The New York Mets may have missed out on George Springer, but all signs point at them remaining active in the free agent market, despite adding catcher James McCann, reliever Trevor May, shortstop Francisco Lindor, starter Carlos Carrasco, and a bunch of arms for the bullpen.
Speaking of the bullpen, the New York Mets remain focused on improving that area. After adding Marcus Stroman and Carlos Carrasco, it is a given that Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman will join May, closer Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Dellin Betances, and others there. However, after Justin Wilson departed via free agency, a lefty is needed.
Brad Hand, who was 16-for-16 in saves situations last year with a sparkling 2.05 ERA and 1.37 FIP, has been on the Mets’ radar for months now. He remains in play, even if several teams, including the hungry Toronto Blue Jays, are still in on him.
According to SNY, the Mets have at least $20 million to spend before they hit the luxury tax threshold. The plan is not to exceed the number, although things can change at any moment.
“Everyone seems to want to know about Brad Hand and Jackie Bradley Jr. Both are possible for the Mets, but both bring complications. Hand and the Mets were deep in serious talks last week, and then Hand switched agents. He will sign a multi-year deal somewhere, and the Mets havenâ€™t been willing to do that yet with him. Alex Colome is one of several alternatives who would command slightly less,” Andy Martino of SNY wrote.
The Mets most pressing needs
With his track record of excellence, Hand figures to get the multiyear deal he desires, so the Mets would probably need to step up if they want to secure their man.
The Mets need a center fielder, as well, but Martino warns that Jackie Bradley Jr. may not come as cheap as people think.
“At the beginning of the offseason, Bradleyâ€™s asking price was said to be extremely high (there is a rumor of a number going around that is so astronomical that we canâ€™t publish it in good faith). Mets fans thinking, ‘Oh, we missed on Springer, letâ€™s just grab JBJ at a discount’ are overly optimistic. He doesnâ€™t expect to come cheap,” he explained.