Will the Mets stay under the luxury tax threshold with Steve Cohen?
Given the Mets willingness to spend, but also being wise in doing so, here’s what the roster could conceivably look like if the team stays under the luxury tax
If the Mets new president of baseball operation is under orders from Cohen and Alderson to stay under the luxury tax, how could the Mets do it while filling all the holes in their roster?
The Mets are certain to sign a big ticket free agent, the question just remains which one. It appears that George Springer right now makes the most sense for this team. He answers the centerfield problem while also adding a right-handed power bat in the lineup.
While the Bauer show in Queens would be fun, and certainly remains plausible, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he ended up somewhere other than New York. There are arms to be had both via trade, as well as free agency and it appears that the Mets are looking to fill multiple holes this offseason.
By adding James McCann, George Springer, Masahiro Tanaka all at their projected contracts ($48M annually), they’d be right at the $210M mark. Now the question becomes is that enough? Relievers like Liam Hendriks and Brad Hand are still available and the Mets will certainly be looking to upgrade their bullpen with at least one external option.
Something important to note as well is that there’s reason to believe the Mets could non-tender Steven Matz and save almost $6M in salary. Matz took a huge step back last year and almost certainly would end up in the bullpen. Does Alderson see it as sensible to pay that money for Matz to be in a bullpen role? Probably not.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Mets have two players set to be free agents at the end of next season in Michael Conforto and Syndergaard. The belief was that with new ownership, the team would look to possibly extend them before hitting the open market. If that’s the case, the Mets would be adding even more to their payroll this year unless the deal didn’t kick in until 2022.
There’s also the possibility that Amed Rosario, J.D. Davis or Brandon Nimmo could be moved this offseason. It isn’t inevitable, but again, the thinking seems to be that the Mets are going to be active on the trade market and if the $4M that’s projected to be paid to Nimmo or the $2M projected for Rosario and Davis are offsetting the cost of say a Joe Musgrove, the Mets could find themselves in a position where they’re answering questions in their roster without having to pay the luxury tax.
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The good news is that no matter how the team is constructed heading into 2021, the days of having to shop in the freezer section for free agents seems to be far off in the rear view mirror.