New York Mets fans are thrilled with what the team was able to accomplish before the lockout. The players they added improved the team but until I dug a little deeper into the free agents available this winter, I didn’t realize fully how much the team had accomplished.
The New York Mets are literally shopping on the top shelf of free agency this winter
Max Scherzer moves the needle so hard toward a championship I’m not sure anyone needs to explain too much what it means for the organization. And while non-Mets fans may look at his age and potential decline, consider this: in 2020-2021, Scherzer posted a 7.2 WAR. This was the highest among all starting pitcher free agents including American League Cy Young winner Robbie Ray who was a distant sixth.
I know WAR doesn’t measure everything but there’s no denying the effect Scherzer will have on the Mets even if his age scares you.
Scherzer wasn’t the only top-shelf bottle the Mets added to the cabinet. Another quite obvious statement to make, Starling Marte led all free agent center fielder in WAR as well. His 6.7 WAR across the last two seasons crushed the competition except for Chris Taylor—a guy who plays all over the place.
Maybe the biggest surprise of this top-shelf buying comes from the Mark Canha addition. He, too, led all players at his position in 2020-2021. Among left fielders, Canha’s 4.3 WAR was the best. Only Kyle Schwarber was close at 3.4.
The other addition the team made, Eduardo Escobar, wasn’t the best at this statistic but a worthy signing nonetheless. His 2.4 WAR in the last two years was third among third base free agents. Kris Bryant and Kyle Seager were tied for the top spot with a 4.0 WAR. In case you were curious, if the Mets were to use Escobar at second base, he’d still be in third place, this time tied with Leury Garcia.
This winter’s class of free agents is by far heaviest on shortstops, a non-position of need for the Mets. They got shopping there early last winter with the Francisco Lindor trade.
We shouldn’t always expect the Mets to ask the cashier to grab the stepladder and pull the pinot noir that forces them to reach the highest. But as of right now, it’s not so ridiculous to expect it.