The New York Mets have certainly had an active weekend. After signing James McCann to be their new starting catcher yesterday the Mets finally landed a general manager, hiring Arizona assistant Jared Porter to succeed Brodie Van Wagenen. Porter comes with a tremendous resume filled with World Series rings as an assistant GM in Chicago and Boston with the Mets hoping his reputation for strong pro scouting and use of analytics will set the tone for a future star executive.
The Mets have certainly been more active than most teams in baseball to this point but still have quite a bit of work to do. What could be next for them? Let’s examine some possibilities.
Sign a center fielder
Sandy Alderson mentioned that the Mets needed a center fielder and the team has been heavily linked to George Springer. ESPN’s Buster Olney recently said he would bet the family farm that Springer winds up with the Mets which makes sense since he is a clear fit for the Mets’ needs. Signing Springer would give the Mets a right-handed-hitting center fielder, shifting Brandon Nimmo over to left and generating more outfield depth. Another option could be to sign Jackie Bradley Jr and save their money for . . .
Add starting pitching
The big fish in the starting pitching pool is Trevor Bauer, who has been linked to the Mets among other suitors. There has been a report out that Alderson would prefer to sign Bauer while owner Steve Cohen is eyeing Springer, but Bauer’s market appears more robust at this point. The Angels appear to be desperate to add top pitching, which could push them past a price the Mets want to go to land Bauer. That wouldn’t be the worst outcome since the presence of Jacob deGrom means the Mets don’t need to go all out for an ace like the Angels do. Don’t be shocked if the Mets continue to explore the market to add quality depth to the rotation in the form of guys like Jake Odorizzi, Masahiro Tanaka or Taijuan Walker. Porter has familiarity with Walker from his time in Arizona and could make a strong case for the Mets to bring him in to add a high-upside flyer to the back of the rotation.
Bulk up the bullpen
The Mets have already made one bullpen addition with Trevor May but could easily look for another arm or two to strengthen the unit if they pivot away from Bauer in the starters market. SNY’s Andy Martino has mentioned the Mets are among the teams interested in Liam Hendriks, who would add depth to the back of the unit. Another area of need is a left-handed reliever, which the Mets could fill by either retaining Justin Wilson or signing a guy like Brad Hand.
Add general depth
The Mets are in need of depth since the upper levels of their minors are pretty barren, making it problematic if they need to replace someone who is injured. Filling out those levels with players who can contribute in a pinch would be nice. One area of particular concern is the outfield since the Mets only have Nimmo, Michael Conforto and Guillermo Heredia on the 40-man roster as natural outfielders. Expect the Mets to add at least one outfielder to the big league bench, with guys like Adam Duvall and Kike Hernandez being reasonable options.
Build up the front office infrastructure
This move won’t be as sexy but the Mets will look to bulk up all aspects of their front office after Porter is officially hired. Adding some assistant GMs, bulking up scouting, investing in analytics and building a more efficient organizational structure will pay long-term dividends for the franchise.