The Mets were the only ones to make a guaranteed offer to a free agent still without a job

The Mets would look much different with him in the DH role.
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Maybe the New York Mets were always serious about adding to the DH spot but only on their terms. The proposed plan of having Mark Vientos, DJ Stewart, and Starling Marte shuffle through the role was probably more of a Plan-B if none of the free agent options lowered their demands. J.D. Martinez finally did and we’ll soon get the treat of seeing him hit in the middle of the order.

One still unsigned free agent, Brandon Belt, was a Martinez alternative the team considered. So much so, in fact, they were reportedly the only team to even make him a guaranteed offer.

Why didn’t Belt take it? The deal was “almost entirely” based on incentives.

Brandon Belt got the Rodney Dangerfield treatment this offseason by everyone, even the Mets

Belt is coming off of a productive year with the Toronto Blue Jays. Smacking 19 home runs in only 404 plate appearances, he added a .254/.369/.490 slash line to his history. Limited to mostly DH duties at this point of his career, he would’ve been a huge upgrade for the Mets over Daniel Vogelbach who, ironically enough, ended up replacing Belt on the Blue Jays roster.

The difference is Vogelbach signed a minor league deal in the offseason. Belt, apparently, wanted more of a guarantee. We can see why. Along with those 19 home runs he had 23 doubles. However, it did come with 141 strikeouts. Striking out in over a third of his plate appearances and limitations to facing mostly righties was enough for other clubs to pass on Belt.

The Mets may still be waiting on Martinez to make his debut but there should be little doubt this was the better addition to make. Even so, it’s amazing how no other team had enough of an interest in Belt after such a productive year.

It’s not as if he’s the only remaining free agent coming off of a productive year. Tommy Pham is still unsigned. A team in some desperate need for a DH upgrade could easily have this pair in some sort of a platoon, no?

In some weird alternative universe, it’s probably what the Mets did end up doing. We’ll take the everyday production of Martinez over a platoon again. Been there. Exhausted by that.


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