It is a new era for the New York Mets. Billionaire Steve Cohen is the new owner in Queens.
New York Mets fans will be delighted that the loathed Wilpons are now gone. New York’s other team will now want to announce themselves to the MLB world. With the financial problems surrounding other clubs, the New York Mets are in a prime position to take advantage of a slow-moving free agency period.
The team can turbocharge this rebuild and haul themselves back into contention in the rugged NL East. The division is full of strong teams; the Braves got more robust by adding Charlie Morton. The New York Mets have pieces, but they don’t have the whole puzzle. With new money rolling around in Queens, the Mets can be aggressive in bringing new players in. They must end the four-year postseason drought, and it starts with free agency.
J.T. Realmuto is now a free agent. With the Phillies claiming a bizarre financial record for 2020, they decided not to bring back former two-time silver slugger Realmuto. Realmuto is one of the premier catchers in all of baseball. The New York Mets have a hole on the depth chart at catcher. Realmuto would fill that hole perfectly. He is a fantastic pitch framer who has a superb feel for calling the game. Realmuto is the new breed of a catcher who is an exceptional hitter. His career slugging percentage is .455, that is miles ahead of the current Mets catcher Thomas Nido’s slugging percentage.
Catchers now have to be good hitters. Gary Sanchez, Austin Barnes and Will Smith are fantastic hitting catchers. Realmuto would add some much-needed power to the lineup. With Robinson Cano suspended again, there will be far too much pressure on Peter Alonso. Realmuto can share some of that burden.
The only caveat to Realmuto is that he is not as strong a defensive catcher as what he should be. Players can steal bases on him, yes he has a rocket arm, but it does lack accuracy which is needed to throw runners out. However, Realmuto blocks pitches very well; he doesn’t get passed by the ball too often. And with Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard to work with, Realmuto should be priority number one for the New York Mets.
There is no doubt about it, George Springer is the most exciting player in free agency. Springer’s career WAR is an eye-watering 27.1; his career on-base percentage is .361, plus he has a World Series MVP tucked away in his cupboard. His postseason slugging percentage is a massive .513. The New York Mets want to get back into the playoffs; they want to announce themselves as contenders. The 31-year-old outfielder would be a superb addition.
Springer is a brilliant pull hitter. We saw him fly the ball out into the Crawford boxes regularly at Houston. The wind factor at Citi field is also not too bad. The left-field side has protection against the wind, that is ideal for a right-handed pull hitter like Springer.
Moreover, Springer is a clubhouse guy. He tries to lead his teammates and always wants to keep spirits high. For a team that has struggled for four years, that trait could be invaluable. Pairing Springer with Alonso is a New York Mets fans dream. New York must make this one happen.
The New York Mets should bolster their outfield with Joc Pederson. With Cano’s suspension, Jeff McNeil might see more time at second. That leaves a gap on the outfield depth chart to fill. Pederson would fill and some. He is a violent slugger who could give the New York Mets a platooning option. His career slugging percentage is a healthy .470. The big left-hander brings a different dimension to the Mets lineup. The Mets can use him in specific matchups against pitchers that suit him.
Pederson is also an excellent outfielder. He marshals the left-field side primarily by himself. Pederson tracks very well and is a strong communicator. He also brings a winning mentality to the clubhouse. He was a fundamental of the Dodgers’ recent success; the Mets need a leader who can change the mindset of the team.
He is a powerful pull hitter of the left side. With the new age of shifting, Pederson can change teams’ fielding plans. Particularly if you already have a runner on base. If the field shifts to the first baseline, there will be open space for runners to find. Pederson brings great tactical flexibility to the New York Mets, plus his eyes will light up when he sees the short distance to the right-field wall in New York.
The Mets already had strong starting pitching as well as having a good bullpen. If they can add these three players to power up an anaemic batting lineup, the New York Mets will be a different beast in 2021.