As of April 5, the Mets were still in touch with free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel, according to SNY's Andy Martino. Now, Kimbrel's price tag -- which was reportedly a ridiculous six-years and more than $100 million earlier this offseason-- has reportedly dropped considerably.
The 31-year-old Kimbrel is now open to signing a deal similar to ones signed by Wade Davis ($52 million for three years) and Zack Britton ($39 million for three years), reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
With Jason Vargas unable to get ous -- Mickey Callaway's words -- and his future in the rotation up in the air, it can be argued that the Mets' bigger need right now is Dallas Keuchel.
It can also be argued that the Mets adding Kimbrel would have a very big ripple effect since it would theoretically turn every game where the Mets' starting pitcher doesn't last long into kind of a six-inning game, with Jeurys Familia pitching the seventh inning, Kimbrel the eighth, and Edwin Diaz the ninth.
The Mets adding Kimbrel would also keep him away from the Phillies and Nationals -- two teams whose back-end bullpen situations are far from ideal.
New York's Opening Day payroll was a shade over $158 million, per Cot's Baseball Contracts. But their Competitive Balance Tax payroll is $189.7 million, which means signing Kimbrel or Keuchel could potentially bring them past the luxury tax threshold of $206 million.
If the Mets are seriously all-in on 2019, though, the small price to pay via the luxury tax would be worth it when it comes to potentially adding Keuchel or Kimbrel.