The New York Mets have some interesting decisions to make in free agency this winter. The priorities are re-signing Edwin Diaz, Jacob deGrom, and Brandon Nimmo, but they’ll also need to make other moves to bolster the rotation and bullpen.
There are also some free agents that don’t fit at all, for various reasons. Here are three free agents the Mets need to avoid.
1) The Mets need to avoid Kenley Jansen
Jansen finished this season with 65 appearances and 64 innings pitched. He allowed 45 hits, 24 earned runs, 22 walks, and struck out 85 batters. His ERA was 3.38, his FIP was 3.21, his WHIP was 1.05, and his ERA+ was 121. He led the National League with 54 games finished and 41 saves.
There are a couple of reasons the Mets can steer clear of him. The first is that, assuming they re-sign Diaz, there’s no point in spending closer money on someone who will be your setup guy. If Diaz is going to get roughly $20 million per year, I don’t want to spend another $15-18 on Jansen.
Another reason is his age. He just turned 35 at the end of September, and he’ll probably garner a three-year deal in the $45-50 million range. I don’t want to be paying him that much as he ages.
Finally, the last reason the Mets should avoid him, is his control issues. He did lower his walk rate quite a bit (from 4.7 BB.9 in 2021 to 3.1 BB/9 in 2022), but it’s still in the 40th percentile on Baseball Savant. Weirdly enough, his WHIP didn’t go down at all because he allowed more hits this year (6.3 H/9 this year compared to 4.7 H/9 last year). His saving grace was that he still gets a lot of strikeouts (12 K/9).
The Mets seem committed to bringing Diaz back, so combine that fact with Jansen’s age and issues allowing baserunners, there’s just no need to be involved in the Kenley sweepstakes.