3 low-cost Mets free agent signings whose salaries the team shouldn't be afraid to eat

There is no justification to keep these free agent additions around if they fail to perform.
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game Two
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game Two / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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3) Michael Tonkin

The only free agent pitcher signed to a major league deal earning less than Lopez is Michael Tonkin. Agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1 million, he’s essentially an early-arbitration eligible player on the roster without minor league options. Way less experienced than Lopez in Major League Baseball, Tonkin is coming off of a strong campaign with the Atlanta Braves as a multi-inning reliever out of their bullpen. His 80 innings in only 45 appearances shows some superb durability. Add in a 4.28 ERA and the Mets already have a decent long man.

Tonkin was better than just preventing runs. He walked batters at only a rate of 2.6 per 9 and struck out opponents at a rate of 8.4 per 9. It wasn’t a dominant contrast yet hardly far from a bad one either.

Prior to 2023, Tonkin’s lone MLB experience came with the Minnesota Twins in batches from 2013-2017. He would’ve known Hefner there as the Mets pitching coaching made the jump from Minnesota several years ago to come to Queens. Oftentimes there are players added to the roster who could be viewed as a choice by a particular front office executive or coach. Tonkin could very well be a Hefner desire.

At only $1 million, the Mets already didn't see the need to force Tonkin onto the mound any longer than necessary. He was designated for assignment on Friday to make room for Julio Teheran. Now in DFA limbo with a couple of decisions ahead for him and the team, an outright release isn't an outrageous conclusion to a failed early experiment.