Mets 2018-2019 Offseason: A second chance to get things right
By Jordan Leopold
Mets trade OF Jay Bruce to the Giants for RHP Mark Melancon.
Jay Bruce to the Bay Area has been rumored for several seasons as the Giants have been in constant search for a power-hitting corner outfielder. After a second stint with the Mets in which he ultimately .223 while hitting 9 HRs driving in 37 runs, the Mets ultimately packaged Bruce in a trade to Seattle which sent Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to flushing. While Melancon may not be as flashy of a pick up as Díaz, he has a proven track record and only allowed 2 HRs in 39 innings last season; something that Mets relief pitchers have struggled to do.
Melancon would fit nicely next to Familia and Gsellman and would serve as the third non-closer with closer experience on the roster. The Mets would have owed Melancon $28 million over 2 seasons, assuming the Giants wouldn’t send cash back to Flushing. This would have strengthened the bullpen and removed the contract of Jay Bruce, all without giving up a prospect or taking on the massive contract of a declining 36-year-old. It should be noted that Bruce has slugged 21 HRs, more than doubling his 2018 total with the Mets in 30 fewer games.
Mets sign FA OF Adam Jones to a 1-year $3 million contract
While the Mets may have made the correct call balking at A.J. Pollock, one slugger they should have taken the chance on was Adam Jones. Jones hit a solid .281 in 580 at-bats with a historically bad Baltimore Orioles team. Jones, 33, only committed 3 errors in 2019 while maintaining a .988 fielding percentage in 2018.
Jones’ right-handed power would fit nicely in the middle of the lineup, perhaps between Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso. Juan Lagares would serve as a late-inning defensive replacement and fill in the outfield when a day off is needed. A Jones/Nimmo/Conforto outfield would have given the Mets a dynamic blend of power and speed and would boast one of the best outfields in baseball.
Jones is a current CAA client which should have intrigued GM Brodie Van Wagenen. While Jones was seeking a 3-year $16 million-per-season deal, he ultimately signed with the Diamondbacks on a 1-year $3 million deal. Jones is currently slashing .271/.320/.469 over 301 PA in 2019.
What other moves should the Mets have made?