Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With the World Series over, the hot stove season -- free agency, trades, and all the intrigue -- is officially here.
For the Mets, they have eight players potentially set to hit free agency. And there's a strong chance that all of them will be playing for new teams in 2020.
The biggest name among the Mets' potential free agents is Zack Wheeler, who is also the only player the Mets will consider extending a qualifying offer to.
The Mets explored the potential of an extension with Wheeler during the season and the two sides couldn't agree, and the expectation is that the team will likely extend a qualifying offer to him.
The qualifying offer for the 2020 season will be roughly $18 million, so the Mets will be on the hook for that if they extend one and Wheeler accepts. And that could be an issue since they already have a lot committed to the payroll for next season.
If the Mets extend the qualifying offer to Wheeler and he rejects it, they will receive a compensatory pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. If they do not extend the qualifying offer and Wheeler walks, they will lose him for nothing.
If Wheeler departs as expected, the Mets are presently set up to enter the season with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz in their starting rotation. So they will likely need to turn to the free agent or trade market to find a new fifth starter.
Frazier's two seasons with the Mets have been eventful, there have been lots of ups and downs, and his tenure in Queens is almost certainly coming to an end.
The 33-year-old rebounded after a rough midseason dip and put up solid overall numbers in 2019 -- hitting .251/.329/.443 with 21 homers in 133 games. But with the Mets having Jeff McNeil, Jed Lowrie, and J.D. Davis (all third base possibilities) on the roster, there just doesn't seem to be any room for Frazier going forward.
The Mets have a $9.5 million option on the 30-year-old Lagares for the 2020 season that contains a $500,000 buyout, and they are absolutely going to buy him out.
After impressing with the bat in 2018 while missing most of the season due to injury, Lagares hit just .213/.279/.326 in 133 games in 2019. His defense -- once his calling-card -- also graded out as a shade below average.
The Mets might entrust center field to Brandon Nimmo or another player already on the roster. Or they might go outside the organization looking for a new center fielder.
After having a rough April and missing most of May and all of June due to injury, Avilan (best used as a lefty specialist) pitched very well in July and August. He had a 3.86 ERA entering play on Sept. 3, but struggled down the stretch as he finished the season with a 5.06 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.
Rivera played in just nine games for the Mets in 2019, which was his second stint with the club (2016-17 was his first). Rivera is a solid backup catcher who seemingly has a good rapport with the pitchers, but the Mets as presently constituted already have their two catchers for 2020: Wilson Ramos and Tomas Nido.
The Mets signed Brach in August after he was DFA'd and then released by the Cubs. The 33-year-old was solid in 14.2 IP with the Mets, posting a 3.68 ERA and 1.22 WHIP while striking out 15. He could be worth a flyer for 2020, but the Mets need to aim higher when upgrading a bullpen that cost them a postseason appearance this past season.
The 39-year-old Davis was a cool story for the Mets, delivering some big hits -- including a game-winner against the Dodgers in late-September that kept New York's postseason hopes alive. But he hit just .200/.231/.400 in 29 games.
Santana signed a minor league deal with the Mets during the 2019 season but never advanced past Triple-A Syracuse.