General Manager Sandy Alderson has said the Mets have $30 million to spend. They are currently ranked 20th in the league in payroll and they will end up with a total of around $101 million if they stick to the plan. This is a small-market plan for a team who charges big city prices.
Here’s the problem the Mets are facing. Noah Syndergaard is a free-agent in 2022. How many times will they drag him into arbitration before they either spoil the relationship or just lose the ability to lock him into a deal? He’s 25, are they just going to let him walk when he’s 29 and feel good about not locking him in? Maybe. Locking him up off an injury riddled season makes more sense than locking him up when he’s back to winning 14-17 games this year.
Jacob deGrom is a free agent in 2021. The Mets said they were going to negotiate with him this winter and yet we hear that he’s likely going to go to arbitration, again. He’ll be a free-agent at the age of 32. He’s currently the Mets best pitcher. He won 15 games on a lousy team. He represented 21% of the teams wins.
Matt Harvey has a career record of 34-35. Most of that is his fault. Last season he had 47 walks in 92 innings. If he had concentrated more on his conditioning and his craft and less on being a celebrity, maybe he wouldn’t be in this spot. He currently has little trade value and he will be a free-agent after this season.
The Mets went to the World Series once with this trio and soon they’ll be down to two. Who’s next? Steven Matz? Maybe if he can stay healthy. Seth Lugo, has shown flashes? Robert Gsellman? He has some tools to work with for sure. Zack Wheeler? He looks lost. Will new skipper Mickey Callaway turn them into a playoff rotation? Maybe.
After this the Mets arms in the minor leagues don’t appear strong at this moment in time. David Peterson (2017 first rounder) is 6-6, 240 and has thrown 3 innings for Brooklyn so it’s too early to tell.
Justin Dunn (2016 first rounder) had a horrible year in St. Lucie. It’s early in his career.
Thomas Szapucki (2015 first rounder) had Tommy John surgery. No telling what will happen with him. He’s had a back issue as well.
Anthony Kay (2016 first round pick) had Tommy John surgery in 2016 and has yet to pitch in the minors.
The Mets must lock up Syndergaard and deGrom. If they don’t they will end up with a middle of the road pitching staff and a middle of the road salary cap team won’t be able to draft enough hitting to keep them competitive.
The Mets will not be big players at the Winter Meetings.