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What this season’s free-agent deal tells us about the value of Mets’ front office, MLB’s paranoid team, and Jacob deGrom


Two quotes almost always come to mind when a team qualifies for the playoffs. myself mind

The first is from the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, who told me several years ago, before Los Angeles won its only championship since 1988 in 2020… It’s disastrous.

Friedman had suggested the cliché to stop and smell the roses. There are victories during the season, big victories, postseason qualifiers, division wins, playoff round wins, etc., which are very difficult to achieve, so it’s important to appreciate and enjoy them.

Another came about a quarter-century ago from Paul O’Neill, who was a member of the Yankees dynasty. “Everybody had a good year when you won,” O’Neill told me, and his points are twofold. One is that even if a player has had a poor season, he can still pick one or three positive moments that make a difference from his winning year. Second, that Homer Bush in 1998 or Jose his Vizcaino in 2000 could feel like a contributor even within a galaxy of stars was a way of acknowledging the need for a village.

watching the Mets Celebrate playoff clinchers on Monday night, both of these quotes came back to me. I know Steve Cohen and his group have bigger dreams than just a tournament invitation. But a lot has gone wrong since the Mets last made the playoffs in 2016, so it’s not just how well the Mets have navigated this season (so far), but how successful they’ve been professionally. It was worth it to recognize and enjoy what

O’Neill’s words got me thinking about how Travis Jankowski and Adonis Medina have helped the Mets this season. Survive short-handed situations and win some coin toss games.

The Mets celebrated their first playoff appearance since 2016 in Milwaukee Monday night.
Getty Images

Still, while watching the Mets enjoy the clinching in Milwaukee, I had the opposite thought. I was going to have a tough game. Cohen has approved the highest payroll in team history for 2022.

The Mets star played like a star. Francisco his Lindor is set to place around his fifth place in the NL MVP in the first season of his $341 million contract extension for 10 years. Max Scherzer, the all-time player of the year, could get negative votes for Cy Young.Edwin Diaz could get votes against both MVP and Cy Young. Jacob deGrom arrived late in the season but pitched well. Pete Alonso is likely to be in the top 10 in NL MVP voting.

Free agency, in particular, is a tough game. You decide you’re ready to become the Tigers and move up the standings, and you can open your wallet and guarantee Eduardo Rodríguez and Javier Baez his $217 million. It was a disaster of this kind that ultimately cost him the job of GM Al Avila.

The Mets signed five major league free agent deals totaling $258.5 million in the offseason, beating Scherzer, Mark Kanha, Eduardo Escobar, Sterling Marte and Adam Ottavino 5-5. No tank. So far, each has been worth the investment. Scherzer pitched like an ace. Canha, Escobar, and Marte deepened both the Mets’ line-up and the professionalism in his locker room. Ottavino was the toughest set-up man for Diaz.

Final results are not included as all but Ottavino have future years on their contracts. For luxury tax purposes, the quintet will cost the Mets $90.05 million this season. The Fangraphs function, which converts Wins Above Replacement to dollar figures, has $102.1 million worth of his five coming into the weekend in 2022. This basically reflects a good investment in his 20% of the roster.

Mark Canha hit an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Mark Kanya is part of the Mets’ free agency, and we’ve seen every addition contribute in a significant way.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Were the Mets lucky? do they know anything? combination? I wanted to write off the Mets’ success as a way to use 3Up to see how the top of the free agent market fared last offseason and see if there are lessons to be learned. .

1. Corey Seager, Rangers, 10 years, $325 million. The right way to think about this is related to Marcus Semien’s seven-year, $175 million deal, the third-biggest signing of the offseason. Together, they represent his $500 million investment in Nakano, Texas.

And these two players gave a great performance. Still, the Rangers are still his third-best team under . 500 in 19 games. Still, it can be said that the Rangers, along with Semien and Seager, have put down the tent poles to start changing their losing style.

Meanwhile, the Rockies signed Kris Bryant to the second-largest free-agent deal of the offseason ($182 million over seven years), but it was a disaster. The injured Bryant played hard for his bottom-placed Colorado club.

Baez signed the fifth-largest contract of the offseason, along with Trevor Story (6 years, $140 million) of the Red Sox. Baez was a poor hitter, sloppy on the field, and contributed to his team, the bottom-ranked Tigers, along with Rodriguez (who earned him $77 million in five years).

