Realistically, what free agents do you see the Mets signing – and when? The Mets have roughly $50 million to spend and Sandy Alderson is already on record saying it makes more sense to be in the free agent market, where you only have to give up money and not prospects. It’s hard to imagine the Mets not wanting clarity on the DH issue before moving forward. On the flip side, their wants can’t trump what the market dictates. It seems like James McCann was ready to sign, and had a team ready to sign him, which forced the Mets’ hand. George Springer makes a ton of sense if the DH is in the NL in 2021. Trevor Bauer fills their biggest need if they are willing to pay a starting pitcher as much or possibly more money than Jacob deGrom. It’s unlikely they can sign both without trading a salary away and they just don’t have a bunch of those. No one’s taking Jeurys Familia, which pretty much leaves Michael Conforto. Could they get enough back to make trading him worthwhile? It seems an avenue worth exploring but it doesn’t seem likely to end with a yes answer.
My opinion is the Mets could look at a CF, a SP and a RP or possibly 2 SP and a RP from free agency. Maybe that’s Springer, Jake Odorizzi and Liam Hendriks. Or possibly it’s Bauer, Taijuan Walker and Justin Wilson. My opinion is that it’s Springer or bust for center field. A lot of people are stumping for Jackie Bradley Jr. but his offense + defense in CF is not likely to exceed what Brandon Nimmo gives you there. So, why pay eight figures for that?
As for trades, that seems only to happen in a big way if they strike out on both Springer and Bauer. That Nolan Arenado contract is obscene but assuming his shoulder checks out it seems like some kind of salary relief could be baked into the trade, whether that was getting Robinson Cano to waive his no-trade clause or getting Colorado to take Familia and Dellin Betances along with sending money. Cano, J.D. Davis and a C-level prospect should be the ballpark. The last thing you want to do is repeat Brodie Van Wagenen’s mistake of trading top prospects for an old guy. But this type of trade, regardless of who the acquisition would be, seems to be a low-single-digits probability.