With a payroll that’s already past what they had last season, and few prospects to trade, it should be a relatively quiet offseason for the Mets. Still, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen won’t settle for that- he’ll likely make at least one splash move to try to propel the Mets to the playoffs.
Expected Direction: Trying To Make The Playoffs Next Season
Mets Acquire OF Jake Marisnick From Astros
Full Trade: Mets Acquire OF Jake Marisnick In Exchange For LHP Blake Taylor and OF Kenedy Corona
Adding the defensive-minded center fielder they were looking for, the Mets have acquired outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Astros, in exchange for pitching prospect Blake Taylor and outfield prospect Kenedy Corona. Marisnick, 28, never earned a full-time job in Houston’s outfield, as he only had 318 plate appearance last year. Still, he managed a 1.1 WAR, so if he’s a full-time starter, you’re looking at a fringe two-win player. Offensively, Marisnick is fine, as he posted a 86 weighted-runs-created-plus (wrc+), but comes with huge K-BB issues, and doesn’t hit for much hard contact. However, he’s also a stellar defender, as evidenced by his 16 defensive runs saved (drs) over the past two seasons. Therefore, he’s a great fit for a Mets team that needed to improve their outfield defense, and for two minor prospects, he should be a solid stopgap for a season.
Mets Sign RP Brad Brach
Contract Details: One Year, $850K
Despite payroll restrictions, the Mets know they need to add depth to a thin bullpen in any logical way possible. Therefore, it’s not a surprise to see them take a cheap flyer on a reliever- they re-signed Brad Brach to a one-year deal worth less than $1 million. Brach, 33, didn’t have the type of season he was hoping for after signing with the Cubs. Between Chicago and New York, his 3.73 FIP wasn’t terrible, but that also came with a poor 4.68 xFIP, as he had a lot of home run luck. He didn’t allow a lot of hard contact and actually struck out batters at a pretty high rate (9.94 K/9), yet his lack of command cost him- his 5.13 BB/9 was a career-high, or low for that matter. I’m not sure if Brach can fix his issues with allowing free passes, as this has been an issue over the past couple seasons, yet for $850K, why not take a shot? After all, relievers are very volatile, and if he can put together a solid stretch, he’ll easily live up to the deal- these are the types of signings New York has to make.
Mets Sign SP Michael Wacha
Contract Details: One Year, $3 Million (Up To $10 Million With Incentives)
In an attempt to add rotation depth, the Mets signed starting pitcher Michael Wacha to a one-year deal worth $3 million, which can reach $10 million with incentives. Last season was a rough season for Wacha, 28, who didn’t fill a spot in St.Louis’ rotation, as expected. In 114 innings as a starting pitcher, he had just a 4.85 xFIP, with a poor 7.3 K/9 and 4 BB/9. In fact, this is the second straight season where he’s had poor K-BB numbers, which explains his SIERAs of 4.60 and 5.08, respectively. Perhaps a change of scenery will do Wacha well, but considering that incentives can escalate this contract quite a bit, this is a rather strange move for a team trying to contend with little financial resources; he was apparently guaranteed a spot in their rotation.
Mets Sign SP Rick Porcello
Contract Details: One Year, $10 Million
Apparently not being settled with their current rotation, the Mets have signed yet another starting pitcher, this time Rick Porcello, in the form of a one-year contract worth $10 million. Like Wacha, this is a clear bounce-back opportunity for Porcello, who disappointed greatly with a 5.14 xFIP in 176.1 innings for the Red Sox last season. Still, the upside with him is that as recently as 2018, he had a 3.87 xFIP and 3.77 skill interactive ERA (SIERA), but in order for that to happen, he’ll need to improve on his strikeout rate (7.38 K/9) and induce more ground balls. Though this may not matter, he reportingly had a conversation with Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi late in September, who made similar adjustments to what Porcello has to make, and in the 17 innings after that, he had a 2.65 ERA and 20-1 K-BB ratio, and now will pitch for new pitching coach Jeremy Heffner, who worked for the Twins. I don’t love this move for a team that already appeared to have a set rotation (there were cheaper depth options), though I wouldn’t of been against it for a different team- he is definitely a solid candidate to bounce back to usual standards this season.
Mets Sign RP Dellin Betances
Contract Details: One Year, $10.5 Million ($6.5 Million Player Option 2021, 2022 Vesting Option)
In a high-risk, high-reward type of deal, the Mets have signed reliever Dellin Betances on a one-year deal worth $10.5 million, which comes with a $6.5 million player option for 2021 and a vesting option for the following season. Last season was a very unique season for Betances, 32, as after coming back from a shoulder injury, he struck out the only two batters he faced before tearing his Achilles. Apparently, he should be ready to pitch for New York by the start of the season, but obviously, the Mets are gambling that he’ll return to full health. As far as his ability is concerned, he’s been a dominant reliever for practically his entire career, though in 2017, a much higher walk rate (6.64 BB/9) did hurt him. Now, there’s always added danger in signing any reliever, as the Mets have found out multiple times, especially one who could possibly be wearing down after a heavy workload with the Yankees. If this pans out, the Mets can have a deadly back-end of their bullpen and Betances will re-enter the free-agent market. If not though, he’ll be another sunken cost for them over the next two seasons.
*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Mets Make