Weeks ago, there were New York Mets rumors stating the team had about $10 million left to spend. How true of a cap is it? Based on some recent free agent deals, it seems pretty close.
Multiple high leverage relievers have inked deals in the last week for around $10 million. Bullpen options Matt Moore, Hector Neris, and David Robertson all found new teams. The Mets, with only a rumored total left to spend, failed to become the destination for any of them. On Saturday afternoon, they did manage to pull Adam Ottavino back from his doubts which caused him to opt out in the first place. He’ll receive $4.5 million for a season.
Nearly half of what remained in the treasury now allocated to a single player, what’s next for this team?
The Adam Ottavino contract fits the $10 million left to spend narrative and leaves room for another arm
Don't spend it all in one place. We've heard it said plenty. Usually it carries some sarcasm. With the Mets, it could be less of a tongue in cheek joke and more strategic. Rather than toss close to $10 million at a single pitcher, they’ve set themselves up for another warm body.
Fans have patiently accepted this year's Mets roster will look different. The additions have upside. But even if half of them do well, the team is going to be well short of where expectations have been in the last few years.
Virtually ignored this winter, the Mets have prioritized cheap relievers rather than the top level ones. While it's true a relief pitcher's performance is harder to predict than the final score of the Super Bowl, there are certain players far more likely to play at a high level than others. Many chosen by the Mets this offseason have a ceiling low enough where you can hear the leak above it before the disgusting brown stain begins to form beneath. Ottavino seems to be an exception.
It’s not impossible to find a reliever who could accept a one-year deal worth $5.5 million. It’s what John Brebbia got from the Chicago White Sox after all. Will Smith took only $5 million from the Kansas City Royals. Longtime Mets fan favorite free agent target Andrew Chafin accepted a deal for $4.5 million. There’s even Brent Suter who went to the Cincinnati Reds on a $3 million deal. Some of these contracts do include incentives as well so it’s not as cut and dry as it may seem at first.
The Mets are indeed bargain hunting, but that doesn’t mean the pitcher they will add won’t be any good. There are steals to make. Ottavino, even at 38 this coming season, has the potential to be one of them. Now the Mets need to just choose correctly with the final $5.5 million remaining.