medical situation is extraordinary. In a game where a pulled hammy sits 2 months, surely spinal stenosis, vertebrae fusion, and throwing shoulder issues made it clear he was not returning. Also, almost certainly that money was rolled into the insurance on Ces’ contract. So, I just dont buy cost certainty on Wright.

          Here is an interesting read, as a summary of all the ways ownership interferes with baseball, including comments by Alderson about payroll.

          (must fix address)
          https :// goodfundies.com/a-complete-history-of-media-reports-chronicling-the-wilpons-meddling-in-new-york-mets-baseball-6c0055acaa2

        • October 14, 2018 at 10:19 am

          Forgive me TJ but that’s one helluva assumption to make about the Wilpons finances. We’re just guesstimating but I’m trying to make the point about Bamtech and the 50 million dollars every MLB team received in March. Putting that aside I understand your argument about the clarity of Wrights contract but that should not of mattered this past off season when the Wilpons received x amount of dollars from their insurance. What did they do with that money TJ? Wright hasn’t played in what 2 years? Why should the philosophy change now? Because of clarity on the 40 man roster? The financial situation may be different but the ownership hasn’t change their fundamental ways of running the Mets. The final payroll figures for 2018 are going to be fairly close to 2017. What makes you think 2019 will be higher? Attendance going up? No. New revenue to cover a higher payroll? We’ll see. it’s the only way they can sign BP closer and a CF

  9. TJ
    October 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Chris and Pete,
    To be clear, I am not defending the Wilpons, nor am I placing any trust in them whatsoever. As that link clearly details, they are very poor owners and not respected in the industry. They won’t change in any material way. The link also noted that there are only 30 GM jobs out there, and every one comes with warts. Like Joe Torre demonstrated with Steinbrenner, it is essential that the new GM has a personality that can deal with this type of ownership. I certainly couldn’t myself. Cherington and Levine evidently also declined interviews with other teams, and nobody really knows if they are “top” candidates.

    Also to be clear, I am not saying that the Mets will spend more money, I am just saying that, despite the recent payroll track record, that given the current circumstances, that is yet to be determined. None of us know for certain their finances, but my take is that these guys are filth rich, billionnaires. It is not uncommon that rich folks run into cash flow problems from time to time. But, for all the calls that they would have to sell the team (all incorrect), the reality is that they got out of the Madoff mess for $60 million, or the equivalent of the Jason Bay contract, they control the team , the stadium, and the TV network, in NYC, and MLB is bringing in tons and tons of money. Banks lined up when they last consolidated debt, and would do so again. Finances will not limit a payroll expansion.

    So, bottom line, we root for and follow a team clearly lead by blind squirrels, and they just may be due to find an acorn, in spite of themselves.

  10. Metsense
    October 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    On the topic of the article, I would only sign Grandal.
    We can argue Ad nauseam about the payroll but the bottom line is if they’re going but to be competitive and win the division then they need to get two very good relief pitchers and Grandal. Anything less would be a smokescreen used by ownership.

  11. MattyMets
    October 14, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    No idea what kind of demand there will be for Ryu but he’s an interesting FA. Injury history for sure, but unhittable at times and looked really good second half.

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