The New York Mets will clear a lot of payroll after 2020, setting themselves up for possibly a huge winter prior to the 2021 campaign.
The Steve Cohen money New York Mets fans were hoping to see arrive in Flushing this offseason will have to wait. We’ve seen the team attack free agency the same way it has in the past. Brad Brach, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha are all fine additions. With all respect to their mothers and significant others, they’re not the impact players a championship team adds.
These three do have something in common. All are signed to contracts that guarantee nothing beyond 2020. The Mets haven’t committed to them beyond this upcoming season, opening up more possibilities for next winter. Even the biggest pitching splash of the winter, Dellin Betances, isn’t guaranteed anything after 2020.
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking there’s any guarantee of a big splash in the winter of 2020-2021. Guarantees will only lead to disappointment. Even so, it’s worth noting how much money will come off the books after the 2020 season between the new guys and players who were already with the club.
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Aside from the three newbies, the already reduced Yoenis Cespedes contract expires after 2020. The same goes for Jed Lowrie and his $10 million that the team is hoping to dump early. We wish them luck in that pursuit.
Justin Wilson is a free agent after 2020 and as an aging reliever, there’s plenty of reason to believe the Mets will move on even if he is effective. Arbitration eligible in 2020, Marcus Stroman will have the chance to test the open market as well, opening up yet another rotation spot for the Mets to pursue a big name.
Finally, there’s Wilson Ramos who has an option the team may decide not to pick up for the 2021 season. A lot will depend on how he performs both at and behind the plate in the coming year.
Although there are plenty of players who will get significant raises through the arbitration process, there’s a bundle of cash exiting the payroll department. Like with most free agent classes, there are some superstars who would significantly improve the Mets’ chances of bringing a parade to Flushing.
Between now and next offseason, plenty can change with the roster. We could see a move at the trade deadline either with an addition or subtraction. Someone could emerge as a star in the league. Someone else may fizzle out.
Because of this, it’s far too early to think about who might be the best fit for the Mets. Although, I can’t see how they won’t make room for Mookie Betts if everything lines up.
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This winter is business as usual at Willett’s Point. Next year, we may see the feeling around the team change.