Javier Baez #28 of the Detroit Tigers during the second round game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 1, 2022 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
After signing Javier Baez to a $140 million deal, the Tigers similarly find themselves at the bottom of AL Central.
Diamond Images/Getty Images

Kyle Schwarber (Phillies) and Anthony Rizzo (Yankees) have good free agency deals, so Baez and Bryant’s struggles aren’t a bigger part of the 2016 Cubs Championship.

All of these clubs have been able to talk about the need to add name recognition to excite fans and sell tickets.

But when it comes to free agency, we must avoid paranoia and be brutally honest about where we are on the competitive curve as a franchise. Should we make these kinds of long-term commitments instead of saving money? We don’t want to discourage you from improving your team and inspiring and inspiring your fanbase. But there are ways to do it with shorter commitments and less risk.

The Nationals signed Jason Werth to a seven-year deal for $126 million after the 2010 season when they were a losing team. He serves as a fulcrum to Washington’s seriousness and controversy, and his signatures are often cited by clubs that play this kind of play. For everything, most are not. And the smaller the market, the more dangerous this road.

The Giants and Red Sox, for example, are expected to be bold this offseason after going from a 2021 playoff team to one of the year’s most disappointing clubs. But if they make a mistake, they absorb it. Conversely, the Diamondbacks sent a number of interesting young players into the majors this year. Should we aggressively add veterans to speed up the competition? That’s more questionable. It is also unlikely.

2. Scherzer Mets, 3 years, $130 million. That was the highest guaranteed amount for a pitcher last offseason, and $43.3 million is the highest annual payout ever given to any player. His two stints on the injured list added imperfections to the signing. But overall, the Mets are delighted with Scherzer’s work and leadership.

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer, 21, pitched in the first inning Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies.  February 28, 2022 at Citi Field, Queens.
Max Scherzer’s ability to perform at the All-Star level and demonstrate leadership has helped the Mets achieve the desired return on their $130 million investment.
Robert Sabo

Performances from Scherzer, Justin Verlander and even Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright, all signed as free agents last offseason, encourage candidates not to be intimidated, especially by older starters. This should also benefit free agency Verlander and deGrom, as well as Kershaw and Wainwright, this offseason, but as in the last offseason, if the two continue to play, the Dodgers’ It is assumed that Kershaw and Wainwright of the Cardinals will stay.

However, the risk of injury is real. Scherzer, Verlander, Kershaw and Wainwright have each been in his IL at least once this year, and deGrom has missed most of this season. But that doesn’t mean the young starter has deciphered how to stay fit. These guys show that knowing how to pitch has a huge advantage. And Verlander and he are not deGrom concessions.

Both deGrom and Verlander could approach or exceed Scherzer’s annual salary of $43.3 million.

3. Carlos Correa, 3 years, $105.3 million, twins. It was the 10th most guaranteed last offseason and the lowest total dollars among the five advertised shortstops in the free agent class. Seager, Semien, Baez and Story got bigger contracts (Semien and Story played second base).

Another elite class looms, with Correa and Xander Bogaerts expected to opt out of contracts to join Dansby Swanson and Trea Turner.

Does it make any sense that the Big Five shortstops from last year’s class aren’t on this year’s playoff teams? A deal with the Red Sox Story certainly wasn’t a win, but Baez alone was wholly disappointing.

Carlos Correa
Carlos Correa is playing well, but like his fellow top free agent shortstops, he seems to be at home during the playoffs.
Getty Images

Correa looked a lot like himself on offense with the Twins, but wasn’t as good on defense. He is believed to have turned down a $275 million offer from the Tigers before settling on a deal with Escape Hutch after both the 2022 and 2023 seasons, aiming to break the $300 million mark. Yes, he turned 28 on Thursday.

How many teams are there looking for a shortstop? This is a tough one as it has to do with whether the Braves (Swanson) and Dodgers (Turner) keep members. If the Red Sox lost to Bogaerts, Story could theoretically be shortstop.

The Yankees ignored the shortstop class last offseason, I believed Oswaldo Peraza and Anthony Volpe were closeThey are closer now. But if the Yankees lose Aaron Judge in free agency, will he be motivated to buy Correa or Turner? Less visible impact on the free-agent outfield market after the judge?

The Angels can use shortstop, but they’ve put a lot of money into Anthony Rendon and Mike Trout, and they have to figure out what they’re doing with Shohei Ohtani — if they trade Ohtani, The Cubs acquired Nico Herner, but there are agents who believe Chicago will be interested in Correa. We can put Ford in second place. Can the Red Sox keep Story in his second spot and go for the shortstop?

Again, the free agent class is not devoid of this kind of intrigue.



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