Trevor Bauer could get the biggest contract of the offseason. If it’s the New York Mets that sign him, will it get in the way of extensions for players like Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard?
Trevor Bauer is going to make a lot of money this offseason. The New York Mets are one of those teams that have the cash to pay him.
Like with any major financial decision, one needs to look just beyond the immediate benefit. In Bauer’s case, the Mets need to assess whether his presence on the 2021 roster and beyond will impact how the rest of the roster may look. Specifically, I’m curious if a mega-deal with Bauer could prevent the club from extending some other players they need to lock up.
After 2021, the Mets have three primary players to consider extending or re-signing. They are Michael Conforto, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard. I don’t think Bauer or anyone else will get in the way of an extension with Conforto. I cannot say the same about Stroman or Syndergaard.
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There comes a point when even the richest billionaire owner has to stop spending so much on his starting rotation. Jacob deGrom is already getting paid a lot of money and with a potential Bauer deal in the future, that wraps up a lot of the payroll in two starters.
When Stroman and Syndergaard reach free agency—if the Mets even allow them to—each should get a handsome paycheck regardless of how they perform in 2021.
Can the franchise afford to keep all four together for the 2022 season? Absolutely. Will they? I have my doubts Sandy Alderson and Jared Porter would advise this when the club will no doubt have other needs to address.
In fact, the Mets may actually get better by allowing Stroman and/or Syndergaard to walk. Just because they do leave doesn’t mean the team looks worse. Maybe they even spend more or upgrade the starting staff.
When it comes to baseball dollars and cents, we do have to live in the present with a little attention toward the future. Arbitration-eligible players can see their salaries shoot up dramatically from one year to the next. Not knowing how much a player in this situation will earn can be tricky to maneuver the payroll years in advance.
In the case of the Amazins paying Bauer some big bucks, it’s more about where the club wants to spend the most money. They’re at a perfect point right now where they can add players on big salaries to the organization. However, as each of the arbitration-eligible players gets closer to free agency, their paychecks will get heavier, too.
The Mets don’t have a history of extending players, but that was then and this is now. Steve Cohen seems like the biggest fan of the team imaginable. He’ll want to make decisions with his heart and spend whatever he can to make it happen.
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Yes, the Mets should proceed with caution in any major deal. However, they also should avoid taking it easy just because they fear the future may have some tough decisions.