This year when the MLB free agent market opened up it seemed as if the New York Mets were going to have an extremely exciting offseason. The front office started off by picking up a one-year option on slugger Jay Bruce, as a backup plan to Yoenis Cespedes, who seemed highly unlikely to return to New York. This was because it seemed as if Cespedes was destined to receive a huge contract, and by any team but the Mets. However, on November 29th in the middle of the day, to the surprise of most, the Mets signed Cespedes to a massive four year 110 million dollar contract with a full no trade clause to the entire league.
After the signing of Yoenis the Mets resigned Neil Walker as he accepted a one year 17.2 million dollar qualifying offer. For a long time after those resigning’s the New York Mets seemed to be having a tale of two halves this offseason, which you usually hear about during the season, not the offseason. For a while after the signing of Cespedes, the plan of the Mets front office was to trade Jay Bruce, who as was mentioned earlier had his option picked up as a backup to Cespedes. Now this task didn’t seem too hard, to trade a player who just had an outstanding overall season, hitting .250 at the plate along with 33 bombs, and 99 RBI’s in just 147 games. All the Mets were looking for was a good reliever in return, but there were no takers, as other teams would rather sign a slightly less talented player in free agency. This was most likely due to the fact that Bruce had a severe drop off when he was traded to the Mets, hitting an embarrassing .219 with 8 homers in 50 games.
Now this all was actually a great offseason for the Mets even though they were only able to retain their players, rather than make any additions. The Mets were believed to be strapped for cash, not being able to move Bruce for a low paid effective reliever, so signing a big name reliever was out of the question. They had not made a major league signing of anyone since Cespedes and Walker, but two relievers who were on the roster just last season had not yet been signed. These relievers were looking for a big deal that nobody was willing to pay. By waiting out these two relievers, and showing interest in others available the Mets were able to resign them both at very low prices. Originally Jerry Blevins was reportedly looking for 3 years 18 million, and he was signed for one year with a team option attached at an annual rate of 5.5 million, the Mets got a bargain . The other reliever Fernando Salas was signed to a one year 3 million dollar contract, and he was looking for a multi-year deal himself. So now with the exception of one pitcher who signed elsewhere the Mets basically have the same roster that they made the playoffs with last season, with a few pitchers returning from injury.
You might ask: Why would you want the same team you had last year that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs? There is a simple answer to that, and it is why the Mets offseason was an underrated success, one word: depth. The Mets now have an abundance of relievers, which is essential, and as you may know the final few months of the season last year the Mets had to fill up their starting rotation with a few rookies, due to injuries, and they luckily proved their worth, performing at a high level. Now they have three returning aces in Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and arguably the best of the crop Jacob Degrom. Injuries have plagued the Mets more than most teams over the years, especially when it came to pitching, but now they have seven capable starters, to fill a five-man rotation. They also have extreme depth when it comes to position players, since they kept Bruce, Walker, and Cespedes the projected Mets bench is filled with former starters, or future ones. The bench is likely to be Jose Reyes, Rene Rivera, TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares. All of those players have been regular starters at some point for the Mets in the past, and now they can come off the bench, or easily step in to a starting role due to an injury.
Although the New York Mets made no new additions their offseason was better than most other teams. This upcoming season it seems as if the Mets are poised for a great year due to the front office having an exceptional offseason. We will see if this “underrated success” pays off.