It didn’t happen as quickly as the fan base hoped, but the New York Mets have had a successful offseason. The Mets committed nearly $90 million to six free agents, filling multiple holes on their roster after early worries that they would slash payroll after a 92 loss season. Those fears turned out to be unfounded as the Mets took advantage of a weak market to secure solid talent on their terms. It also appears that the heavy lifting is done for the winter, as Sandy Alderson told reporters this week that he doesn’t anticipate any more moves prior to the start of the season, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.
Alderson, speaking shortly after the Mets signed Jason Vargas to a two year deal, indicated that he would be “surprised, if not shocked, if somebody else walks into this clubhouse.” The Mets already have a full rotation and complement of position players that should be further bolstered once Michael Conforto returns from injury. This statement does rule out a run at free agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who the Mets were linked to earlier in the winter, as they appear content to ride the platoon of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki to start the season.
The Mets also appear happy with their bullpen situation. The team signed Anthony Swarzak to a two year deal this winter to fortify a unit that returns holdovers Jeurys Familia, A.J. Ramos and Jerry Blevins. There has been speculation that the Mets will carry up to eight relievers this season to try and keep everyone as fresh as possible, meaning there are four potential spots up for grabs. Hansel Robles and Paul Sewald will likely assume two of those, and there have been rumblings the Mets will convert a starter like Zack Wheeler or Robert Gsellman into a reliever to start the season.
The one issue is that the Mets don’t have a ton of depth from the left side of the bullpen. Blevins is the only lefty out there after the Mets traded Josh Smoker to the Pittsburgh Pirates and released Josh Edgin earlier this offseason. This is a problem that can be worked around by utilizing relievers with reverse splits, such as letting the righty Robles pitch more often to lefties, who he has had more success against. The risk the Mets run is that Blevins, who has had a heavy workload the past few years, could get worn down as the only true lefty specialist in the bullpen. It wouldn’t hurt the Mets to pursue another lefty, perhaps on a minor league deal, but it doesn’t sound as if they are inclined to go in that direction at the moment.