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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5) The Mets could’ve added Eddie Rosario along with the savings from not signing Harrison Bader

Eddie Rosario ended up with a split contract to join the Washington Nationals. Worth a total of $4 million, his combined deal with Taylor doesn’t even equal what the Mets are paying Bader. Rosario stands out from some of those other free agents the Mets could’ve added. Adam Duvall and Randal Grichuk signed affordable deals. Rosario, who popped 21 home runs from the left side of the plate last season, would’ve been the much better choice.

Going further, Rosario was even a Gold Glove finalist for the Atlanta Braves. The .255/.305/.450 slash line from last year wasn’t too desirable. It was a near repeat of what he did in 2021 when he first joined the Braves. He seemed to push aside any questions about his health which may have popped up in 2022 after missing 82 games. A poor performance along with it too, Rosario bounced back nicely for what was a pretty average year for him in 2023.

Rosario could’ve easily fit on the Mets as a DJ Stewart upgrade. If signed to the same split contract he got from Washington, the Mets could’ve even held him back in the minor leagues. More likely, Stewart goes to the farm for some depth and Rosario is a regular in the outfield. He can start regularly in left field versus righties with Brandon Nimmo in center field. When the team plays lefties, he sits and Taylor is in center field.

The Mets spend $4 million of their $15 million they saved bringing them down to $11 million

All told, these moves by the Mets would’ve saved them $11 million. It practically pays for J.D. Martinez or maybe they sign him anyway and spend the $11 million in another way. Brandon Woodruff has a base salary of $8.75 million in each of the next two seasons with a mutual option in 2026. That would’ve been a treat.