Mets to spend close to $90 million in free agency this offseason?

By Danny Abriano

With a poor free agent class offense-wise and a large pool of talent from which to trade in order to fill their needs, could the Mets actually spend close to $90 million in free agency this offseason?

Citing industry insiders, Kristie Ackert of the Daily News says yes:

"The Mets continue to insist that they will not be similarly hampered by payroll restrictions this winter that they have been in recent seasons. Last year, they committed over $87 million to free agents and industry insiders are expecting them to do the same this offseason."

The notion that the Mets could commit a combined $87 million or so to free agents this offseason seems odd for a few reasons.

For one, unlike last offseason, the Mets do not have roughly $30 million dollars coming off the books. Rather, they have a payroll that will rise about $10 million or so before any external acquisitions are made.

Second, with the Mets no longer interested in Michael Cuddyer, not in the market for the other relatively big-name free agent outfielders, and with no clear free agent upgrade available at shortstop, it’s tough to see where the Mets would allocate those resources if they indeed have them to spend.

Although the idea itself seems strange, if you buy into the idea that the Mets are planning to spend close to $90 million via free agency this offseason, there’s really only one name that sticks out: Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas.

Tomas is reportedly seeking a bit more than fellow Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo received, which will likely result in him receiving in excess of $75 million over six or seven seasons.

The Mets, like most teams, attended Tomas’ showcase, but they have not worked him out privately. To put it simply, there’s nothing to suggest that the Mets have serious interest in signing him.

To believe that the Mets are planning to spend relatively big in free agency this offseason is to believe that they may have changed their line of thinking regarding Tomas. But again, the whole thing seems rather peculiar.

Perhaps the Mets will surprise everyone and snag a number of high profile free agents, but the smart – and likely – course of action is to improve via trade.