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Will the Mets stay under the luxury tax threshold with Steve Cohen?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: New York Mets batting helmets in their dugout before a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 11: New York Mets batting helmets in their dugout before a spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park at on March 11, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 15: Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 15, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

With Marcus Stroman returning in 2021, how will the Mets fill out the rest of their rotation?

It’s no secret that the Sandy Alderson-Trevor Bauer love affair is something the fanbase is desperately hoping materializes into a deal that brings the Cy Young winner to Flushing. No doubt, Bauer and deGrom at the top of the rotation would leave the Mets as a team to be feared, especially in a playoff series. There’s also indications that it could be a real possibility. The question becomes if the Mets do make a run at Bauer, what would it take to land him?

Bauer was rumored to be inclined to sign a one-year deal, but having just won his first ever Cy Young, his stock will most likely never be higher, even in this market. That being said, some predict him joining a team on a deal in the range of $120-130M over four years. This obviously works out to a higher AAV ($30-32M/year). Whether it was one year or four, the yearly payout for Bauer will almost certainly be no less than $30M per year, which right now would put the Mets at a payroll of about $190M. This would leave them with about 20 million left to fill out their roster and that’s without having signed any of the aforementioned players like Springer, Realmuto or their cheaper alternatives.

If the Mets didn’t want to go to the Bauer route and spread that money across multiple players, they certainly could do so by looking at the likes of Charlie Morton, Taijuan Walker, Masahiro Tanaka or Jake Odorizzi; all names the Mets have been linked to this offseason. Based on the contract projections of these players, the Mets could conceivably sign Morton, Tanaka and Odorizzi for the price that it would cost to pay for one year of Bauer.

The question then becomes, do the Mets find it more valuable to use up most of their remaining payroll for one, top-tier pitcher to compliment deGrom or do they allocate their money to lesser valued arms that are still valuable and fill out the rest of their rotation?

It’s hard to resist the idea of a rotation consisting of deGrom, Bauer, Stroman and Noah Syndergaard. However, it might behoove the Mets, in this situation, to spread their money around a bit and get a few pitchers while also being able to bring in a player like Springer.

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