As it usually is this time of year, the issue is money, specifically how much are the Mets willing to spend.
The days of $140 million payrolls for them are long since gone. It was around $83 last season and ESPN’s Adam Rubin said they might go as high as $93 million. I trust Rubin’s reporting. As far as I am concerned, he’s the best reporter on the Mets’ beat.
He was hired to cut payroll, not add to it and dip into the free-agent market. Assuming a $10 bump in payroll, most will go to raises and arbitration cases. Another $10 million won’t substantially improve the Mets, who have questions at shortstop, left field and maintenance of their bullpen.
This also doesn’t account for on-the-fly patching, which could not only be at catcher – where Travis d’Arnaud is no sure thing – but any position.
The Mets’ problems have been identified, but another $10 million won’t make much difference. Not if they want to be competitive.