Mets: What is the team’s direction following the trade deadline?
The Offseason and 2020
Whatever happens this season, I recommend some big moves for the Mets this coming off-season.
Firstly, since we held onto Wheeler at the deadline, the Mets should tenure him a qualifying offer of about $17.9 million. The purpose of this provides one of two outcomes.
Wheeler would either accept this offer and remain with the Mets for the 2020 season on a one year deal, or he turns it down and New York gets an extra first-round compensation pick in the upcoming draft.
If he elects not to resign, to replace him, the Mets could plug Seth Lugo into the rotation from in house. As for free agents who could replace Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole and Cole Hamels are among the top names, although they would each be costly.
As for cheaper options, Michael Pineda, Tanner Roark, and Gio Gonzalez are other available names.
I would not do the same for Frazier, as the amount given in the qualifying offer is more than he would likely see on the free agency market, meaning he would likely accept the offer and we would be stuck with him for another season.
Beyond those two, since the Mets gave up so much for Stroman and 2020 will be the final year of his rookie contract, New York should sign him to an extension so he remains with the team going forward. Given his age and performance history, I imagine something in the vein of 5 years $100 million.
In addition, while he is signed through the 2021 season, the Mets should also consider extending Noah Syndergaard‘s contract as well, just as they did with Jacob deGrom prior to the 2019 season.
This one may not be as pressing an issue since he is under team control for the next two seasons, but extending him now could simply help the team avoid a headache down the line, and Noah has said he would like to “stay a Met for the remainder of my career“.
On the topic of pitching, one of the chief issues for the Mets in 2019 has been their bullpen, and while it has shaped up in recent weeks, there is still plenty of room for improvement going into 2020, and there are many free agents who could provide assistance.
A few of the bigger names set to be free agents following this season are Will Smith, Greg Holland, and Brandon Kintzler. As we have seen this season, having a consistent southpaw is a vital part of a bullpen, so I would push hard to acquire a player like Smith.