Mets Monday Morning GM: 3 best smaller market moves of the offseason

A smaller market mindset isn't always a bad thing.

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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3) The Mets signed Jake Diekman to significantly less than many of his peers

Jake Diekman received one of the bigger free agent deals the Mets added to the payroll through free agency. His two-year deal worth $8 million split evenly between the two seasons is still far less than what some other free agent relievers inked. Aroldis Chapman and Matt Moore immediately come to mind. Each will make more in one season than Diekman will for the life of this two-year contract.

Diekman is certainly no guarantee to have a superb year in 2024 let alone 2025. He has been much more average in recent seasons with his transition from the Chicago White Sox to the Tampa Bay Rays last year showing the most significant improvements. Diekman was elite during his time with the Rays. Whether it’s the water they serve in the dugout coolers or Diekman learning something new he can carry with him to New York, this appears to be a worthwhile signing.

Stearns resisted the urge to get involved in the expensive relief pitcher market. Instead, he opted for deals all under $5 million in AAV. Adam Ottavino came back to the club for just $4.5 million and no deferred payments. Combine the two deals and the bullpen was improved in a different way than we saw in previous years under Cohen.

In the past, the Mets rushed to sign players to fair deals. This offseason, while they did manage to get a little too trigger happy with inferior players, playing the waiting game helped out at times.