The Mets front office has finally awoken over the last week. It seems like forever ago when they re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, and that is because it was! If you’ve been following this team long enough, you had the mindset that they made their move and would sit on their hands the rest of the off-season. From not being able to trade Bruce, not brining in any resemblance of a major league reliever and not addressing their black hole behind the plate, who could say anything when they opened the checkbook for Cespedes, right?
Well, being a fan of the Mets for as long as I have been, I unfortunately have to admit that addressing 1/3 of those concerns after the Cespedes signing isn’t bad. Quite honestly, I was all for not dealing Bruce, because proven, reliable 30 homerun hitters don’t grow on trees, and regardless of what Conforto may or may not be, he’s not their yet and with age and injuries and their role in baseball (especially these Mets), he will get plenty of opportunities along the way.
While the Mets signings this week may not be headline grabbers, they are solid, known commodities who strengthen an already strong bullpen and pitching staff, regardless of any Familia suspensions. The fact that the Mets actually played this market out the way they did is most impressive and satisfying. Too often, the Mets would jump the gun and hand out deals that didn’t fall in line with market value. While some will say this again was the case with Cespedes, that move had to be made when it did, but I am referring more to the Chris Young’s, De Aza’s, Cuddyer’s and Frank Franciscos’s of Mets past off-seasons. Alderson was always quick to target his guy and go all out for them, even though some patience would have led to greater bargains and less headaches down the line. But again, learning from your past mistakes is vital and I firmly believe that is how Blevins and Salas fell back in their laps, and for just under $10 million combined!
Whether it was an over saturation of the market, over evaluation of talent or just an unwillingness to break the bank, so many quality free agents remain on the hunt for a team and we are already in February. Now is the time to make moves, and that is exactly what the Mets did. While Blevins would have loved a 3 year deal like some of his counterparts got very early on in this off-season, he clearly overplayed his market and is back in New York for his 3rd year on a one year deal for $6.5 million with an option. Salas re-upped a day earlier for $3 million after being acquired right before the deadline last season from the Angels. To be able to retain Cespedes, Blevins, Salas, Rivera and Walker, plus a full season of Bruce, Reyes, and hopefully healthy returns for Wright and the pitching staff, Alderson in my mind gets a solid B+ this off-season. While I still would like some sort of upgrade at catcher, there is no benefit in selling low on d’Arnaud and considering what else was available, he is well worth the risk in hopes he turns things around.