With Trevor Bauer in the rearview mirror, a guide on what to expect from the Mets this week

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Andy Martino
·2 min read
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Sandy Alderson treated light blue background
Sandy Alderson treated light blue background

After the Mets missed out (dodged a bullet?) on Trevor Bauer, public attention quickly turned to Jackie Bradley Jr., because he was the most recognizable remaining name on the free agent market.

But the reality was that the team had always been iffy at best on Bradley and nowhere close on a contract. As we’ve discussed here many times, their more likely course had always been to sign Albert Almora Jr. as a backup, occasional platoon partner, and late-inning defensive replacement for Brandon Nimmo. Indeed, the Mets will soon sign Almora.

It might have been different with Bradley if he was willing to take the two-year deal that the Mets suggested earlier in the offseason. That was so different from agent Scott Boras and Bradley’s view of his value that they didn’t even respond, according to sources.

It might also have been different with Bradley if the National League knew if it was playing this year with a designated hitter. Then Dom Smith could move to first base and Nimmo to left.

If the universal DH happens and Bradley remains unsigned, maybe there is a fit with the Mets after all. But so far it has been much more fan fiction than reality, while the team basically planned all along to go the Almora route.

Same with the months of Mets/Nolan Arenado and Mets/Kris Bryant talk. It wasn’t real, other than maybe a little bit. The team has always considered it more likely than not that J.D. Davis would open the season at third base.

Back here in the real world, Mets fans can expect more depth moves soon. They will soon sign pitchers and bench players.

As far as the $210 million luxury tax threshold, the Mets had planned all offseason to stay under it. Team president Sandy Alderson made a case to owner Steve Cohen to make an exception for Bauer. Without Bauer, the Mets are more likely to return to their previous stance on the payroll.

Which players will they sign? The way this works is, a team pursues multiple Jake Arrietas, Rich Hills and Marwin Gonzalezes, and ends up agreeing to terms with whoever’s price is right. These moves will happen soon enough for the Mets.

We can report with confidence that they are more interested in Arrieta than James Paxton, Taijuan Walker or Jake Odorizzi. They like Gonzalez but are not willing to go crazy to outbid other teams for him.

But really, we’re at the phase of the offseason where the individual names don’t make or break the team’s chances at a championship. To the high-end talent they’ve already acquired -- Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor May and James McCann -- they’ll add a few others, whoever they are.

And then, mercifully, we’ll be back to thinking about actual baseball.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
NY Mets
+100--
Houston
-121--