3 average Mets free agent signings that deserve an extreme re-grade

Apr 8, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) pitches against
Apr 8, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) pitches against / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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There were some extreme opinions about the New York Mets this offseason. A much more underwhelming group brought in through free agency than we saw in recent seasons, it was easy to get caught up in thinking the club wouldn’t be that good.

In actuality, they’re somewhere in the middle. They’re a few lucky bounces or unfortunate runs away from either being buried in the playoff race or being awarded a chance to play deep into October.

In the days leading up to the start of the regular season, all fans have their thoughts as to what grade certain moves deserve. Now about 25% into the season already, these three free agent signings already deserve a much different grade than they originally had.

1) Jorge Lopez

Signed for just $2 million, the Mets were taking a bit of a chance on Jorge Lopez. By far best known as the All-Star closer no one saw coming for the Baltimore Orioles in 2022, he has been average or worse in so many other seasons of his career. Even after the miraculous All-Star performance for the Orioles two seasons ago, Lopez reverted back to his old ways immediately after getting traded to the Minnesota Twins. His ERA jumped from 1.68 to 4.37. In 2023, it was at 5.95 which isn’t all that much worse than where he has been for his entire career.

The Lopez signing took place early in the offseason. As affordable as it was, the roster spot and $2 million could’ve been better used elsewhere. Or so it seemed.

Old Grade: C-

The ability to DFA Lopez if things didn’t work out without much of a financial burden like they did with Michael Tonkin twice had this as an acceptable offseason signing. However, Lopez hasn’t just been a mound-filler. He has been an important part of the bullpen.

Lopez is one of the few pitchers who hasn’t won or lost a game. Yet he leads the relievers in appearances by a good margin with 21 games. It’s five more than Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino, and Jake Diekman who’ve each appeared in 16.

Lopez hasn’t been a major strikeout pitcher but with zero home runs allowed this year, we get a good understanding of what has made him so useful. 

New Grade: A