There is no telling at what point Major League Baseball's current lockout is going to come to an end, but what is not in doubt is that the New York Mets still have money to burn this offseason when operations hopefully return to normal at some point in the near future. Should the Mets make another free agent splash upwards of $100 million again this winter there is only one glaring and obvious choice who the Mets should shell that money out to.
If you were thinking Kris Bryant like I was then you read my mind and you should think about a second career as a mind reader. All jokes aside, arguably there isn't a better fit on the free-agent market for the Mets than Kris Bryant, right?
Bryant has long been connected to the Mets as a potential trade target in the past when he was reportedly put on the trade block multiple times by the Chicago Cubs after helping lead them to their 2016 World Series Championship. The Mets now have the opportunity to acquire Bryant without giving up any minor league assets and they simply can use the influx of cold hard cash that Mets Owner Steve Cohen has brought into the organization.
The New York Mets' willingness to spend this offseason should continue after the lockout concludes with Kris Bryant being a realistic target both offensively and defensively.
Bryant can fill a variety of needs around the diamond for the Mets based on his versatility and he could be the favorite for the starting third base job, as well as spend some time in one of the corner outfield spots for the Mets. But most importantly the 30-year old free agent would provide another needed boost to the Mets starting lineup which had struggled mightily on offense last season.
Bryant had a bounceback campaign in 2021 after his forgettable 2020 season and it's fair to argue that his best ball may still be ahead of him moving forward. After the constant trade rumors that surrounded him season after season, as well as a well-documented conflict with the Cubs front office on his service time allegedly being manipulated, it may be best for Bryant to find that new fresh start and just go play ball.
Last season between the Cubs and the San Francisco Giants, Bryant had collectively hit .265/.353/.481 to go along with an OPS of .835. Those numbers also include 25 home runs and 73 RBI's between both teams.
Prior to the lockout, MLB Trade Rumors had predicted Bryant landing a six-year deal worth $160 million. While that number is easily attainable for the Mets to meet, it will be interesting to see how the new Collective Bargaining Agreement shakes out and how it may affect the free-agent market moving forward.
But one thing is for certain despite all the remaining uncertainty that is surrounding the game of baseball, the next $100 million deal the Mets front office plans to write a check for should be written out to Kris Bryant. An acquisition of Bryant this winter would put a bow on a highly successful plan of reloading this offseason for the Mets going into the 2022 regular season.