The latest crop of free agents the New York Mets brought in over the winter are all off to a slow start mostly due to all of the time they’ve missed because of injury.
The New York Mets free agent class brought in for the 2018 season is about as bad as it could get. Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Jose Reyes, Anthony Swarzak, and Jason Vargas all signed multi-year deals with the Mets hoping to turn them around from the bleak 2017 campaign. As we suffered through last year, those five all contributed to the woes of 2018.
With a new regime in place headed by Brodie Van Wagenen, many of us hoped for a better crop of free agents in the winter of 2018-2019. Thus far, it hasn’t worked out so well.
At least in terms of AAV, Jed Lowrie was the biggest free agent acquisition along with Jeurys Familia. Lowrie began the season in the IL and has yet to play a game for the Mets. His presence is already somewhat questionable when considering how unnecessary it may actually be. The Mets could have used his $10 million to upgrade in center field or even get a better player at another position. We can’t really pass too much judgment on Lowrie quite yet because he hasn’t even shown up to court.
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Since I’ve already mentioned him, let’s look at Familia. Currently on the IL with Lowrie, Familia was the worst version of himself on the mound when healthy this year. Some believed he would be better without the pressures of closing. This wasn’t the case. After 14.1 innings, he owns a 6.28 ERA and has walked 13 batters already. Last year, he walked only 14 in his 40.2 innings with the Mets.
Also on the IL at the moment, we find yet another free agent signing from this past winter, Justin Wilson. Wilson did, however, pitch well before getting sidelined. We can look at him in a more positive light because of it—at least for the time being.
The other big free agent signing the Mets made this winter was bringing in catcher Wilson Ramos. While not terrible, he has fallen short of expectations. They were low, though, when considering the other catchers the Mets have employed in recent years. Ramos has been nothing more than average and we may sadly witness a sharp decline in his offensive production this year.
The Mets didn’t stop there with offseason signings. Luis Avilan looked like a potential steal, but all he has stolen are opportunities to win games. He, like nearly everyone else they signed this winter, also joined the list of fallen players with his own trip to the IL on Saturday.
Adeiny Hechavarria is finally on the big league roster so we’ll have to play the waiting game on whether or not he was worth the $3 million he’ll earn. Likely, he doesn’t do anything more than provide them with another infield option.
Down in the minors, you can find other Mets free agents who inked minor league deals. It’s not really fair to say much negative about them because of the low-cost, potentially high-reward they can provide them with later this year. For now, they’re not making an impact on the big league squad.
The Mets did something else this offseason which they typically don’t do in the winter: make trades. Those players they brought in via uniform swap have actually been pretty good. Edwin Diaz has been what we expected and J.D. Davis has been better. Veteran Robinson Cano has yet to really breakout yet I remain hopeful.
The only trade piece the Mets added to the roster I am unimpressed with is Keon Broxton. The glove-first outfielder has given them nothing at the plate. Soon, his roster spot may be in jeopardy.
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It’s impossible to win with all of your free agent signings. So far, none of the additions this team made over the winter via contract signing have paid off big. None, though, look as bad as the previous winter’s mistakes. Nobody is constantly losing them games or dressing up as a black hole in the lineup or on the mound.