NEW YORK — At his introductory press conference in November, incoming Mets owner Steve Cohen offered a dose of reality. Cohen, a multibillionaire many times over, pledged liberal funds to the Mets’ 2021 roster. But he warned that his primary goal was to create a sustainable winner, which meant administering
NEW YORK — At his introductory press conference in November, incoming Mets owner Steve Cohen offered a dose of reality. Cohen, a multibillionaire many times over, pledged liberal funds to the Mets’ 2021 roster. But he warned that his primary goal was to create a sustainable winner, which meant administering restraint when needed. The Mets, Cohen said, would not “spend like drunken sailors.”
The first real bit of proof arrived late Tuesday evening, when the Blue Jays, not the Mets, reportedly landed free-agent outfielder
For team officials, this was always about opportunity cost. While Springer would have been a snug fit in New York’s outfield, pushing
Below are the ways the Mets can turn their loss of Springer into a success. Remember, with the financial flexibility they just gained, the Mets are not limited to just one of the following:
Improve the outfield
Springer was not the only outfielder on the open market. Chief among the alternatives is
“JBJ is kind of the PBJ of the Major Leagues — he’s sweet, smooth and spreads it all over, covers it well,” said his agent, Scott Boras, utilizing one of his favored food metaphors. “When you have a world champion and someone who’s done what Jackie’s done, being as young as he is [30 years old] and being as efficient as he is and as great of a teammate as he is, he’s received a lot of attention.”
Bradley may not be the same type of offensive threat as Springer, but he’s no slouch, posting an .814 OPS over 55 games for the Red Sox last season. One issue is that the Mets’ offense skews left-handed even without Bradley, though that shouldn’t be enough to deter them from signing him.
If not Bradley, the Mets could pursue right-handed options like
Shore up the bullpen
Even after trading for Joey Lucchesi earlier this week, the Mets could continue adding to their pitching mix. The bullpen appears to be a particular focus, with team officials recently engaging left-hander
Simply put, the Mets need a lefty reliever and Hand is one of baseball’s best, holding left-handed batters to a .552 OPS over his 10-year career. Other options still available include
Negotiate an extension (or two)
Similar to their situation in the bullpen, the Mets would have struggled to sign Springer while also inking
While missing out on Springer doesn’t guarantee the Mets can come to terms with both of those players, it at least gives them a chance. Lindor, who could command a contract over $300 million, appears to be the Mets’ top priority; signing him to a long-term deal would help justify the price New York paid to acquire him from the Indians. Conforto might be a tougher sign, given Boras’ long history of taking clients to free agency, but the outfielder has expressed a desire to negotiate in the past.
Without Springer, the Mets at least have the financial freedom to engage both players in serious conversations, with their offseason grade at least partially depending upon the result. How much team officials accomplish from the list above — acquire outfield help, find a reliever, negotiate extensions — will dictate whether letting Springer go to Toronto was the right move or not.