Springer signed with the Toronto Blue Jays on a six-year deal. The Mets must look elsewhere to fill their outfield void.
Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil are all good outfield options. None are appropriate for center field, however. J.D. Davis is a good hitter, but could the Mets look for an upgrade at third base?
New York traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. They signed James McCann and Trevor May. Steve Cohen’s promise to build a contender has already been delivered, but there are still major offseason moves to be made.
Missing out on Springer is a blow. The Mets are in position to quickly forget about the former Astros outfielder, though. Here are two moves they should make before the season starts…
Trade for Cubs star
The Mets have been linked with a Kris Bryant trade. Bryant is clearly on the trade block as the Cubs rebuild. His future is one of the untold stories of this MLB offseason, and a story which should involve the Mets.
Chicago was happy to dump Yu Darvish‘s low salary for a relatively low return. They didn’t tender Kyle Schwarber a contract. The Mets already took advantage of the Indians’ desire to cut payroll – they should do the same with the Cubs and continue to pursue a trade for Bryant.
Bryant would give the Mets another corner outfield option. He would enable them to use Davis as a utility rather than an everyday starter, and he would arguably give them the best left-side infield in baseball. Perhaps most importantly, it appears the Mets could snatch Bryant for a bargain price given the Cubs’ desire to offload salary.
The former MVP is a free agent at season’s end. The Cubs are not looking to compete in 2021. Their decision to trade Darvish and let Schwarber walk makes a Bryant trade more justifiable – the Mets should be at the front of the queue regardless of whether they think they can sign him to an extension.
Adding Bryant to a line-up already containing Lindor, Pete Alonso, Conforto and McNeil is a terrifying prospect for the National League.
Brandon Nimmo is not a viable long-term option in center. His defense was atrocious last season. The Mets have trauled through veteran center field options with little to no success in recent seasons. It’s time to prioritize an elite glove in center, and the Mets can do so without compromising offense too greatly.
Signing free agent Jackie Bradley Jr.makes too much sense. Bradley is one of the best defenders in the sport. While he’s prone to hot streaks at the plate, Bradley tends to average out just below league-average, but the Mets can afford to carry a slightly weaker bat with the number of productive hitters they have on the roster.
The Mets apparently went as high as $125 million for Springer. Bradley is barely comparable as an offensive player, but he could be available for a fifth of that price.