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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4) The Mets could’ve paid Michael A. Taylor much less than Harrison Bader for similar production

It seems like I can’t discuss anything about the Mets offseason without coming back to Harrison Bader and how egregiously overpriced the contract is. At $10.5 million, he’s hitting the payroll much more than so many others the Mets could’ve added. In fact, they could have had several outfielders for the cost of Bader.

The most comparable one out there was Michael A. Taylor. Signed for $4 million by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he is a more durable center field option with some of the same offensive shortcomings. The Mets were rumored to have interest in him early in the offseason. But at that point Taylor was probably hoping for more dough or at least a two-year deal. The Mets, instead, settled for Bader who was more than willing to take a one-year contract after having such a bad 2023 campaign.

Taylor fits more snuggly on the Mets roster as a fourth outfielder type—which Bader should be. The price tag at $4 million makes him more movable to the bench or another team. It’ll be hard for the Mets to trade Bader without eating at least a part of his contract. 

Bader may very well outperform Taylor this year. But will his value be more than twice as much? The Mets save $6.5 million if they go in this direction—something they probably never would have been able to. Who would’ve guessed Taylor settled for a contract like this? We have hindsight on our side, remember.

Mets save $6.5 million here for a total of $15 million so far