The offseason isn’t over yet for Major League Baseball. However, the New York Mets roster looks set for Spring Training at least when it comes to signing free agents.
We’ve heard excuses straight from the New York Mets front office as to why they won’t go after certain players. Bryce Harper is off the table because there’s second baseman Jeff McNeil to move into the outfield and try his hand out there.
It makes sense, right? Skip over a generational free agent with the hope a guy you didn’t even consider a prospect last year can learn the outfield.
Realistically, and without selling you some B.S., the reality is the Mets will have a tough time attracting free agents for the remainder of this offseason. The pool is still quite deep and continuing to shuffle through the options is a swell idea. They could still nab another bat or arm.
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Along with all of the major league additions with guaranteed 25-man roster spots, the Mets have guys like Luis Avilan, Gregor Blanco, Rajai Davis, and Hector Santiago hoping to win a job in Spring Training. They, along with returning players from last year, are fighting for more positions than they have available. Likely, we see the first season of the Syracuse squad filled out with plenty of guys who have major league experience. This is something the organization lacked in 2018 so I’m glad to see they addressed this need.
The Mets could add more depth before the season begins, however, I suspect more would be closer to Triple-A quality than major league.
Before he signed with the Minnesota Twins, the Mets were rumored to have interest in pitcher Martin Perez. Perez wisely went to a team with a clearer path to a rotation spot. Only Jason Vargas’ job hangs in the balance and I do believe this team will give him an opportunity to keep his position.
When Avilan and Santiago signed with the Mets, I think they believed there was a realistic shot at making the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. They still might. Other lefties on the open market will see this and pass. They won’t bring both of them back to New York when the year begins.
The same was true for Blanco and Davis. The addition of Jed Lowrie, which now pushes McNeil into what may end up as a regular spot in the outfield, makes this much tougher to envision. Players want to suit up for a contender. They also want to get paid major league dollars.
Injuries will come and opportunities will open up for others to see MLB action in 2019. Free agents know this. They also know there are teams out there with less competition for those jobs.
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The offseason isn’t over yet. For the Mets, it mine as well be.