This post is really less advice and more the ramblings of a Mets fan's barely researched and overly confident desires for his team this offseason. As of right now, I feel very strongly (albeit with barely any basis), that the following moves would make the Mets into a winning ball club next season. However, if any of these players have terrible seasons, I will deny ever having written this.
Current Rotation Options: deGrom, Carrasco, Walker, Peterson, Megill, Lucchesi, Yamamoto
First things first, let's look at the Mets much bemoaned pitching depth. I for one am very glad that Syndergaard chose to rebuild his value outside of NY this year, both for his sake and for the Mets. Watching him figure out how to pitch without a 100 mph fastball under the ever present gaze of NY media would have been rough. And now the Mets have $18.4 mil to play with elsewhere. So on to my first FA signing of the offseason.
I don't know when it happened but I have become obsessed with bringing Kershaw to the Mets. I know this is probably the most unlikely option available on the market thanks to his iconic status in LA but I really really want him and I think he still has plenty to offer as a starting pitcher despite his recent injury concerns. So here's hoping LA balks and the Rangers don't try to sign him and he secretly loves Queens and has always wanted to play for the Mets.
This is a little bit of a lottery ticket. I am hoping, despite evidence that is in direct conflict with this hope, that Jon Gray will be a better pitcher once you move him out of Coors. I know his splits indicate that he often pitches better there than on the road, I don't care. It's my fantasy, I do what I want! But, even if he is the same pitcher he has been over his career, I would love to have him at the back of the rotation for the Mets.
I think they could add some additional back of the rotation/AAAA depth like they did last year with the Yamamoto and Lucchesi moves but these two signings give the Mets some depth and potential upside despite adding some more question marks to an already questionable rotation.
Current Outfield Options: Nimmo, Smith, McNeil, Lee
Moving on to the outfield. Losing Conforto is a major blow but there are some intriguing options on the market to fill out the Mets outfield this offseason.
This might be the move I am the most desperate for the Mets to make. Purely a gut feeling thing. I have never seen him play I have only read about him and pored over his stat lines but I desperately want him to play for the Mets. This is an area where I am hoping Billy Eppler will be some help. He has a positive history of signing Japanese players, most notably with Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka. Suzuki is also reportedly a gold glove caliber outfielder who was formerly a SS and 3B so there may be some versatility there.
Marte is getting older, but he is still a serviceable center fielder who put up a career year offensively in 2021. He would allow the Mets to shift Nimmo to the corner and take some pressure off his defense while also giving the Mets some much needed help on the bases.
In addition to these signings, I would really love it if the Mets traded for Byron Buxton. I would not give up that much for one year of him considering his injury history, but if the price is right his upside is very tantalizing. Plus an outfield of Buxton, Marte, Nimmo, and Suzuki has an insane upside that is making me drool, and with the introduction of the DH they could all play everyday.
Current Infield Options: Alonso, Smith, McNeil, Cano, Lindor, Guillorme, Davis
Cano returning really puts a wrench in the potential infield this offseason. It's tough to add players there while his albatross of a contract looms over the infield, however there is one move that it seems most people are pulling for the Mets to make and I agree.
Baez proved last year that he has the potential to be the type of patient power hitter that the Mets love and with his elite defense that makes him an incredibly valuable player. He is an exciting dude to watch play and I would be excited to have him back in the fold.
(I'm skipping bullpen because I am lazy and catcher we are kind of stuck with until Francisco Alvarez is ready.)
Obviously, making even a handful of these moves would launch the Mets way past the luxury tax threshold, and signing everyone might threaten the Dodgers 2015 payroll record, but I think that is the type of thing Cohen should do to turn this franchise around forcibly before building it the right way down the line. And the most important thing that all of these moves have in common is they are not attached to QO and therefore the Mets don't lose the 14th pick. In my mind, this is the most important factor this offseason. I need the Mets to demonstrate the ability to use Steve Cohen's oversized wallet to overpay unattached players, if need be, in order to protect their draft picks and build a dominant farm system for the future.
Fantasy Rotation: deGrom, Kershaw, Carrasco, Walker, Gray
Fantasy Outfield: Nimmo, Marte, Suzuki, (Buxton)
Fantasy Infield: Alonso, Baez, Lindor, Cano/McNeil/Davis