5 free agent alternatives the Mets could've signed for more payroll flexibility

Hindsight is on our side with this retrospective on the offseason deals the Mets did and didn't make.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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3) The Mets should have passed completely on Jorge Lopez

Spending $2 million on Jorge Lopez isn’t bad, but in the name of meeting the budget, they could have just as easily passed on him. Michael Tonkin at $1 million at least has a positive season from 2023 to look at for some justification. Not Lopez. He was bad last year. He has been pretty awful with the exception of the first half of 2022 with the Baltimore Orioles.

Abstaining from this contract altogether would’ve been perfectly fine. Hand the bullpen spot over to an optional reliever and save yourself from having to do the inevitable.

The Mets are now in a position where any sort of roster change with the pitching staff will require them to DFA a player. Only Tylor Megill has options. This doesn’t help the club much when they need a bullpen arm.

The Mets are hoping to unlock whatever it was Lopez was able to accomplish in the first half with Baltimore back in 2022. For a guy with a lifetime 5.51 ERA, it’s hard to see how there is much gold on the other side of the door.

Build a better, more sustainable roster than add this project. Nate Lavender, even if it meant having three lefties, would’ve been nice to have around. For the Mets to even recall Shintaro Fujinami at this point, they’ll need someone to get hurt or an arm to get lost in another way.

The Mets save $2 million here for a total of $8.5 million so far