Grading the Mets offseason signings to this point

This past offseason, the New York Mets gave fans a reason to celebrate. In this article, I will be grading all the moves made this offseason. Steve Cohen bought the team and became the richest owner in baseball, and immediately shifted the culture. By publicly stating that he wanted to win a championship in the next 3-5, he won over the hearts of all Met fans.

With that being said, the offseason goes much deeper than the ownership change. The New York Mets made several key signings in order to win games. Currently, the Mets sit at 41-34, which gives them the top spot in the NL East. In this article, I’m going to look at every free agent signing and how well they have performed up to this point.

James McCann:

James McCann was signed to a 4 year, 40.6 million dollar contract this offseason. He has a WAR of 0.5 so far this season, with .300 OBP. James McCann is having a solid season, but at times, isn’t even the best catcher on the team. Earlier this month, Tomas Nido caught fire and was the best bat in our lineup. Because of this, he fought his way into the starting lineup and split time with McCann. 

Grading the McCann signing is a bit tricky. McCann hasn’t been bad this year, but he certainly doesn’t deserve to be the 6th highest-paid catcher in the league right now. As we look back on this offseason signing, it seems to be the right guy at the wrong price point. 

Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker has shocked the world this season with a 2.38 ERA over 79.1 innings pitched. Not to mention an ERA plus of 160, and a 1.034 WHIP, which is the lowest in his career since his rookie year. Walker has been one of the Mets’ best players this season, which is unfortunately overshadowed by Jacob deGrom’s continued dominance. 

The Taijuan Walker signing was the best one made by the Mets organization this offseason. This team truly found a diamond in the rough, as Walker admitted to having no other offers before signing. I’m so happy to be grading this so positively, as I didn’t expect this production out of Walker. 

Trevor May:

Trevor May has a 1.186 WHIP with 5 home runs allowed this year. The most disappointing statistic to look at is the fact that he has a 0.0 WAR this season, meaning he is the definition of average. 

Trevor inked a 2 year 15.5 million dollar deal this winter. With this contract, he is the 19th highest-paid reliever in baseball, which is a solid price point. It’s disappointing to see that Josh Hader is getting paid less than him, but other than that he is in a solid pay slot. I personally expected more from this Trevor May signing. The Mets need a reliever who can transition from starter to closer, and Trevor May isn’t cutting it. This signing has been a miss in my opinion so far, I want May to pick up his consistency as the season goes on. 

Kevin Pillar:

Grading this signing is easy because Kevin Pillar is a legend to this team and fanbase. After eating a fastball in the face and trying to continue playing, the fans in Queens fell in love. An ultimate spark plug, Pillar is already a fan favorite. Now that he wears that dark mask whenever he plays, fans can identify the heart and soul of the New York Mets. Pillar signed a 1 year 5 million dollar deal this offseason, yet has been invaluable to the fans and front office this year.

In terms of actual performance, Pillar has been solid. He has a .679 OPS with a .222 BA. He has knocked in 8 homers and 20 RBIs this season. His play isn’t anything to go crazy about, but it is definitely good production for the contract. 

Jonathan Villar:

The second half of the -illar brothers, Johathan Villar is another favorite. It’s easy to see why, as he is slashing .246/.333/.410 (BA, OBP, SLUG). For a team whose bats a really struggling, Villar has helped get on base for the Mets. His ability at the plate has made him an everyday leadoff hitter, and a solid contributor to this lineup. 

Villar signed a 1 year 3.55 million dollar deal this offseason. Not only is Villar playing well, but he is on a very friendly contract. So far this signing has been great, as Villar has produced on a team-friendly contract. Ideally, those offensive numbers will go up as the Mets offense wakes up from hibernation.      

Aaron Loup

The Mets brought in this left-handed relief pitcher on a one-year, 3 million dollar deal this past offseason. So far, there is nothing to complain about. Loup hasn’t had a super significant role with the team this year but has performed when called upon. In 23.2 innings pitched, he has only given up 4 earned runs while sporting a .972 WHIP. 

When looking at relief pitchers, WHIP is always my go-to stat. You want a guy who is efficient and doesn’t play with his food. With Loup sporting a sub 1.00 WHIP, I can’t complain about this signing. When grading Loup the low WHIP really caught my eye. Loup is performing well at a solid price point, so this deal is working out right now. 

Albert Almora Jr: 

Albert Almora Jr. has appeared in only 32 of the Mets games this year, with very little to show for. In 40 at-bats Almora has .075 BA and a .098 OBP. I don’t think I have to explain how that isn’t necessarily ideal. 

Since the Mets have been riddled with injuries this year, we have given Almora some time at the plate. Obviously, it hasn’t gone too well. Clearly, this signing was a miss for the Mets. Luckily, it’s only a one-year, 1.25 million dollar deal. 

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