3) The Harrison Bader signing eliminated multiple outfield targets from joining the Mets
Warning signs are there with Harrison Bader as a player. The man hasn’t stayed very healthy in his career. Adding him to the Mets roster and at $10.5 million pretty much secured he’d be more than a fourth outfielder. You don’t pay a guy that much money to only play against left-handed pitchers—a role Bader could thrive in.
This is reminiscent of last year in some ways. Free agents knew Daniel Vogelbach was going to be the Mets’ top choice for the DH spot. Many didn’t see how signing with the Mets would benefit them if the playing time wasn’t so obvious. Tommy Pham was bold enough to sign and win extra playing time as a member of the Mets. Nobody this year has been willing, thus far, to take on the same challenge. Are the Mets even all that interested?
The only three roster spots where the Mets do have some ability to clear room is with Brett Baty, DJ Stewart, and Mark Vientos. The two kids are projected to share third base with Baty getting the bulk of the work. Stewart is optional to the minors and bound for the bench. Him having the best season of all last year, albeit most of the success coming all in one month, shouldn’t lead to a punishment of a demotion. He’s the left-handed power bat the Mets won’t have any luck replacing in free agency right now.
Bader and Tyrone Taylor on the same roster is a bit redundant given the latter’s success on defense. He’s a superior hitter in comparison to Bader and far more balanced. It’s the one signing by the Mets holding them back most.