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Mets: How signing George Springer helps in more ways than one

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros hits a two run single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros hits a two run single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets do not need to add George Springer this offseason, but signing him provides the team with multiple options they can choose from to improve the team for 2021.

Although the New York Mets outfield was one of the bright spots in a difficult season, that does not necessarily mean the team will shy away from signing free agent outfielders. With the team now being shepherded by an affluent hedge fund manager, the Mets closed the book on the Wilpon era—an era remembered for its parsimonious owners who solely viewed the Mets as a business investment to make a profit while making winning a secondary priority.

However, the tide has changed, and so has ownership’s organizational philosophy. New Mets owner Steve Cohen plans on running a plutocratic, hands-off organization. The front office will make baseball decisions, and Cohen will use his power and wealth to bring a World Series championship to Queens, providing the front office the financial resources they need to field a title contending team. According to PIX 11, Cohen has already stated that he wants the team to win a championship in three to five years.

This is an early indication that Steve Cohen plans to spend money to ameliorate the team. While many following the Mets have translated this to mean that they would invest in a star player like J.T. Realmuto or an ace pitcher like Trevor Bauer, this could also be an indication that the team is simply looking for talent regardless of position.

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Because of this, George Springer may be on the radar more than what many may expect.

Springer is a deft outfielder, known for his quick feet, defensive instincts, and powerful bat. He would bring a championship pedigree to the Mets and instantly make their outfield more dangerous. His past performance and projected future performance make him an appealing free agent to a variety of teams looking to compete. The White Sox, Cardinals, Phillies, Giants, and Blue Jays could potentially pursue him along with the Mets.

Springer’s offensive numbers are too good to pass up. He is a career .270/.361/.491 hitter, and is one of the best power-hitting outfielders in the game. In 51 games in 2020, Springer clobbered 14 home runs and 32 RBIs. It is not inconceivable to project that Springer could contribute 30 home runs and around 100 RBIs over a 162-game season.

The Mets currently are looking at an outfield of Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto, with Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis occasionally playing there. With Springer in the fold, Brandon Nimmo becomes one of the best fourth outfielders in baseball and sets them up to negotiate potential trades from a position of strength.

Consider some of the possibilities a George Springer signing could create for them. Take a potential trade for Francisco Lindor, for example. The Mets can package Davis and one of their shortstops (Amed Rosario or Andres Gimenez) to the Indians as part of a package for Francisco Lindor. They can then move McNeil to third base (where he is better defensively) and give Nimmo a starting outfield spot again. Alternatively, they could then go out and grab another corner outfield (like Marcell Ozuna) who could improve the team.

And if the Mets choose to not trade with the Indians or another team, then they are left with a great problem to have—finding a way to get every player an appropriate number of plate appearances and playing time out in the field. An overabundance of solid position players also sets them up well if any were to miss time because of injury during the 2021 season.

George Springer is not a must-have for the Mets, but he falls into the category of nice to have. With free agency set to be a depressed market given COVID-19 and the uncertainty of whether fans will be allowed to attend games, few teams will be looking to spend much money during free agency.

Next. Four best trade partners for the Mets

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That could leave the Amazins with very few competitors to bid against. Because of this projection, they should be in the conversation for every major free agent, including Springer. No Mets fan will deny that Springer would deepen the lineup and upgrade an already solid outfield group.

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