Apparently, the New York Mets never really had a shot at signing free agents like Kris Bryant or Freddie Freeman. The pipe dream created after the Max Scherzer deal was something fans considered realistic even though it probably never was.
Both players ended up getting nice long contracts. Bryant took the most money from the Colorado Rockies. Freeman did the same from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both deals would have ended up being the second-biggest in Mets history behind only the Francisco Lindor extension from last year.
Steve Cohen may have endless assets to spend on the team. However, this organization remains baseball-minded first, free-spending second.
The Mets will spend big but not at the cost of taking on too many albatross contracts
How will the Bryant and Freeman deals age? Chances are there will be some seasons at the back end where the fans can’t wait for them to retire. A lot of lengthy deals ends that way. It’s just the structure of how players are paid.
The Mets certainly could have met the AAV of either deal. It’s the number of years that became the point where they had to walk away.
Chances are after the Mets added Eduardo Escobar, they were probably not so geared toward signing Bryant anyway. I’m also not quite sure how much Freeman was ever really an option. It’s a gluttony of first basemen on the roster when there are other needs the team could address.
We’re all still getting to know what this management, Cohen specifically, is willing to do in order to build a winning ball club. Last winter, we saw them balk at signing several big deals. Instead, the Mets tried to be smart with what they did. And while it didn’t result in a playoff appearance or even a winning season, they didn’t make any regrettable decisions. The same is true of everything they did during this most recent offseason.
The perception of Cohen is that the Mets will spend whatever they can to win. It’s true. I buy into it fully.
There is one key element to take note of. The Mets want to win now and in the future. Short-term deals have been the preference. They’ll surely sign another long deal at some point under Cohen. For now, baseball logic is greater than simply spending as much as possible without a second thought.