3 expensive free agents the New York Mets must target

The New York Mets are poised to spend big this offseason.

Another team looking to reverse its fortunes in 2022 is ready to spend a fortune to do so.

Good thing, too; with Noah Syndergaard signing with the Angels this week, Jacob deGrom’s arm issues, and many of their stars now free agents, the Mets will have to shell out to win.

According to New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, his front office has the green light.

“I’m willing, for the right deals and right free agents, to go get the players we need,” Cohen said. “We want to be competitive. We want to win our division and be in the playoffs and get deep into the playoffs. I’ve let Billy and Sandy know: It’s whatever they need.”

Here are three of the most expensive free agents the Mets should sign.

1. Marcus Stroman, P

Marcus Stroman was incredible for the Mets in 2021, and considering he was their own pitcher to throw the qualifying number of innings, bringing him back should be a top priority.

Stroman posted a 3.02 ERA over an MLB-most 33 starts in 2021. In fact, his ERA has decreased significantly in each of his last three seasons. After opting out of the 2020 season, Stroman lowered his hit and walk rates, while increasing his strikeout rate and keeping his home run rate in line with his last four seasons.

The starting pitcher market is scorching hot; this week alone, two pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery each signed one-year deals for over $21M. Stroman will cost much more.

2. Kris Bryant, 3B

Kris Bryant has spent his entire career in the National League, so why stop now? He’s coming off his fifth 25+ home run season in his seven-year career and brings a lot to the table.

Bryant plays third base, first base, and the outfield, making him a versatile, albeit expensive signing. He’s spent the bulk of his career at third, logging nearly 700 games at the hot corner. But he can also play the outfield, something the Mets need now that Michael Conforto is a free agent.

With the Mets’ dearth of postseason playing time over the last few years, Bryant’s extensive October experience would come in handy. The former MVP and Rookie of the Year has a 2016 World Series ring, and the distinction of helping the Cubs end a 108-year championship drought.

3. Starling Marte, OF

As the only true centerfielder of the free-agent class, Starling Marte is going to have many suitors. There’s no reason the Mets shouldn’t be one of them. The 10-year MLB vet has a lifetime .289/.346/.451 line, a .797 OPS, and averages 42 stolen bases per season. He also gets hit by pitches on average 19 times each year, so he’s on base a lot.

Since the centerfield market is so slim and the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on December 1, teams might be desperate enough to lock Marte down before the end of November.

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