Blue Jays free agent signings hint at how much the Mets will need to pay for mediocrity

Even mediocre additions will cost the Mets payroll space.
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Elsa/GettyImages

If you're still aching over Yoshinobu Yamamoto signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, try being a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. The New York Mets may have lost in their biggest sweepstakes of the offseason, but at least reports of Yamamoto coming to Queens never made the rounds. This is what Blue Jays fans suffered through with Shohei Ohtani only a few weeks ago. Boxing Day in Canada must’ve been huge with shipments of prematurely custom-made jerseys going back to the retailer.

In response, the Blue Jays have gotten to work making some other important yet much more minor roster moves. They signed Kevin Kiermaier to a one-year deal worth $10.5 million. Isiah Kiner-Falefa received a two-year contract worth $15 million with incentives to earn another million.

Although never linked to either, Kiermaier and IKF were theoretical matches. Kiermaier in center field. Kiner-Falefa as a super utility player and solution to their third base questions. Both players with concerns, their deals with the Blue Jays show how pricy it would have been for the Mets to add two players that aren't exactly essential. More so, it’s a hint at how much it could cost for the Mets to make some very average signings this offseason.

It’s going to cost the Mets quite a bit of cash for even mediocre additions

Although the outfield continues to have a vacancy and the backup plan at third base might be Joey Wendle playing a bunch, neither Kiermaier nor IKF seem worth what the Blue Jays paid them. Kiermaier is a constant injury risk whose bat has proven to, more often than not, underachieve. Kiner-Falefa is just a repeat of Wendle and quite frankly an overhyped player the New York Yankees became oddly obsessed with before he even joined them.

The Mets don't have quite as much of a need for a center field addition with Tyrone Taylor now here. The obvious third base safety net, Justin Turner, remains very much available and the most reasonable free agent hitter this team needs to add on that side of the ball. Turner could easily cost for one year what Kiermaier and IKF could combined. No worries. Even if the Mets did sign that pair, they would have still needed to enter the DH market.

For the Mets, it may come down to a choice of where to add and who can already fill in certain gaps. Steve Cohen’s endless wealth is directed on a budget. The Mets may not be spending as freely this offseason, but they will easily have one of the highest payrolls in the game yet again.

Kiermaier in center field would have moved Brandon Nimmo to left field. Add Kiner-Falefa to this roster and there’s a guy the Mets could use all over the field and feel confident they’d at least have runs saved on defense. What about the production of them?

The idea of the Mets improving center field defensively and passing on multiple corner outfield players has never appealed to me. I’d rather see if Nimmo can return to the excellent defender he was in 2022 and have a guy who can hit in left field. As for a player such as Kiner-Falefa added to the roster at this point, it looks like any additional third basemen the Mets could bring in would need to have much more offensive firepower. Unless the plug on Brett Baty is getting yanked, it’s a concern to wait and address at the trade deadline if the team is in a playoff race.

Further proof of how expensive average players are came when the Mets saw Lucas Giolito sign with the Boston Red Sox on Friday. A two-year deal worth $38.5 million was awarded to the veteran after two straight rough years. If you haven't already, plan to take your kids to the ballpark this weekend to throw a baseball around. Who needs a business degree when you can get paid to eat innings?