New York Mets: Top Priority, J.T. Realmuto or Trevor Bauer?

The New York Mets have quite a few holes to fix this offseason after their disappointing 2020. Struggles from their lack of starting rotation depth and catching production derailed sustained success. J.T Realmuto is the long dream of Mets fans, but maybe Trevor Bauer should be their priority once free agency starts.

Once Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman were out for the 2020 season, they had no choice put to hope in their lack of pitching depth. Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha all struggled to a point where Seth Lugo was forced into the rotation. The rookie, David Peterson, became the Mets second-most reliable starter, way behind Jacob deGrom.

The issue with the Mets starters was not the amount of depth, but the quality of it. Matz was an inconsistent start through his career, Porcello/Wacha had not found success in a couple of years, and Peterson had not thrown an inning in the big leagues. If the Mets put themselves in a situation where the top four in the rotation were reliable to great options, it would solve many of their issues. Just look at how great the Mets rotation was in the second half of 2019.

The Goal is to Get Both

Bauer gives the Mets a top two in their rotation that matches up with any in baseball. Resigning another arm like Stroman to go along with Peterson would supplement the rotation should Noah Syndergaard run into any issues in his first year back from Tommy John Surgery. It also allows Lugo to move back to his natural role in the Mets bullpen.

By no means is this a knock on Realmuto or saying the Mets should not sign him. This is saying the Mets have a better chance to win without Realmuto than they would without Bauer. Tomas Nido never got a fair shake after only playing seven games and then spending time on the COVID injured list. If Nido is better as a backup, quality options like James McCann and Kurt Suzuki sit on a reasonably solid catchers market. There is no quality replacement for what Trevor Bauer brings to any rotation.

Realmuto is the premier catcher in baseball, and no other catching option should be on the table. But like everything in baseball, there has to be a plan B if the Mets lose the sweepstakes. Brodie Van Wagenen never thought of that as general manager, and while options like McCann or Suzuki improve the team like Realmuto, they are still upgrades from Wilson Ramos.

Of course, both players will have plenty of potential suitors lining up for their talents, but the Mets need to sign at least one. If there is any blueprint towards getting a World Series in 2021, at least one of these top-level players need to wear a Mets uniform when Spring Training rolls around.