Mets fans clamor for George Springer, Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, but there are other good ways to spend Steve Cohen’s money

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Andy Martino
·2 min read
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Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen treated art with faded background
Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen treated art with faded background

The Mets have talked to all of the big free agents, of course. George Springer? Check. Trevor Bauer? Check. J.T. Realmuto? Check, though they’ve been far more engaged with James McCann, who could sign any minute if he agrees on the price.

It also shouldn’t be a shock to hear that the asking prices on those players remain very high -- as they should be. These are highly accomplished players. But that doesn’t mean those prices will appeal to the Mets.

Of the big three, the Mets are most engaged with Springer, and a fit remains more than possible. But, according to league sources, the sides are not currently close on their idea of what would constitute a fair contract. Same for Bauer and Realmuto.

If you’re Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson, you’re probably asking yourself what is the best way to build a sustainable winner.

What if, instead of picking up the PR win by signing Bauer, the Mets build a super bullpen, adding Liam Hendricks -- in whom they have interest, according to sources -- to Trevor May, Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo and other free agents to come?

Then what if you add starter Jake Odorizzi, and you still haven’t spent what another team will give Bauer alone? This would be no way to win Twitter and back pages, but perhaps a solid course toward a championship.

The same logic could apply to the team’s catching situation. McCann is an inferior player to Realmuto, but what if you can get him on a four-year deal for a third of the money that Realmuto commands elsewhere? You could then use the savings on a variety of other needs.

It’s Alderson’s job to build a contending team while also preserving both roster and payroll flexibility in future seasons. That’s good business even when working under the wealthiest owner in the sport.

News conferences introducing superstars are great for fan morale, and perhaps the Mets will, say, introduce Springer this weekend.

But it’s reductive to think that big game hunting is the only way to build a winner. If we know anything about Alderson, we can assume he’s thought of several different ways to achieve that goal.