Should, or if it is truly only a matter of when the New York Mets inevitably sign prime free agent Carlos Correa, still expect Steve Cohen, Billy Eppler, and company to remain busy?
Whether it be shredding contracts through trades to remove stress from the Mets’ enormous payroll or, adding depth to either their bullpen or with more bats, the Mets still can make moves.
In his latest report yesterday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic shared some good buzz on the likelihood of the Mets signing Correa. Also, even if the Mets sign Correa, expect more moves to come.
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Possible transactions the Mets could make after signing Carlos Correa:
Rosenthal discussed a possible timeline for the Correa deal to become official, what current players could be moved in correspondence with the Correa signing, and if anything else could come this offseason.
“I would assume this week we see resolution (with Correa) and then we see the Mets spring into further action. They’re going to need to make some other trades, they have traded (James) McCann and would trade (Eduardo) Escobar if they finalize Correa. And you may see some other things.”
If the Mets can make things official with Correa, it will certainly make things fascinating with Escobar. He was arguably the Mets’ best hitter down the stretch when the lineup struggled mightily. In the month of September, Escobar hit a ridiculous .340. With Correa taking over at third, one could argue strongly that Escobar should be kept as a great right-handed bat in the designated hitter role.
Unfortunately, though, from the team’s point of view, the payroll with Correa would be through the roof. Escobar is one of the players who becomes expendable in a multitude of ways.
His expected playing time at third base would decrease significantly. He would basically be a depth piece, but a great one at that, should Correa ever miss time. Aside from his role at third, Escobar is older, turning 34 tomorrow, on the final year of his contract, and owed a base salary of $9.5 million in 2023. Lastly, the Mets have an exciting, talented prospect, one of their best, in Brett Baty, who also happens to play third base and would obviously be prioritized over Escobar as Correa’s primary backup.
Along with moving Escobar, most would assume that Darin Ruf could be on the chopping block as well. He is owed $3 million this upcoming season.
The final point to take from Rosenthal’s quote is that other moves may come to fruition as well. The Mets could undoubtedly use some depth in multiple places. A few logical starting points to look at would be the bullpen, a fourth outfielder, and a designated hitter, should the Mets sign Correa and trade Escobar. Particularly with the bullpen, a left-handed relief pitcher to complete the overhaul this offseason. One more power presence added to the lineup in either a DH or utility outfielder role would be terrific to add.
This free agency process has been a blast for the Mets up until this point, but they are still not done. Officially getting Correa signed takes a huge load off the Mets’ shoulders. However, more moves will still have to be executed for this team heading into next year.