By: Ross Sutton
The Mets are allegedly eyeing 2025 as the next year that they will try to compete for a World Series, but I think they owe it to their fans to make some moves that could help their team in 2024 while also improving their chances of competing for a championship in ’25. The Mets still need help in their starting rotation even after adding Luis Severino and Adrian Houser, and I also think they could use another power bat in their lineup. So with that being said, here are the moves that I think the Mets should make this offseason.
Sign Jorge Soler
Fangraphs currently lists D.J. Stewart as the Mets starting DH, and despite his hot August and September with the team in 2023, I think that Jorge Soler is a player the Mets should add to provide more pop in their lineup, as they only had the 18th highest team OPS in the majors last year. Soler does not provide much on defense, but he has proven himself to be a very productive hitter (career .797 OPS). Even though he will likely only be used as a DH, I expect Soler to receive a contract similar to Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who signed a 3-year, $42M contract with the D-backs a week ago. A three-year deal seems fair for Soler, and this would also fit the Mets timeline of trying to be contenders in 2025. If the Mets signed Soler, their lineup would probably look something like this:
After a down year last year, the Mets could also move Jeff McNeil down in the lineup to break up the string of righties in the middle of the order, but I think this lineup would be solid and keep Mets fans engaged throughout the year.
Sign Brandon Woodruff
Woodruff seems like a perfect fit for the Mets, as I assume the team would be okay with signing a player that is recovering from an injury and will likely miss most of the 2024 season if they can sign him to a deal that keeps Woodruff in Queens for 2025. I doubt that Woodruff would be willing to sign a contract for more than two years as he re-establishes his value after getting shoulder surgery, but if he signed with the Mets, the second year of the contract would probably be below market value for a pitcher as good as Woodruff due to the risk involved with signing a pitcher that is recovering from an injury. A one-two punch of Kodai Senga and Brandon Woodruff atop the Mets rotation would be one of the better starting pitcher duos in the league, and would really help the Mets compete for title in 2025.
Sign Jordan Hicks
The Mets bullpen was extremely weak last year, and even with Edwin Diaz returning from patellar tendon surgery, the bullpen still does not look very strong. Jordan Hicks is projected to land a multi-year deal, which aligns with the Mets timeline, and since he is a reliever that does not close games, his average annual salary probably won’t be that high. Hicks has been inconsistent thus far in his career, but he may have figured things out in 2023, as he had a 132 ERA+ for the whole season, and a 164 ERA+ in the 24 innings he pitched for the Blue Jays after getting traded at the deadline. There is inherent risk involved with signing relievers to multi-year contracts, as they are typical streaky players, but I think he could be a very effective option for the Mets bullpen over the next few years. Fangraphs projects Hicks to receive a 3-year deal for $9M per year ($27M total), and I would feel very comfortable giving him that contract.