Earlier this week the Mets finally made a blockbuster move that many have been anticipating for months, when the team acquired superstar Shortstop Francisco Lindor and Starting Pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Now that the Mets have acquired these two stars the team’s payroll is a tad bit over $180 million, that leaves the team with around $30 million left to spend until they reach the $210 million luxury tax threshold.
The acquisition of Lindor came as a surprise to the vast majority of fans because it seemed that the Mets were focused on getting star center fielder George Springer, now the signing of Springer seems highly unlikely. He (Springer) is reportedly asking for over $150 million, in what likely is a five-year contract. That would put the team at the $210 million mark, although the penalty for first time offenders is not that much, Sandy Alderson suggested that he does not want to reach that mark. Although Springer is someone that the team desperately needs and someone I think the Mets should have signed instead of trading for Lindor, it would be a foolish decision to sign him now. If the Mets were to sign Springer, that would mean they would have no money left and that is clearly the route the team should not go anymore.
Instead, the Mets need to use the $30 million on the team’s all around flaws. GM Jared Porter emphasized during a press conference a couple of days ago that you can never have enough pitching, he is right.
The Mets should absolutely be in the market for another starting pitcher, Corey Kluber and James Paxton seem to be potential good fits. Last year Brodie Van Wagenen did a very smart thing by having six starters on the roster. This plan did not work because of the sudden announcement of Noah Syndergaard needing to get Tommy John surgery, but it was still a very wise idea that Brodie had. Right now with the acquisition of Carlos Carrasco the Mets now have a full rotation consisting of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Steven Matz and David Peterson. This is not including Noah Syndergaard, but if the Mets were to sign another arm for the rotation it can only help, not hurt. It would give the rotation extra depth just in case one of the guys already in the rotation gets injured or is not performing well, while getting a great pitcher at the same time. The addition of Kluber or Paxton would probably come at a cost of around $12-$15 million per year.
So that would mean the Mets would have around $15 million left to spend without going over the luxury tax. With that the team should look to get a center fielder, re-signing Jake Marisnick would make sense. It would give the Mets a good bat along with a great glove coming off the bench, plus he is not going to cost that much. This would mean the Mets would now have the same outfield as last year and although that is not ideal, it is the best the team could do now that the team has Francisco Lindor. Let’s say Marisnick signs for $3 million (this is the number he made last year), that would leave the team with about $12 millon left. With that the Mets should be looking to add a second baseman/ shortstop.
The cost to acquire Lindor was not cheap. The Mets gave up Andrés Giménez and Amed Rosario, they were the Mets only shortstops . Now the Mets have no one behind Lindor, so the team now needs to be in the market for an infielder that plays the left side of the diamond. This year’s shortstop free agent class is very thin, but there are plenty of options the Mets have for a second baseman. DJ LeMahieu is now likely out of the equation, but Kolten Wong or Jonathan Schoop will probably be in the Mets price range and either of them would be a good signing for the team.
The Mets are probably not going to be able to sign George Springer. But they still have some money to spend and the opportunity to improve the team. Signing another starter along with a center fielder that will come relatively cheap and an infielder is what the Mets should look to do.