It certainly wasn’t the kind of Christmas the New York Mets were hoping for as they missed out on signing their top choice in free agency. On Dec. 21, 2023, it was announced that Yoshinobu Yamamoto decided to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million contract. This was the same contract the Mets offered, but it was only a matter of where Yamamoto chose to play, and the Dodgers won that battle.
As we get ready to shift to a new year, just days away, the Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns and owner Steve Cohen have some question marks they have to answer. After missing out on Yamamoto, there is a void in the starting rotation’s top-end. How will they fill in that void? Or, an even better question, who could be the one to come in and fix that issue? Well, there are some options still available. Also, it’s not just the starting pitching. There are other issues as well. Here are some predictions on what the Mets could, and probably should, do in free agency as their next offseason moves.
Thoughts on What Mets Will Do Next in The Offseason
Sign a pitcher not named Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell
There have been multiple reports going around that the Mets aren’t expected to sign either of the above-mentioned free-agent pitchers. Instead, they might attempt to sign others who might be worthy of a one-year deal or so, basically like how they did it with Luis Severino. It’s also worth mentioning that they recently acquired Adrian Houser in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. Houser, a right-handed pitcher who started 21 of 23 games he appeared in during last season, is a solid depth piece the Mets could use. That’s always good, but the concern is the top of the rotation.
The prediction regarding this situation is that they could go after Lucas Giolito. After a rough 2023 season, this is a guy who’s both durable and reliable. He is capable of giving teams lengthy starts. He won’t be turning 30 until July, so having a guy like Giolito to fill in that void in the start rotation would be beneficial.
Another option is that the Mets could also be looking at another Japanese pitcher. That would be Shota Imanaga. Now, of course, there are other teams reportedly interested in him. However, he is expected to visit the United States after the new year, which is when the offers are expected to be given. The Mets should give him one. This guy is a left-handed pitcher who can strike out so many hitters and not walk a lot of them. If you go into the season with Kodai Senga and Imanaga at the top of the rotation, it would almost feel like they didn’t miss out on Yamamoto despite him signing elsewhere. They can look at it like “Hey, we got someone better!”
Sign Michael A. Taylor to Bolster Outfield
The Mets are lacking depth in the outfield, so signing Taylor would be huge. It’s been reported that they’re still showing interest in the 32-year-old Gold Glove outfielder. How he has a Gold Glove is mainly because of his defense. He is also valuable offensively, just like he was last season when he batted .220 with 21 home runs playing for the Minnesota Twins. There is no reason for the Mets not to sign any reliable outfielder this offseason. If that’s what ends up happening, the results likely won’t be good.
Lock Up Pete Alonso And Sign a Veteran Bat
This is a pretty obvious one. Alonso is set to become a free agent after the 2024 season. He has become the heart and soul of the Mets franchise since his first season in 2019. He is highly likely to seek a big contract, so therefore Stearns and Cohen need to pay him.
In addition to locking up Alonso, the Mets should be looking at veteran players who can produce well on offense. Taylor, as mentioned above, could fit that criteria. There is also the possibility of them signing Justin Turner, who began his career playing for them from 2010-2013.
Why Haven’t The Mets Done Much So Far This Offseason?
Many fans are wondering about this because they want their beloved team to sign the best players on the market for them to succeed and hopefully make a postseason run. What they should also be aware of is the “fire sale” before the trade deadline last season, indicating they want to build up their farm system to help them contend in 2025. Now, just because of that doesn’t mean they can’t contend in 2024. If they make the appropriate decisions in signing the necessary free-agent players, they could have a chance. If not, it could be a long 2024 season.
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