By Steven Inman
With the World Series now over, 9 Mets have become free agents. The Mets can’t rest on their NL Pennant and must get to work in bringing back or replacing the players they are losing. Sandy Alderson and company as always will be looking for more power but finding players that can play a little defense too wouldn’t hurt after seeing the infield defense struggle the way that they did in the 5 games vs the Royals.
if the goal is to improve the defense obviously fan favorite Daniel Murphy will not be re-signed. Murphy, 30, will be a free agent for the first time in his career if he declines the qualifying offer, which he is likely to do. He has played in 903 regular season games as a Met and is 2nd on the Mets all-time list in doubles. Murphy has had some incredible moments as a Met most notably 7 homers in the first two rounds of the 2015 playoffs and is the second longest tenured Met behind David Wright but it probably makes the most sense for the Mets to let Murphy sign elsewhere and get a draft pick for him. Wilmer Flores would perform better defensively at second base and it would allow the club to look for a more defensive minded starting shortstop. Murphy is likely deserving of a Chase Headley type contract (4 years, $52M) and the Mets with their limited resources are better off using that money to find shortstop/relief help. Despite his poor play in the World Series, Murphy should be remembered fondly by the Citi Field faithful for his amazing postseason.
Yoenis Cespedes is looking for a contract north of $100 million this winter. Based off his strong 2015 regular season if you compare him to similar outfielders, he certainly deserves it. Having said that it would probably be best for the Mets to spread out that money on a number of players. Cespedes was a key factor in the Mets winning their first division title in nine years as his August was one of the best in Mets history and his homer off Drew Storen really seemed to win the Mets the NL East. That being said he had a difficult postseason and is probably best in a corner outfield spot, where the Mets already have Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. While the Mets are better off spending their money elsewhere, acquiring Yoenis from the Tigers was one of if not the best move Alderson has made as the Mets General Manager. The Mets should look for a lefty hitting centerfielder to pair with Juan Lagares. A player like Gerardo Parra or Colby Rasmus could work.
Bartolo Colon was a joy for Met fans to watch in 2015. He gave the Mets a chance to win a majority of his time on the mound and his at-bats were must watch tv. After 18 seasons in the big leagues as a starting pitcher, Colon somehow morphed himself into a solid reliever in the playoffs. A reliever that Terry Collins probably should have used more. Colon, 42, is still a serviceable back end starter and likely is looking for a contract in the $6-7M range. While Colon was worth that money for the Mets in 2015, it’s probably best to go with Jonathon Niese in the Mets 5th starter role in the upcoming season.
Tyler Clippard was the move that was supposed to fix the bridge to Jeurys Familia. While that worked at first, Clippard struggled down the stretch and was a disaster in the playoffs. Collins’ loyality to Clippard betrayed him in Game 4 of the World Series. Clippard was unable to get his great changeup down in the zone as a Met and as a result was hit very hard. It is probably best if the Mets look elsewhere for relief help.
The Mets got a lot out of these 4 players in 2015 and while they all have value, it is probably best if the Mets replace these players with cheaper options or even internally. Players like Juan Uribe, Jerry Blevins and Kelly Johnson could have value to the Mets in some type of role and their free agent status should be monitored.
Who should the Mets be looking to re-sign?