The Mets made Aroldis Chapman a serious offer and it's a good thing he didn't take it

The Mets were outbid for Aroldis Chapman and that's a good thing.
Texas Rangers relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (45) pitches during the seventh inning against the
Texas Rangers relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (45) pitches during the seventh inning against the / Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY
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The New York Mets waited out the relief pitcher market this offseason with some pretty good success in doing so. They managed to sign Adam Ottavino and Jake Diekman to favorable deals. Shintaro Fujinami is the guy everyone seems to think has unlocked potential to show off state-side.

Before those deals took place in the span of a week, the Mets reportedly made a serious contract offer to Aroldis Chapman. The $8 million offer was less than the $10.5 million he signed to join the Pittsburgh Pirates which explains why he’ll wear black and gold instead of orange and blue this coming year.

We can wonder what the Mets bullpen would look like today if they had in fact signed Chapman. The $8 million offer is more than Diekman and Fujinami combined. It’s only $500K less than what Diekman and Ottavino will make together.

The Mets ended up with the better outcome with Aroldis Chapman going elsewhere

Assuming the Mets spend the same amount on their bullpen, the outlook is much more promising with what they do have as opposed to what they could’ve looked like with Chapman. It most definitely means they don’t sign Diekman. Likely, with Brooks Raley already in a position to be a left-handed setup man, they don’t sign Ottavino either.

In the case of the Mets bullpen rebuild, more bodies seemed necessary than one bigger arm.

The Diekman deal already seems superior with a team option for $4 million in 2025 that won’t become guaranteed unless he pitches in 58 games. Worth the same total value as Chapman’s deal for one season, this feels like a win already for the Mets.

The best of what Diekman can deliver the Mets doesn’t match up to where Chapman can reach. His 45.1 innings with the Tampa Bay Rays last year might end up looking like an even more ridiculous outlier than it already does. Does anyone seriously think he can pitch to a 2.18 ERA again? This would be a steal if he did.

Both high walk and high strikeout lefties, we need to believe landing Diekman for much less than Chapman ultimately received from Pittsburgh constitutes as some sort of a Mets win. If we’re going to start totaling up what the Mets are paying their relievers, Chapman’s contract alone is nearly what they paid Diekman, Fujinami, and Ottavino. Three bodies versus one checks out especially when the one is aging.

The one-two punch at the back of the bullpen with Chapman handling the eighth and Edwin Diaz in the ninth might’ve been an all-timer. Would it have been necessary?

Their offer to Chapman does show they were willing to head into the heavier market of free agent relievers. It also seems to confirm they still have a price they won’t exceed in terms of individual value. Signing Chapman might not have completely eliminated them from signing Ottavino and Fujinami as well, but with how tight they’ve monitored their budget this offseason, a lesser player would maybe be in contention for one of those bullpen spots instead.

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