After a disappointing 77-85 season, the New York Mets enter the offseason looking to rebound and make the playoffs. With the front office search finally complete, attention turns to the players on the field, where several important decisions loom and shape the future of the franchise.
The Mets will operate around $180 million before any heavy lifting. In short, the Mets, attempting to bring back the same team, will be paying the luxury tax. As a result, some fans and pundits will expect to spread the money around to multiple positions, ideally, guys who won't cost them any draft picks as well.
My alternative - spending the money on the best player on the market, current Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, to give them another elite player in their infield.
The Mets should be all-in to sign the number one player in free agency this winter: Carlos Correa
Correa enters the offseason as the best player on the market, regardless of position. Just completing his age-27 season, Correa finished with 26 home runs, 102 RBI, and a battling line of .279/.366/.485. Combine that with elite defense at shortstop and you have a player that could become the face of the franchise for whoever he signs with.
This also isn’t a blip on the radar: Correa hits the market with five seasons of a weighted run created plus tally (wRC+) of 110 or more; with 100 being the mark of an average hitter. Five seasons with a Fangraphs WAR (fWAR) of 3.0 or more with three of the five seasons recording an fWAR of 5.0 or more; a truly elite number. Any way you slice it, this is the elite of the elite and should continue to factor in the hierarchy of baseball whether he remains in Houston or not.
We’ve seen names attached to the Mets already, and some make sense. Kris Bryant has long been a target of Sandy Alderson and this front office, so the connection makes sense. The same goes for Starling Marte, who offers New York a legitimate two-way centerfielder that also allows Brandon Nimmo to move to a corner position.
However, as the Mets move into year two of the Steve Cohen era, Cohen should flex his financial muscle and pursuit an infield superstar for the second offseason in a row.