Mets still have a lot of work to do after the Winter Meetings


The New York Mets left the 2018 Winter Meetings without doing much to improve their roster. There’s still plenty of offseason left to make some moves.

While the New York Mets only reached a deal with one player during the winter meetings, reliever Jeurys Familia, they talked with representatives for multiple free agents and continued negotiating with the Miami Marlins about a trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto. The team is still in need of a catcher, at least one outfielder, and a left-handed reliever.

Assuming the Marlins’ asking price for Realmuto doesn’t drop any time soon, the Mets may be better off looking at options on the free agency front. The team has been connected to Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos and Martin Maldonado.

While Ramos brings a ton of offense, he’s had trouble staying healthy in recent years. Maldonado is an excellent defensive catcher who could help Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz better control the running game, but he doesn’t offer much offensively.

Grandal, however, brings enough offense and defense to be reliable enough as an everyday catcher. As much as Realmuto is praised for his hitting, Grandal isn’t too different, hitting for a lower average but for more power. By signing Grandal, the Mets would get a good-hitting catcher without having to give up key young players like Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario or Michael Conforto.

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With Yoenis Cespedes expected to be out until after the all-star break, the Mets are in need of another outfielder. Free agent A.J. Pollack could be a great player to sign. Despite the fact that he’s injury-prone, when he is healthy, Pollack is one of the best all-around outfielders in the MLB. However, even if the Mets do sign Pollack, they’d probably need to get at least one more outfielder to add depth.

Not counting Cespedes, the Mets only have three outfielders: Nimmo, Conforto, and Juan Lagares. Some decent depth options could include Cameron Maybin, Hunter Pence, and former Met Curtis Granderson. All three are respected veterans, and the latter two are viewed as great team leaders, something the Mets are in need of with David Wright gone.

If the Mets really want to open some eyes and energize the fanbase, they’ll try to sign free agent outfielder Bryce Harper.  While the team has played off going after him or Manny Machado, some have speculated that the Mets could be one of the mystery teams trying to woo Harper.

Some fans have gone so far as to speculate that the mystery owner who visited Harper in Las Vegas during the winter meetings was Jeff Wilpon since he came to the winter meetings with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. If they are somehow able to get Harper, then maybe they could afford trading Nimmo to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto if they want him that badly. However, it’s hard to imagine this team would be willing to throw money at any player.

After signing Familia, the bullpen looks just about set. One thing they could do to complete their bullpen overhaul is to sign another lefty specialist. As it stands now, Daniel Zamora would be the only lefty in the bullpen.

The team hasn’t ruled out signing Andrew Miller, but it’s hard to imagine the Mets would get him unless his price drops enough, though that is a possibility given his age and recent injury history. If they’re unable to get Miller, other cheaper options may be Jerry Blevins, Justin Wilson, Tony Sipp or (dare I say) Oliver Perez.

Brodie Van Wagenen still has a lot of work to do before the 2019 roster is complete. Whether through trades or free agency, there are a lot of good pieces available to fill out the holes.

Next. Mets relief pitcher options still in free agency

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Hopefully, most of Van Wagenen’s future moves this offseason end up working out for the team.