Mets: Five big free agents Steve Cohen should consider buying next winter

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 05: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout after hitting a home run against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on September 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 05: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout after hitting a home run against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning at Fenway Park on September 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 04: JT Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run home run in the 5th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on September 04, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

J.T. Realmuto

The most likely player who will sign an extension with his current team on this list is catcher J.T. Realmuto. Mets fans know him well for his work with the Miami Marlins and most recently, the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s in a similar arbitration situation as Springer. The major difference is there has been plenty of talk about him signing long term with Philadelphia.

Let’s say Realmuto does slip through. The ex-client of Brodie Van Wagenen could get swooned enough to take a trip up I-95 to Citi Field where he’ll sign as a free agent for the first time in his career.

Realmuto isn’t a phenomenal fit for the Mets for a few reasons. The team could go a cheaper route and hold onto Wilson Ramos for another year. An option for 2021 could keep him in town an extra year.

If Ramos does leave Flushing, Realmuto could become the apple of BVW’s eye. You may remember there were plenty of trade rumors about the Mets and Marlins discussing a deal last winter before he went from Miami to Philadelphia. Because any deal for Realmuto allegedly required the Mets to give up two of the following—Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario—the Marlins decided to trade him elsewhere.

As with any veteran catcher, there’s always a worry you’re getting his decline. Realmuto would play 2021 as a 30-year-old, making any deal beyond three years much riskier. It would make more sense for the Phillies to overpay for him now as they already got a productive season in 2019 and will most likely get another in 2020.

The Mets also have a few minor league options they could go with behind the plate. Depending on how guys like Ali Sanchez and Francisco Alvarez develop, Realmuto may or may not become a big target in year one of Cohen’s reign of terror.