Mets: Three beneficial free agent signings Brodie Van Wagenen missed out on

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 24: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on April 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 24: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park on April 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets have had a good offseason, but there are still a few free agent opportunities the team did miss out on.

This baseball offseason has seen many record-breaking contracts being given out to top tier talent in the MLB free agent market. Unfortunately, us New York Mets fans knew coming in that it wasn’t going to be our team that would be doling out the large paychecks to the elite star players here in the winter free agent open market.

Value bargains have been and will continue to be the name of the game for our organization as we try to improve on an 86 win team heading into the summer of 2020.

But even at a lower price, there are some names that have already come off the board at a reasonable discount that we could have pursued to help us reach a wild card playoff spot going into next season.

Heading into the 2020 season, relief pitching and starting pitching depth were two areas that the Mets needed to address in order to ensure competitiveness heading into April Opening Day.

Joe Smith

The first signing that I believe the Mets missed out on was reliever Joe Smith of the Houston Astros.

Smith started out his major league career as a Met back in 2007. The submarine right-hander doesn’t throw hard but keeps the ball low and displays pinpoint accuracy on fastballs and sliders on the outside of the plate. He is able to induce weak contact, especially from right-handed hitters.

Smith usually has an ERA in the high 2.00’s or low 3.00’s and is good for about 48 to 54 IP a season at this late stage of his career. With all the struggles the Mets bullpen showed throughout 2019, adding a veteran reliever that can provide quality innings and not give up big runs late in games is just what this ball club needs. Smith fits that bill.

Signing to come back to the Houston Astros for 2020, Smith was willing to accept only a one year $8 million deal. This is certainly in the Mets’ budget and price target range when shopping for relief pitching.

Tanner Roark

Sticking with the theme of pitching, another player I would have liked to see the Mets spend some money on this offseason is new Toronto Blue Jay pitcher Tanner Roark. Roark has made at least 30 starts a year as a starter in five of his last six seasons in the majors and has pitched at least 165 innings a year in that same amount of time.

Needing some stability from a number four starter that can stay healthy and eat up the innings lost from the departure of Zack Wheeler, Roark would be able to provide quality starts the Mets will be looking for from their number four starter going into next year.

Should the Mets offense remain as potent as it was in 2019, there is no reason that Tanner couldn’t come onto our team and win 12 to 15 games a year as a starter. Signing a deal for two years at $12 million a year and still relatively young at 32 years old, Roark should still have plenty left in the tank to continue putting up solid major league numbers at an affordable price.

Even though I am happy with the signing of Rick Porcello by New York this offseason, I do believe Porcello’s ERA has been on the steady incline over the last three seasons as opposed to Roark’s, who has remained relatively stable in this statistical category. This does worry me a little as a Mets fan.

Julio Teheran

The final free agent signing that I think the Mets missed out on this offseason is one who the Amazins are all too familiar with. Former Atlanta Braves hurler Julio Teheran just inked a one-year $9 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. For the past seven seasons, the two-time All-Star out of Colombia has made at least 30 starts a year as a pitcher, going a minimum of 175 innings a season in that span of time.

To only cost the Angels $9 million on the shortest possible term deal despite Teheran’s ability to display remarkable durability as a starter is quite a bargain. He is also only 29 years old, which still puts him in the prime of his career also.

Teheran has dominated the Mets throughout his career but more importantly, was 4-1 with an ERA around 1.55 from 2016 to 2018 against them as a starter. Overall, he has a 2.40 career ERA when pitching at Citifield.

Projecting out that success against the competition, if Teheran were to make 15 to 16 starts a year at our ballpark in Flushing, he may make new career highs in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. To get a caliber pitcher like that, with decent upside potential at a reasonable cost, would have been an ideal move for Van Wagenen and the Wilpons to consider.

Despite missing out on these three impactful players, I do believe the Mets still have enough time and financial resources to plug up their holes at relief pitching and center field before we head into Spring Training 2020.

With still many solid young players that can be used as trade chips and free agent players that can be bought at reasonable prices out on the market, we should still be hopeful that the management can put together a solid contender in the coming months.

Next. Why Steve Cohen may never get full ownership

Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!

Write for us!

But it would have been nice to look up and see the likes of a Joe Smith or a Blake Treinen come in out of the pen in a late-inning game situation and close the doors on our competition’s best hitters.