Will the Mets stay under the luxury tax threshold with Steve Cohen?
The Mets have been linked to both J.T. Realmuto and James McCann this offseason
Unless the Mets get creative with a trade, the two names at the catcher position which they’ve been linked to have been J.T. Realmuto and James McCann. Since most are predicting Realmuto to land with the Mets, we’ll assume he inks a deal to play in Flushing. It was rumored that Realmuto was seeking a contract valued at $200M; that ain’t happening.
Going with the predictions that most have J.T. signing for, a contract in the range of five years/ $125M would have the Mets paying him around $25M per season, assuming the deal isn’t backloaded. Adding Realmuto to the roster would take the payroll up to about $187M, leaving them with roughly $23M to spend on fixing the other holes.
If the Mets didn’t go the Realmuto route and decided to opt for McCann, that number obviously changes. Predicted to sign a two-year deal for about $20M, the Mets would only be adding $10M to their payroll and that would leave them with almost $40M to plug holes that remain on their roster.
Clearly the superior player, Realmuto is who the Mets should be pursuing to be behind the plate for the next few years. Given that the DH is likely to stay for 2021, and if not, then certainly for 2022, you could possibly stretch productive years from Realmuto by allowing him to slot into DH spot more frequently and giving his body a break.
However, if the front office is confident that Francisco Alvarez can be a productive major league player, then perhaps McCann makes more sense for them over two years and then bringing Alvarez up, while allocating their funds in other areas.
There have also been rumblings of possibly singing Yadier Molina to a one-year deal, but that seems to be an alternative if the Mets are unable to secure Realmuto or McCann. If the Mets did end up going that route, they’d figure to sign him for something in the range of $8-10M, which would be about the same as what McCann would add to the payroll.